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.
 Intel Core i3 8350K 4.0GHz Quad Core 8MB 91WIntel Core i5 8400 2.8GHz Six Core 9MB 65WIntel Xeon E5-2603 V4 1.7GHz Six Core 15MB 85WIntel Xeon E3-1225 V6 3.3Ghz Quad Core 8MB 73WIntel Core i5 8600K 3.6GHz Six Core 9MB 95WIntel Xeon E5-1620 V4 3.5GHz 4 Core 10MB 140WIntel Xeon E3-1245 V6 3.7GHz Quad Core 8MB 73WIntel Core i7 8700 3.2GHz Six Core 12MB 65WIntel Xeon E5-2609 V4 1.7GHz Eight Core 20MB 85WIntel Xeon E3-1275 V6 3.8GHz Quad Core 8MB 73WIntel Core i7 8700K 3.7GHz Six Core 12MB 95WIntel Core i7 7800X 3.5GHz Six Core 8.25MB 140WIntel Xeon E5-1630 V4 3.7GHz 4 Core 10MB 140WIntel Xeon E5-2620 V4 2.1GHz Eight Core 20MB 85WIntel Xeon E5-2623 V4 2.6GHz Quad Core 10MB 85WAMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900X 3.8GHz Eight Core 180WIntel Core i7 7820X 3.6GHz Eight Core 11MB 140WIntel Xeon E5-1650 V4 3.6GHz 6 Core 15MB 140WIntel Core i7 6850K 3.6GHz Six Core 15MB 140WIntel Xeon E5-2630 V4 2.2GHz Ten Core 25MB 85WAMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X 3.5GHz Twelve Core 180WIntel Xeon E5-2640 V4 2.4GHz Ten Core 25MB 90WIntel Core i9 7900X 3.3GHz Ten Core 13.37MB 140WIntel Xeon E5-2637 V4 3.5GHz Quad Core 15MB 135WAMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X 3.4GHz Sixteen Core 180WIntel Core i7 6900K 3.2GHz Eight Core 20MB 140WIntel Core i9 7920X 2.9GHz Twelve Core 16.5MB 140WIntel Xeon E5-1660 V4 3.2GHz 8 Core 20MB 140WIntel Xeon E5-2650 V4 2.2GHz Twelve Core 30MB 105WIntel Core i9 7940X 3.1GHz Fourteen Core 19.25MB 165WIntel Xeon E5-2660 V4 2.0GHz Fourteen Core 35MB 105WIntel Core i9 7960X 2.8GHz Sixteen Core 22MB 165WIntel Xeon E5-2643 V4 3.4GHz Six Core 20MB 135WIntel Core i7 6950X 3.0GHz Ten Core 25MB 140WIntel Xeon E5-2680 V4 2.4GHz Fourteen Core 35MB 120WIntel Xeon E5-1680 V4 3.4GHz 8 Core 20MB 140W [3-4 WEEK LEAD TIME]Intel Xeon E5-2683 V4 2.1GHz Sixteen Core 40MB 120WIntel Core i9 7980XE 2.6GHz Eighteen Core 24.75MB 165WIntel Xeon E5-2667 V4 3.2GHz Eight Core 25MB 135WIntel Xeon E5-2690 V4 2.6GHz Fourteen Core 35MB 135WIntel Xeon E5-2687W V4 3.0GHz Twelve Core 30MB 160WIntel Xeon E5-2695 V4 2.1GHz Eighteen Core 45MB 145WIntel Xeon E5-2697 V4 2.3GHz Eighteen Core 45MB 145WIntel Xeon E5-2697A V4 2.6GHz Sixteen Core 45MB 145WIntel Xeon E5-2698 V4 2.2GHz Twenty Core 50MB 135WIntel Xeon E5-2699 V4 2.2GHz Twenty-Two Core 55MB 145W
Product LineCore i3 Core i5 Xeon Xeon Core i5 Xeon Xeon Core i7 Xeon Xeon Core i7 Core i7 Xeon Xeon Xeon Ryzen Core i7 Xeon Core i7 Xeon Ryzen Xeon Core i9 Xeon Ryzen Core i7 Core i9 Xeon Xeon Core i9 Xeon Core i9 Xeon Core i7 Xeon Xeon Xeon Core i9 Xeon Xeon Xeon Xeon Xeon Xeon Xeon Xeon
Code NameCoffee Lake Coffee Lake Broadwell-EP Kaby Lake-S Coffee Lake Broadwell-EP Kaby Lake-S Coffee Lake Broadwell-EP Kaby Lake-S Coffee Lake Skylake-X Broadwell-EP Broadwell-EP Broadwell-EP Zen Skylake-X Broadwell-EP Broadwell-E Broadwell-EP Zen Broadwell-EP Skylake-X Broadwell-EP Zen Broadwell-E Skylake-X Broadwell-EP Broadwell-EP Skylake-X Broadwell-EP Skylake-X Broadwell-EP Broadwell-E Broadwell-EP Broadwell-EP Broadwell-EP Skylake-X Broadwell-EP Broadwell-EP Broadwell-EP Broadwell-EP Broadwell-EP Broadwell-EP Broadwell-EP Broadwell-EP
Socket1151 1151 2011-3 1151 1151 2011-3 1151 1151 2011-3 1151 1151 2066 2011-3 2011-3 2011-3 TR4 2066 2011-3 2011 2011-3 TR4 2011-3 2066 2011-3 TR4 2011 2066 2011-3 2011-3 2066 2011-3 2066 2011-3 2011 2011-3 2011-3 2011-3 2066 2011-3 2011-3 2011-3 2011-3 2011-3 2011-3 2011-3 2011-3
Process14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm14 nm
Number of Cores4 6 6 4 6 4 4 6 8 4 6 6 4 8 4 8 8 6 6 10 12 10 10 4 16 8 12 8 12 14 14 14 6 10 14 8 16 18 8 14 12 18 18 16 20 22
Clock Speed4.00 GHz2.80 GHz1.7 GHz3.3 GHz3.60 GHz3.5 GHz3.7 GHz3.20 GHz1.7 GHz3.8 GHz3.70 GHz3.50 GHz3.7 GHz2.1 GHz2.6 GHz3.80 GHz3.60 GHz3.6 GHz3.6 GHz2.2 GHz3.50 GHz2.4 GHz3.30 GHz3.5 GHz3.40 GHz3.2 GHz2.90 GHz3.2 GHz2.2 GHz3.10 GHz2.0 GHz2.80 GHz3.4 GHz3.0 GHz2.4 GHz3.4 GHz2.1 GHz2.60 GHz3.2 GHz2.6 GHz3.0 GHz2.1 GHz2.3 GHz2.6 GHz2.2 GHz2.2 GHz
HyperthreadingNo No No No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Turbo BoostNo Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes -Yes Yes Yes Yes -Yes Yes Yes -Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bus TypeDMI3 DMI3 DMI2 DMI3 DMI3 DMI2 DMI3 DMI3 DMI2 DMI3 DMI3 DMI3 DMI2 DMI2 DMI2 Infinity Fabric DMI3 DMI2 DMI2 DMI2 Infinity Fabric DMI2 DMI3 DMI2 Infinity Fabric DMI2 DMI3 DMI2 DMI2 DMI3 DMI2 DMI3 DMI2 DMI2 DMI2 DMI2 DMI2 DMI3 DMI2 DMI2 DMI2 DMI2 DMI2 DMI2 DMI2 DMI2
Thermal Output91 W65 W85 W73 W95 W140 W73 W65 W85 W73 W95 W140 W140 W85 W85 W180 W140 W140 W140 W85 W180 W90 W140 W135 W180 W140 W140 W140 W135 W165 W105 W165 W135 W140 W120 W140 W120 W165 W135 W135 W160 W120 W145 W145 W135 W145 W
PCI-E Lanes16 16 40 16 16 40 16 16 40 16 16 28 40 40 40 64 28 40 40 40 64 40 44 40 64 40 44 40 40 44 40 44 40 40 40 40 40 44 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40
Max. Turbo Boost-4.00 GHz-3.7 GHz4.30 GHz3.8 GHz4.1 GHz4.6 GHz-4.2 GHz4.7 GHz4.00 GHz4.0 GHz3.0 GHz3.2 GHz-4.50 GHz4.0 GHz4.0 GHz3.1 GHz-3.4 GHz4.5 GHz3.7 GHz-4.0 GHz4.40 GHz3.8 GHz2.9 GHz4.40 GHz3.2 GHz4.40 GHz3.7 GHz4.0 GHz3.3 GHz4.0 GHz3.0 GHz4.40 GHz3.6 GHz3.5 GHz3.5 GHz3.3 GHz3.6 GHz3.6 GHz3.6 GHz3.6 GHz
QPI Speed--6.4 GT/s-----6.4 GT/s----8 GT/s8 GT/s----8 GT/s-8 GT/s-8 GT/s----9.6 GT/s-9.6 GT/s-9.6 GT/s-9.6 GT/s-9.6 GT/s-9.6 GT/s9.6 GT/s9.6 GT/s9.6 GT/s9.6 GT/s9.6 GT/s9.6 GT/s9.6 GT/s
All-Core Turbo Boost----3.6 GHz---4.00 GHz3.8 GHz2.3 GHz2.8 GHz-4.00 GHz3.8 GHz3.7 GHz2.4 GHz-2.6 GHz4.00 GHz3.6 GHz-3.5 GHz3.80 GHz3.4 GHz2.5 GHz3.80 GHz2.4 GHz3.60 GHz3.6 GHz3.4 GHz2.9 GHz3.6 GHz2.6 GHz3.40 GHz3.5 GHz3.2 GHz3.2 GHz2.6 GHz2.8 GHz3.1 GHz2.7 GHz2.8 GHz
Simultaneous Multi-Threading---------Yes -Yes -Yes ----
Turbo Core---------------Yes ----Yes ---Yes ---------------------
Max. Turbo Core---------------4.0 GHz----4.0 GHz---4.0 GHz---------------------
Cache
Smart Cache8MB 9MB 15MB 8MB 9MB 10MB 8MB 12MB 20MB 8MB 12MB 8.25MB 10MB 20MB 10MB -11MB 15MB 15MB 25MB -25MB 13.75MB 15MB -20MB 16.5MB 20MB 30MB 19.25MB 35MB 22MB 20MB 25MB 35MB 20MB 40MB 24.75MB 25MB 35MB 30MB 45MB 45MB 40MB 50MB 55MB
L2---4 x 256KB --4 x 256KB --4 x 256KB -----4MB ----6MB ---8MB ---------------------
L3---------------16MB ----32MB ---32MB ---------------------
Onboard Graphics
Processor TypeIntel UHD Graphics 630 Intel UHD Graphics 630 -Intel HD Graphics P630 Intel UHD Graphics 630 -Intel HD Graphics P630 Intel UHD Graphics 630 -Intel HD Graphics P630 Intel UHD Graphics 630 -----------------------------------
Core Speed1150 Mhz1050 Mhz-350 Mhz1150 Mhz-350 Mhz1200 Mhz-350 Mhz1200 Mhz-----------------------------------
DirectX Version12 12 -12 12 -12 12 -12 12 -----------------------------------
Cores on Die23 23 --24 --24 --24 -----------------------------------
# of Displays Supported3 3 -3 3 -3 3 -3 3 -----------------------------------
Memory Specification
Memory TypeDDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4 DDR4
Maximum Frequency2400 2666 1866 2400 2666 2400 2400 2666 1866 2400 2666 2400 2400 2133 2133 2666 2666 2400 2400 2133 2666 2133 2666 2400 2666 2400 2666 2400 2400 2666 2400 2666 2400 2400 2400 2400 2400 2666 2400 2400 2400 2400 2400 2400 2400 2400
ECC SupportNo No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Advanced Technologies
vProNo Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes -Yes Yes Yes --Yes No Yes -Yes No Yes -No No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Virtualization Technology (VT-x)Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes -Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes -Yes Yes Yes Yes -Yes Yes Yes -Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 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 Yes Yes -Yes Yes Yes Yes -Yes Yes Yes -Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trusted Execution TechnologyNo Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes -Yes Yes Yes -Yes Yes Yes --Yes No Yes -Yes No Yes -No No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
TSX-NINo Yes No -Yes ---No -Yes --No No ----No -No -No ----No -No -No -No -No -No No No No No No No No