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Which Intel processor is the best?

The central processing unit is one of the most crucial components of a computer. It tells all other elements of the PC how and when to execute instructions. It works with RAM and graphics card to keep the device running smoothly.

The processor is integrated into the motherboard and gamers usually choose Intel or AMD. If you prefer the first, then the Intel Core i9-10900K 10 Core Desktop Processor is an excellent choice. It has 10 cores with a maximum clock speed of 5.3 gigahertz.

What to know before buying an Intel processor

Compatibility with your motherboard

the motherboard in a computer is the base to which all components connect. The CPU fits into a dedicated space and must therefore be compatible. For example, Intel processors will only work when placed in an Intel-compatible motherboard. It is not possible to use an Intel processor with an AMD compatible motherboard because the pins and sockets of the processor are different.

Decent chipset

You need to make sure that you are using an Intel motherboard with an Intel processor, but another crucial aspect is the chipset. As technology evolves, processors and motherboards use different connection points which are not backward compatible. So, for example, you can’t use an Intel 300 series processor on a 200 series motherboard.

Number of cores for what you need

There is a huge range of Intel processors to choose from, so you need to choose the one that suits your needs. For example, for playing video games or creating digital content, more cores are great for a smoother experience. But you don’t need a lot of cores for general browsing or streaming. The more cores a processor has, the faster and harder it can run. At the top of Intel’s lineup are the X-series and the i9 with 18 and eight cores respectively.

What to Look for in a Quality Intel Processor

Clock speed is everything

The simplest measure of processor performance is clock speed. Measured in gigahertz, it is equivalent to the maximum speed of a vehicle measured in miles per hour. The higher the clock speed, the faster it can execute multiple instructions. A clock speed between 4.8 gigahertz and 5.3 gigahertz is more than enough for gaming and content creation.

Hyper Threading

If overclocking is too daunting for you, look for a good quality Intel processor with hyper-threading. The technology allows the processor’s unique cores to handle two or more tasks simultaneously. Hyper-threading is great for multitasking because it splits physical cores into multiple virtual cores, which takes the strain off the entire system.


While some CPUs already have blazingly fast clock speeds, there’s always room to squeeze a little more out of their processing power. For example, you can overclock a processor to run faster than Intel recommends through special software. However, it won’t harm the CPU if done correctly, and some CPU manufacturers even consider it a selling point.

How much you can expect to spend on an Intel processor

The average price of an Intel processor will depend on the number of cores and the clock speed. Core i7 or i5 chips can sell for between $200 and $250, while faster and more powerful Core i9 chips can sell for between $400 and $500.

Intel CPU FAQs

Can you put an Intel PC processor in a laptop?

A. No, because the components are very different. For example, a laptop processor is much thinner and smaller than a desktop processor, and the motherboard sockets are incompatible.

Is thermal paste necessary?

A. Yes, because without it the processor will shut down in a few minutes. Thermal paste is a thin layer of heat-resistant liquid filling the air spaces between the processor and the heatsink. The paste pushes the air out, which would otherwise prevent the processor from cooling.

What is the best Intel processor to buy?

Best Intel Processor

Intel Core i9-10900K 10 Core Desktop Processor

What do you want to know: Few Intel processors can keep up with the 10900K, as it uses some of the latest technologies available.

What you will love: What makes this processor so powerful is that it has a maximum clock speed of 5.3 gigahertz across 10 cores. It is compatible with Intel 400 series chipsets and uses the LGA 1200 socket type. It uses Intel’s Hyper-threading technology to make things smoother and access files faster with Intel Optane compatible memory.

What you should consider: The base clock speed is set at 3.7 gigahertz and you can only reach 5.3 gigahertz with overclocking software.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Intel processor for the money

Intel Core i7 10700F 8 Core Desktop Processor

Intel Core i7-10700F 8 Core Desktop Processor

What do you want to know: This processor is perfect if you want to balance an affordable component with power and speed.

What you will love: With eight cores capable of handling 16 tasks simultaneously, this i7 processor has a base clock speed of 2.9 gigahertz. If you need extra computing power, it can be overclocked to 4.8 gigahertz. It is compatible with Intel 400 series chipset motherboards and includes a cooler.

What you should consider: The processor can only be used with an external graphics card, as it has no graphics capabilities.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Intel Core i7 12700KF 12 Core 8P 4E Desktop Processor

Intel Core i7-12700KF 12 Core (8P+4E) Desktop Processor

What do you want to know: This processor distributes the workload between the Performance and Efficient cores to get the most out of the processes.

What you will love: Compatible with 600 series motherboards, this processor has a maximum clock speed of 5.0 gigahertz when overclocked from the base speed of 3.8 gigahertz. Plus, it’s compatible with DDR5 memory and features eight performance cores for lightweight work and execution. Plus, it engages all four efficient cores for hyper-threading when more power is needed.

What you should consider: The price may be a bit high, but it is excellent value for money.

Or buy: Sold by B&H Photo

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Charlie Fripp written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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