Your CPU or processor is the heart of your new computer, it is the main chip which carries out all instructions and calculations needed to run your programs.

CPU Speed & Cores

Generally speaking the faster a processor runs the faster it can carry out instructions so all other things being equal a faster speed (GHz) means a faster computer.

Some processors have a Turbo speed which they can run at for short bursts of extra processing power when required, we list CPU's by base speed and include Turbo speeds if a chip is capable of it.

Cores are the number of instructions a CPU can process at the same time, a quad core CPU can carry out four different instructions simultaneously, often a quad core CPU running at a lower speed than a dual core processor can end up outperforming it in many tasks, this is highly software dependent though.

There is also a technology called HyperThreading which further optimises CPU Core performance and offers the operating system double the number processing threads to use over a none HyperThreaded chip, this can enhance multi-tasking performance further in some workloads. If a CPU has HyperThreading we display (HT) in the description.

Latest CPUs

AMD are the chip maker of choice for highly multi-threaded computing performance. Their top two Ryzen 9 chips offer 12 or 16 cores and are both very fast.

For extreme multi-tasking / multi-threaded performance look at the new ThreadRipper chips, this range of chips is unmatched by anything else on the market however they do come at a premium price.