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.
|AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5955WX 4.0GHz 16 Core 280W||AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5965WX 3.8GHz 24 Core 280W||AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5975WX 3.6GHz 32 Core 280W||AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro 5995WX 2.7GHz 64 Core 280W||Intel Xeon W-3335 3.4GHz 16 Core 24MB 250W||Intel Xeon W-3345 3.0GHz 24 Core 36MB 250W||Intel Xeon W-3365 2.7GHz 32 Core 48MB 270W||Intel Xeon W-3375 2.5GHz 38 Core 57MB 270W||AMD Ryzen 7 7700X 4.5GHz 8 Core 105W||AMD Ryzen 9 7900X 4.7GHz 12 Core 170W||AMD Ryzen 9 7950X 4.5GHz 16 Core 170W||Intel Core i7 13700K 3.4GHz 16 Core 30MB 125W||Intel Core i9 13900K 3.0GHz 24 Core 36MB 125W|
|Product Line||Threadripper Pro||Threadripper Pro||Threadripper Pro||Threadripper Pro||Xeon W||Xeon W||Xeon W||Xeon W||Ryzen||Ryzen||Ryzen||Core i7||Core i9|
|Code Name||Chagall||Chagall||Chagall||Chagall||Ice Lake-64L||Ice Lake-64L||Ice Lake-64L||Ice Lake-64L||Raphael||Raphael||Raphael||Raptor Lake||Raptor Lake|
|Process||7 nm||7 nm||7 nm||7 nm||10 nm||10 nm||10 nm||10 nm||5 nm||5 nm||5 nm||10 nm||10 nm|
|Total Number of Cores||16||24||32||64||16||24||32||38||8||12||16||16||24|
|Number of Efficient Cores||8||16|
|Base Clock Speed||4.00 GHz||3.80 GHz||3.60 GHz||2.70 GHz||3.40 GHz||3.00 GHz||2.70 GHz||2.50 GHz||4.5 GHz||4.7 GHz||4.5 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.0 GHz|
|Max. Turbo Boost||4.50 GHz||4.50 GHz||4.50 GHz||4.50 GHz||4.00 GHz||4.00 GHz||4.00 GHz||4.00 GHz||5.4 GHz||5.6 GHz||5.7 GHz||5.4 GHz||5.8 GHz|
|Efficient Core Max Turbo Boost||4.2 GHz||4.3 GHz|
|All-Core Turbo Boost||3.70 GHz||3.70 GHz||3.50 GHz||3.30 GHz||5.3 GHz||5.5 GHz|
|Long Duration Power Limit||125 W||125 W|
|Short Duration Power Limit||253 W||253 W|
|Thermal Output||280 W||280 W||280 W||280 W||250 W||250 W||270 W||270 W||105 W||170 W||170 W|
|Bus Type||Infinity Fabric||Infinity Fabric||Infinity Fabric||Infinity Fabric|
|Max Temperature||95 C||95 C||95 C||95 C||100 C||100 C||100 C||100 C||95 C||95 C||95 C||100 C||100 C|
|Processor Type||Radeon Graphics||Radeon Graphics||Radeon Graphics||UHD Graphics 770||UHD Graphics 770|
|Core Speed||2,200 MHz||2,200 MHz||2,200 MHz||1.60 MHz||1.65 MHz|
|Cores on Die||2||2||2||32||32|
|# of Displays Supported||3||3||3||3||3|
|Virtualization Technology (VT-x)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Trusted Execution Technology||Yes||Yes|