Which CPU Should I Buy? Processor Buying Guide (2021)

The process of choosing a CPU is dismaying. If you are thinking of Which CPU Should I Buy? here’s everything you need to know about current ranges so you can choose the right CPU.

Processor Buying Guide (2021)

CPU is the brain of a laptop or computer, and therefore it is complicated, but there are thumb rules to follow if you want to get the best performance.

If you are planning to get a gaming PC, buy the Intel CPU. It is quite affordable and perfect for intense gaming.  

A faster CPU allows you to play games, surf the browser, and edit videos faster, design graphics, and edit pictures as well. But, the faster the CPU, the smaller is the battery life.

Your CPU Buying Guide

Don’t worry; we’re not going to indulge you in the technical stuff, but it is essential to understand the CPU’s basic features such as cores, architecture, and clock speeds.

Cores: If we talk about cores, they are smaller processing modules that merge to form the whole chip. Inside a CPU, several cores work and thereby helps the CPU to create multiple tasks at the same time. Chips with fewer cores are perfect for everyday computing or gaming, but not for high-quality video editing.

Clock Speed: Another essential feature of the CPU is clock speed. It defines how faster the core works. For example, the clock speed can be 3.6GHz, which means how fast cores can complete the task; the more significant is number, the faster is the performance. 

Architecture: Apart from cores and clock speed, what works well for a CPU is the underlying architecture. Nowadays, advanced processors are available in the market. It is not at all a good idea to buy a CPU with outdated technology. So, if you are planning to get a CPU, check these three things before buying. 

Turbo Boost: This feature temporarily increases the clock speed from its base frequency to a higher one and helps complete the task faster. Core i5 and Core i7 consist of the Turbo Boost feature, and Core i3 models do not have it.

Cache: Most of the CPUs have about 1 MB to 4 MB of cache.

CPU Brands:

Sometimes brand name helps in buying a CPU, but many other things matter the most; one of them is the purpose. If you plan to buy a gaming computer, the CPU configuration has to be different from the regular computing system.

Your CPU Buying Guide

Here are some of the famous brands-

  • Intel
  • AMD Ryzen
  • Celeron
  • Pentium
  • AMD FX
  • Xeon
  • Atom

Model Name:

A CPU brand differs from another with the help of a model name. These are the essential things to keep in mind. However, you’ll also have to understand the naming conventions.

Here are some of the model names-

  • Intel Core i7-8705G
  • AMD Ryzen i3 3300X
  • Intel Core i5-7Y54
  • Intel Core i3-10100

Brand Modifier: The next in the naming convention is the brand modifier. In the model name ‘Intel Core i7-8705G‘, the brand modifier is i7. The number goes from i3,i5,i7,i9, and so on. In the model name ‘Intel Core i3-10100,’ the brand modifier is i3; in AMD Ryzen i3 3300X, the brand modifier is i3.

Generation Indicator- You can find the Generation in the model name; it is known as the generation indicator. In the model name Intel Core i7-8705G, the Generation is 7th. 8th Generation is the latest one, but most of the CPUs have not been upgraded till now, and thereby you will find 7th Generation in most of the CPUs.

Product Line Suffix: It is a piece of essential information indicating the amount of wattage the CPU needs.

SKU Numeric Digit: This number also indicates the same information. In AMD processors, you won’t find this number in the model name. 

AMD Ryzen or Intel Core, which is better?

AMD processors used to be known for their low and poor performance until now. You could also buy some laptops with AMD processors in your budget. However, after introducing its new Ryzen Mobile Platform in 2017, it competes with Intel processors. 

There are only three Ryzen Mobile-powered laptops available in the market, Acer Swift 3, HP Envy x360, and Lenovo IdeaPad 720S. 

AMD Ryzen powered models are considerable if available at the same price as the Intel Core version. Non-Ryzen chips are also available in the market. If budget is the only concern, then you can buy such chips. However, such chips are not up to the mark and do not perform well. 

Comparing Brand Modifiers

 Core i3 Vs. Core i5 Vs. Core i7 Vs. Core i9

These Intel brand modifiers are mentioned in the model name according to the processors’ speed. Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Corei9 are the brand modifiers are explained above.

Core i3 the slowest of the four brand modifiers. If you are planning to buy it for gaming purposes, you should choose either i7 or i9. But if you want it for office work or daily usage, i5 is the best option available.

Core i3 Brand Modifier

Intel Core i3
Source: Intel

It is the most basic one and thus known as a good chip. The best option available for daily computing work but not for intense gaming. Core i3 is present in Dual Core and Quad Core varieties.

Core i5 Brand Modifier

Core i5 processor

If your requirement is Entry Level Gaming core i5 is an ideal option for you. It is known as the ‘Better Chip’ in the market.

Nevertheless, it is for intensive tasks and is a Quad-core chip. Core i5 laptops are budget-friendly and give satisfactory performance. Lenovo Flex 6 and Dell Inspiron 15.6 are some of the laptops with a core i5 brand modifier.

Core i7 Brand Modifier

Core i7 processor
Source: Intel

People who work on exclusive graphic designing should go for core i7 modifier. In the market, it is known as the ‘Best Chip.’ It comes in one hexa-core and two quad-core varieties. 

On the other hand, Core i7-8750H works quite well for you if you are into the intensive game. It is a powerful processor with hyper-threading and turbo boost support.

Core i9 Brand Modifier

Core i9 processor

You can call the core i9 a ‘Beast,’ as it is known for its powerful performance. It has six cores of Hyper-Threading, Turbo-Boost, and overclockable firepower. 

Alienware 17 R5 and the MSI GT75 Titan consists of the Core i9-8950HK processor. It is a deal processor and is used for the ultimate gaming laptop.

7th Generation Core Vs. 8th Generation Core

In 2017, Intel introduced the 8th Gen Core, and it is also known as “Kaby Lake Refresh.” These chips give powerful performance comparative the 7th Gen “Kaby Lake” processors. You can find it in most of the laptops nowadays.  

The 8th Gen Core also consists of the U Series and comes in different varieties, from dual-core to quad-core. Therefore, we have got eight threads to help us with productivity and multitasking works.

One of the pros of the 8th Gen Core chips is that they are 50% to 92% faster than the previous generation chips. They are great on the multi-threaded task front. Therefore, a Core i7-8550U is faster and better than a Core i7-7500U CPU.

  • In we talk about the single-threaded tasks, the 8th Gen Core chips are around 10% to 11% faster than the 7th Gen Core chips. 
  • Intel introduced the “Kaby Lake G Processors” with AMD’s Vega Graphics and its first notebooks with Coffee Lake-H Series processors that can be upgraded to Core i9 brand modifier. 

Intel 9th Generation Vs. 10th Generation

Till now, the 10th Generation Intel CPUs are ruling the market. However, these CPUs are for laptops only. 10th gen Intel processors are not available for desktop computers. 

On the other hand, the 9th generation chips are available on laptop and desktop computers. 

Desktop Processors with 9th generation CPUs 

9th generation processors named as “Coffee Lake Refresh,” by Intel. Therefore, it indicates the direct refresh of the Coffee Lake hardware available in the 8th generation chips.

As it is a refreshed model, there are some minor innovations. Here are some listed below:

  • Celeron CPUs – Two cores without hyperthreading
  • Pentium Gold – Two cores with hyperthreading 
  • Core i3 – Four cores without hyperthreading 
  • Core i5 – Six cores without hyperthreading 
  • Core i7 – Eight cores without hyperthreading 
  • Core i9 – Eight cores with hyperthreading

Intel has introduced 34 CPUs till now

  • Pentium Gold and Celeron – 8 CPUs 
  • Intel Core i3 – 7 CPUs 
  • Intel Core i5 – 10 CPUs 
  • Intel Core i7 – 5 CPUs 
  • Intel Core i9 – 4 CPUs

Alphabetical suffixes for 9th generation processors 

  • K is known for Overclockable
  • KF stands for Overclockable with No Integrated Graphics 
  • No Suffix is for Standard CPU with Integrated Graphics, 54-65W TDP
  • F represents No Integrated Graphics 
  • T = Low Power, 35W TDP 
  • Celeron, Pentium Gold, and the Core i3 chips are equipped with DDR4-2400 RAM
  • Core i5, i7, and i9 processors support up to DDR-2666 RAM

Confused between the 8th, 9th and 10th generation i7 processor? Read this post

10th Generation CPUs

!0th gen processors

The 10th generation CPUs made their way to the market. But as of now, the 10th generation CPUs are for laptops only. It might take some time for it to reach the desktop version.

Besides, 10th generation CPUs come in U and Y series. They come with i3, i5, and i7 brand modifiers.


  • Better brand modifiers: Intel Core i3, i5, i7, and i9 chips of 10th Generation available today are far better than other generation chips.
  • Graphics: These chips consist of Intel Iris Plus graphics and gives impressive gaming performance. 
  • Not for intense gaming: The 10th gen CPUs are not fit for gaming laptops compared to the 9th gen CPUs. 
  • Long Battery Life: The 10th gen CPUs gives long battery life as compared to other generation CPUs. 
  • Wireless and Wired Connectivity: 10th generation CPUs deliver the latest wireless and wired compatibility for high-speed connectivity. 
  • Intelligent performance: The 10th gen Intel Core CPUs possess built-in smart performance features built for the AI software of the future. 
  • Automatic features: This 10th gen CPUs is great with automatic photo masking and better application of video filters. 
  • WiFi 6 compatibility: Laptops with 10th gen Intel Core CPUs consists of WiFi 6 (Gig+) connectivity. 
  • Better Streaming: 10th Generation Intel core CPUs give you ultra-speed browsing, streaming, gaming, and working. It works well, even with multiple connected devices. 
  • Thunderbolt 3: Fastest USB-C available today is Thunderbolt 3. It allows you to connect multiple peripherals, displays, docks using a single cable and gives incredibly faster speed.

Read more:

Laptops under 40000


We have read about all the brands and models of CPUs and their configuration above. But in the end, the decision to buy a CPU depends upon the requirement.

CPU for gaming purpose

If you want to buy a CPU for gaming, you can buy Intel Core i5 or i7 H Series. With sample units Core i9-8950HK and Core i5-8300H. Its battery backup is between 3 and 8 hours, depending on your usage.

CPU for daily computing 

If you plan to buy a CPU for daily work or office work, you can get Intel Core i7 U Series, Intel Core i5, or i7 G Series. AMD Ryzen Mobile 5can be a better option than Intel processors. The battery life is between 5 and 17 hours.

Budget Laptops

Budget laptops do not give a powerful performance, and they do not even consist of advanced features.

But, if you want to buy budget laptops, they come with Intel, Celeron, Pentium, and Celeron processors. Their battery life is about 4 to 6 hours.

In the end, the decision to buy the laptop depends upon the requirement. Budget is also an important aspect, but you have to spend a hefty amount because gaming laptops are costly if you are into gaming.

They give a powerful performance and comes with better features and technology. 

Your buying decision comes down to your workload. There’s no sense in buying a cheaper CPU if you’re tackling high-end 4K rendering. And It’s not worth wasting money on a pricey CPU if you’re only going to be doing modest work.

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