The CPU is often considered the brain of the computer. It is a small chip which processes all of the information going right 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 with respect to the type you choose (usually you have to specifically require one with a BTX heatsink). The heatsink assists with cooling the processor and is simply a big fan assembly. This will be covered more thorough in the Accessories section. The OEM processor doesn’t come with a heatsink meaning you have to get a third-party one and the processor only includes the store warranty (usually 30 days). There are two main manufacturers of CPU’s. Both of these are Intel and AMD.
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’s rated at 3GHz that will be an extremely fast processor. Intel has manufactured many dual-core CPU’s as well. The newest being the E8xxx series which utilize the new 45nm fabrication process. I will go into this somewhat later. Intel’s best value for money dual core processor is probably the E8400 that will be only AUD$200 and is rated at 3GHz. This really is an insanely good price. Their utmost 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 2nd largest manufacturer of CPU’s. Their processors aren’t as fast as Intel’s but offer much more value for money. Their utmost processor is the Phenom 2.4Ghz Quad core costs around amd processors for sale AUD$230. This processor is preferable to the Q6600 because it is a native quad core processor as opposed to two Core 2 duo processors on a single die. AMD also has triple core offerings for those who do not want to invest excessive amounts of money on some type of computer but still want some decent performance. These sell at a starting price of AUD$140.
So what are the essential things you need to find out about the CPU?
Intel or AMD?
Well, firstly, you’ll need to comprehend the differences in CPU types. CPU’s have different sockets. An AMD processor will not easily fit in a motherboard designed for an Intel processor. Overtime, CPU manufacturers release new processors which cannot fit in a older socket on the motherboard. In a case such as this, you’ll need to replace the motherboard and possibly the rest when it is a very old computer. An example of this is Socket 478 and LGA 775. Socket 478 was the socket utilized by Intel’s older CPU’s such as for example Pentium 4 Northwood. When Intel released new Pentium 4’s additionally they released a new socket, LGA 775. This was for various reasons such as for example not enough power for the CPU etc. Intel still utilize the LGA 775 socket this means the processor has 775 pins. People who had the old Socket 478 processor had to replace the motherboard to upgrade the processor.