How to choose your CPU?

When choosing your CPU, or central processing unit, it might be confusing or difficult and you may be overwhelmed by the choices on the market. We are here to guide you through the process and ensure that your next PC build will provide satisfactory performance for many years to come. I used my 4th Generation Intel Devil's Canyon 4790K platform for 5+ years!

Platform or Generation

The first, and arguably most important, specification to notice is the platform generation of the CPU. Our company focuses on the latest x86-64 platforms from Intel and AMD. This contrasts with other platforms such as RISC-V/ARM/Apple Silicon. x86-64 has been in production for several decades. The platform generation will determine the available lineup of processors from the respective manufacturer, core counts, frequency, process node, TDP, and other facets of the processor.


Single-Core Performance

With each passing generation of AMD or Intel processors, we get increases in single-core performance via increases in transistor count, efficiency, process node, and ultimately IPC (instructions-per-clock). Single-core performance is extremely important for gaming, typical desktop computing tasks such as web browsing, single-threaded applications such as office, spreadsheets, and processing for really most tasks on-demand.


Here is a graph comparing the latest AMD, Intel, and competing Apple-based platforms using the cross-platform Geekbench 5 benchmark. 



This contrasts with multi-core performance, which is also important (as a second priority in budget machines) for gaming, rendering workloads, and other production/professional applications. Since single-core performance is the first factor we consider for budget machines, take a look at how much single-core performance per dollar can get you with one of our machines:

When each dollar means a lot to you, we will build a machine with a CPU that has a great price-to-performance ratio.

Core / Thread Count or Multi-Threaded Performance
Next, we look at core counts. Most processors over the past decade have 4 cores or 8 threads (using SMT or simultaneous multi-threading). While four cores and eight threads have been provided as flagship parts, today the entry-level Intel Core i3-12100F provides 4 cores / 8 threads on the modern Intel 12th Generation platform is equivalent or faster in performance compared to the flagship processors of the past decade. This is truly an engineering marvel and a great display of the progress of personal computing technology.

While extremely high multi-threaded performance is not important for most users, it is important for select production or workstation applications. We've included a collection of benchmarks pulled from the public Geekbench 5 browser for your convenience:

And if you're a professional or enterprise customer, there are processors from the AMD EPYC or Intel Xeon line that focus solely on multi-threaded performance for applications in data centers or specialized professional applications:

Just don't expect a Xeon or EPYC processor to be especially good for single-core gaming performance. (They scored under 1500 on single-core performance in the Geekbench 5 benchmark.)

For gaming, what is most important is strong single-core performance, and moderately strong multi-threaded performance. With this in mind, let's take a look at the graphics card options.

Legal & Disclaimer.
Informational purposes only. Information in this blog post is provided by their rightful owners, or publicly available information, and is used in coordination with the licenses or terms of use provided by Wikipedia, TechPowerUp, NVIDIA Corporation, Intel Corporation, AMD Corporation, Primate Labs (Geekbench 5), and Workstation Project LLC. The opinions written in this blog post is not of the licensors or trademark owners, and is solely of Workstation Project LLC.

Blog posts for memory, storage, graphics cards and cooling parts coming soon!
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