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CPU Information

Choosing your processor consists of a couple of steps. First you need to determine what type of processor you want: Intel or AMD, and which of their respective product lines. Each motherboard only supports a single type of socket, which may have one or more CPU types that fit it, so if you aren't seeing the options you want you may need to adjust the motherboard first. Once you have taken care of that step, you need to decide the exact model you'd prefer. Within a single product line the differences between processors will be one or more of the following specifications:

Clock Speed: This is the easiest metric to see when looking at a processor, and when comparing models within the same product line can be very helpful. If all other specs are equal, then this will show a linear performance difference: if the clock speed of one chip is 10% higher than another then it will perform tasks ~10% faster. Be careful of using this when comparing different processor series or brands, though, as there are many other differences that can have a larger effect - some of which are listed below.

Number of Cores: Modern CPUs have multiple cores in them, each of which can independently work on processing something. If you tend to run multiple programs at the same time, or if you have very demanding software that can use multiple processor cores at the same time, then getting a chip with as many cores as possible will help. Some chips from Intel also support Hyper-threading technology, where each core can switch back and forth between two tasks very quickly. One Hyper-threaded core isn't as effective as actually having two real ones, but it can be a way to improve performance without adding additional real cores.

On-Chip Cache: This is super-fast and efficient memory integrated into the processor, which it uses to store short-term or frequently accessed data. This type of memory is so zippy because it runs at the full clock speed of the processor, meaning at the gigahertz level. Cache is the first place the CPU looks for instructions. If not found, then the CPU must rely on the much slower system RAM, which operates at the megahertz level. Most CPUs today have on-chip L1 (level 1) and L2 cache, and some also have on-chip L3 cache. The L2 cache size will often be one of the main differences between CPUs, and as a general rule of thumb the larger the L2 cache the better the performance will be.

Enough technical jargon, which is faster?!?

CPU technology changes so often that anything we write proclaiming one processor to be the best will quickly be outdated. If you want the latest info you can call or email our sales team - they keep up on these things so that you don't have to! If you are just looking for a decent performing computer, though, none of the processor options we list will be a bad choice. For the best value, look at the price differences between models in relation to the speed jumps - and select one where the next model up costs a lot more, but the model down doesn't save much.

 None - Included on motherboardAMD Ryzen 7 5800X 3.8GHz 8 Core 105WAMD Ryzen 9 5900X 3.7GHz 12 Core 105WAMD Ryzen 9 5950X 3.4GHz 16 Core 105WAMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3955WX 3.9GHz 16 Core 280WAMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3975WX 3.5GHz 32 Core 280WAMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3995WX 2.7GHz 64 Core 280WIntel Core i7 10700K 3.8GHz 8 Core 16MB 125WIntel Core i7 11700K 3.6GHz 8 Core 16MB 125WIntel Core i9 10900X 3.7GHz 10 Core 19.25MB 165WIntel Core i9 10920X 3.5GHz 12 Core 19.25MB 165WIntel Core i9 10940X 3.3GHz 14 Core 19.25MB 165WIntel Core i9 10980XE 3.0GHz 18 Core 24.75MB 165WIntel Xeon W-3335 3.4GHz 16 Core 24MB 250WIntel Xeon W-3345 3.0GHz 24 Core 36MB 250WIntel Xeon W-3365 2.7GHz 32 Core 48MB 270WIntel Xeon W-3375 2.5GHz 38 Core 57MB 270WIntel Core i7 12700K 3.6GHz 12 Core 25MB 125WIntel Core i9 12900K 3.2GHz 16 Core 30MB 125WIntel Core i9 12900KS 3.4GHz 16 Core 30MB 150W
Product LineRyzen Ryzen Ryzen Threadripper Pro Threadripper Pro Threadripper Pro Core i7 Core i7 Core i9 Core i9 Core i9 Core i9 Xeon W Xeon W Xeon W Xeon W Core i7 Core i9 Core i9
Code NameVermeer Vermeer Vermeer Comet Lake Rocket Lake Cascade Lake-X Cascade Lake-X Cascade Lake-X Cascade Lake-X Ice Lake-64L Ice Lake-64L Ice Lake-64L Ice Lake-64L Alder Lake Alder Lake Alder Lake
SocketAM4 AM4 AM4 sWRX8 sWRX8 sWRX8 1200 1200 2066 2066 2066 2066 4189 4189 4189 4189 1700 1700 1700
Process7 nm7 nm7 nm7 nm7 nm7 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm10 nm10 nm10 nm10 nm7 nm7 nm7 nm
Total Number of Cores8 12 16 16 32 64 8 8 10 12 14 18 16 24 32 38 12 16 16
Base Clock Speed3.80 GHz3.70 GHz3.40 GHz3.90 GHz3.50 GHz2.70 GHz3.80 GHz3.60 GHz3.70 GHz3.50 GHz3.30 GHz3.00 GHz3.40 GHz3.00 GHz2.70 GHz2.50 GHz3.60 GHz3.20 GHz3.40 GHz
Simultaneous Multi-ThreadingYes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Turbo BoostYes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Max. Turbo Boost4.70 GHz4.80 GHz4.90 GHz4.30 GHz4.20 GHz4.20 GHz5.10 GHz5.00 GHz4.50 GHz4.60 GHz4.60 GHz4.60 GHz4.00 GHz4.00 GHz4.00 GHz4.00 GHz5.00 GHz5.20 GHz5.50 GHz
All-Core Turbo Boost4.30 GHz4.30 GHz4.20 GHz4.70 GHz4.60 GHz4.30 GHz4.30 GHz4.10 GHz3.80 GHz3.70 GHz3.70 GHz3.50 GHz3.30 GHz
Thermal Output105 W105 W105 W280 W280 W280 W125 W125 W165 W165 W165 W165 W250 W250 W270 W270 W125 W125 W150 W
PCI-E Lanes16 16 16 128 128 128 16 20 48 48 48 48 64 64 64 64 20 20 20
Max Temperature95 C95 C95 C90 C90 C90 C100 C100 C94 C94 C86 C86 C100 C100 C100 C100 C100 C100 C100 C
Bus TypeInfinity Fabric Infinity Fabric Infinity Fabric DMI3 DMI3 DMI3 DMI3 DMI3 DMI3 DMI4 DMI4 DMI4
HyperthreadingYes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.05.10 GHz4.70 GHz4.80 GHz4.80 GHz4.80 GHz
Number of Efficient Cores4 8 8
Efficient Core Base Clock Speed2.70 GHz2.40 GHz2.50 GHz
Efficient Core Max Turbo Boost3.80 GHz3.90 GHz4.00 GHz
QPI Speed16 GT/s16 GT/s16 GT/s
L24MB 6MB 8MB 8MB 16MB 32MB 12MB 14MB 14MB
L332MB 64MB 64MB 64MB 128MB 256MB
Smart Cache16MB 16MB 19.25MB 19.25MB 19.25MB 24.75MB 24MB 36MB 48MB 48MB 25MB 30MB 30MB
Onboard Graphics
Processor TypeN/A N/A N/A Intel UHD Graphics 630 Intel UHD Graphics 750 Intel UHD Graphics 770 Intel UHD Graphics 770 Intel UHD Graphics 770
Core Speed1,200 MHz1,300 MHz1,500 MHz1,550 MHz1,550 MHz
DirectX Version12 12.1 12 12 12
# of Displays Supported3 3 4 4 4
Cores on Die32 32 32
Memory Specification
Maximum Frequency3200 3200 3200 3200 3200 3200 2933 3200 2933 2933 2933 2933 3200 3200 3200 3200 4800 4800 4800
ECC SupportYes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Registered SupportNo No No Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Advanced Technologies
vProYes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No
Virtualization Technology (VT-x)Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d)Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trusted Execution TechnologyYes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
TSX-NIYes Yes Yes Yes