The CPU is often considered the brain of the computer. It is a small chip which processes all of the information going through the computer. There are two variations of processor, boxed and OEM. Boxed versions come with a heatsink and manufacturers warranty. They can either have ATX or BTX heatsinks depending on the type you choose (usually you have to specifically ask for one with a BTX heatsink). The heatsink assists with cooling the processor and is basically a big fan assembly. This will be covered more in depth in the Accessories section. The OEM processor doesn’t come with a heatsink meaning you have to buy a third-party one and the processor only comes with the store warranty (usually 30 days).
Lately, Intel has manufactured some of the most powerful processors available commercially. Their top of the line processor is the Intel Core 2 Quad QX9650 which is a quad core processor currently costs about AUD$1200. It is rated at 3GHz which is an extremely fast processor. Intel has manufactured many dual-core CPUs as well. The latest being the E8xxx series which uses the new 45nm fabrication process. I will go into this a bit later. Intel’s best value for money dual core processor is probably the E8400 which is only AUD$200 and is rated at 3GHz. This is an insanely good price. Their best value Quad core processor is still the Q6600 which can now be found for less than AUD$300 and is rated at 2.4GHz.
AMD is the second largest manufacturer of CPUs and socket 1150 cpu. Their processors are not as fast as Intel’s but offer a lot more value for money. Their best processor is the Phenom 2.4Ghz Quad core which costs around AUD$230.
There are two main manufacturers of CPUs and socket 1150 cpu
This processor is better than the Q6600 because it is a native quad core processor rather than two Core 2 duo processors on one die. AMD also has triple core offerings for those who do not want to spend excessive amounts of money on a computer but still want some decent performance. These sell at a starting price of AUD$140.
So what are the basic things you need to know about the CPU?
Intel or AMD?
Well, firstly, you need to understand the differences in CPU types. CPUs have different sockets. An AMD processor will not fit in a motherboard designed for an Intel processor. Overtime, CPU manufacturers release new processors which cannot fit in an older socket on the motherboard. In a case like this, you need to replace the motherboard and possibly other parts if it is a very old computer. A good example of this is Socket 478 and LGA 775. Socket 478 was the socket used by Intel’s older CPUs such as Pentium 4 Northwood. When Intel released the new Pentium 4’s they also released a new socket, LGA 775 and Lga 1150 cpu list. This was for various reasons such as not enough power for the CPU etc. Intel still uses the LGA 775 socket which means the processor has 775 pins. People who had the old Socket 478 processor had to replace the motherboard to upgrade the processor.