The processor is one of the most important parts of a computer. It behaves like the “brain” of the computer, sorting out information. Every key stoke, click or command is processed by the CPU (Computer Processing Unit) and sorted, sending resources to different components in order to fulfill your instruction. When selecting a desktop computer the better the processor, the better the performance
Here are the two main factors to consider when buying a new processor
- Number of cores
Since the mid 2000’s, Computer processors now contain multiple processing cores. The definition of a multicore CPU is a processor with two or more independent cores that read and execute program instructions. To use an example, a standard single core processor is like a single lane road and a multiple core processor is like a motorway, allowing information to be processed faster without any congestion (or information waiting to be processed). The more cores your processor has, the faster your computer. At the moment, there are many processor out there which have 2, 4 or 6 cores such as the Intel I-Core and the AMD Phenom ranges.
- Clock Speed
The clock speed (Measured in gigahertz) is the rate which a computer processor executes instructions. When selecting a new processor, the higher the speed, the faster the processor will perform. Most processor’s on the market today generally range between 2GHz to 3GHz. Apart from the number of cores in the processor, the clock speed is the most important thing to look out for when shopping for a new processor.
Other things to consider
- Hyper Threading
Hyper threading is an Intel technology which increases the performance of each processing core by allowing the Operating system (of the computer) to use two virtual processors per core. This technology, like Multicore processing, has been developed to improve the performance of the processor when doing multiple tasks at once. Buying a CPU with this technology may run between 15-30% faster (according to Intel). Hyper Threading is available on the latest range of Intel processors such as the I-core range.
- Cache Size
A computer processor cache is used to reduce the average time to access memory. Like RAM (Random Access Memory, another component in the computer) the cache stores copies of data most frequently used by the processor to speed up the time it takes to process instructions. The larger the CPU cache, the more information the processor can access quicker meaning a faster computer.
- Socket type
When buying a new processor for an upgrade or a new build, you will need to pay attention to the socket type to allow it to fit inside your motherboard. For each brand or range of CPU, it will use a specific socket type that will match the mother board to allow it to fit and work correctly. This information can be found on the product spec on the processor and motherboard. Buying a processor with a different socket style to the mother board (and visa versa) will leave you with something you wont be able to use.
Overclocking is the process of increasing the work load capability’s of a computer processor to improve performance. Popular with gamers, overclocking is achieved by altering the computer bios to tell the processor to faster than the manufactures deem recommended. One disadvantage of overclocking your computer can be the increased heat out put of your processor. To ensure you don’t damage your computer, you will need improved cooling and ventilation inside the case to ensure the CPU doesn’t exceed to recommended operating temperature (set out by the manufacture). You also might void the warranty with the CPU manufacture.
To conclude, when looking to buy a new computer processor, you will need to consider the points above. While all of the information above is relevant, the most important factors to consider are amount of number of cores and the clock speed of the processor. If you look for a processor with multiple cores and a high clock speed, you will be sure to buy a decent CPU
This is my personal review of motherboards for gaming. Having been a gamer for a long time, I must say that it’s quite an important fact that most gamers tend to keep an eye on their overall system specs. This can get quite manic at times, since you always want to make sure that your current configuration does meet, if not exceed, the minimum or recommended system requirements games have.
I remember I went through a period where I was constantly checking to see if I meet the minimum system requirements as games came out. This was a depressing task, since I was seeing more and more demanding games coming out I was always left behind. Another thing which was a problem for me was the thought of having to give up my configuration for a new and better one. Weird, right?
I soon identified my problem quite easily, since I knew it was about the upgradeability of my system, and since my then current system was jam packed with RAM and the best processor my motherboard could carry, I knew it was time to let that old motherboard go. As soon as I made up my mind, I went and got myself a new motherboard.
But I didn’t just get any motherboard, I got one that insured I was set for a period of time without having to upgrade pretty soon. The bad thing was I had to give up my processor since I was moving to a newer socket, but the good thing is the new spectacular system performance and the much improved visual appearance my games have.
Also, since my old system was relying on older system memory modules (DDR2), I had to give those up as well. But it seems that was a good thing indeed since older modules tend to cost much more / GB than newer DDR3 modules cost here. Again, weird!
Now I won’t go into details about my current configuration, but I have to say it has been a change for the better in the way I game. Also, I use graphic design software pretty much and I’m very impressed with how smooth it runs now. Just adding an effect to an image is a smooth process, while on my old machine I encountered serious performance issues. I’m very pleased with my system functionality and I even plan ahead for upgrades now, since I’ve seen the immense potential of newer computing hardware.
One piece of advice I would give to those seeking to make the jump to a newer configuration is to do your research. This means you should look for the newer processor sockets that support the best CPUs either from Intel or AMD. Also, your motherboard should have room for plenty of system memory, even if you don’t install it in the first place. Sometime in the future you might need to expand your memory capacity and an extra slot or two should be nice to have.
If you’re as enthusiastic about games as I am, then you should also look for gaming motherboards that support more than one graphics card. This is a great feature implementation by some manufacturers which allows you to link up two or more graphics cards in SLI for NVIDIA cards or CrossFire configuration for ATI GPUs.
After you’ve done your research for the new configuration you intend to have and you’ve compiled a list of these features only then is the time right to get a new gaming motherboard.
There are many things today that we use but do not fully understand. Few people know of computer graphics cards and how they work, as technological advances are made quicker than normal users care to follow. We will discuss about graphics cards and how they function.
With the understanding of what the video card does exactly it is easy to see why it is so important. It is easy to understand that it makes pictures appear for us on our computer, but how that is done is something we will look at. Everything you view on the monitor is constructed of small dots that are called pixels. The way that they are arranged on the screen is how images are created.
In order to display images on the monitor the graphics card must translate information into pictures. While the process is simple to understand it is very demanding and complex for the graphics card. The information from the computer, in binary form, is translated by the video card into images and displayed for us to see.
To start out the card will construct a wire frame version of the image to be created, afterward filling it in with pixels. Rasterizing is the name for the process of filling in the wire frame with pixels. After the image is constructed color, textures and lighting effects are added to give the image a normal look. After you finish reading this try navigating to a brand new webpage and admiring how fast all of this work is done!
The graphics card contains all the tools necessary to create images. The card’s processor is most important because it does all of the mathematical and geometric work necessary to create images. This processor is known as the GPU, short version for Graphics Processor Unit. Random Access Memory, RAM, is the next important tool in the process. The RAM is responsible for holding all the information and finalized images, as well as their place on the screen. If your usage is really graphic intensive you will want to have a card with a good GPU and additional RAM to process everything in a timely manner.
A slot on your computer’s motherboard is how the card is connected to your computer. The card gets information, and possibly even power, from the computer via this slot. However some more advanced graphics cards consume more power and have their own connection directly to the power supply of the computer.
You can only use a video card if the mother board has a matching connection type, which can be any one of 3 versions. If your video card is made for one of the three it will not fit in a slot for the other two. The oldest connection type is known as Peripheral Component Interconnect, or the more commonly used PCI. This slot can be used for video, audio or other devices however the newer types are quicker. Advanced Graphics Port, known by the term AGP, was the second type of connection. Because it was designed to have a more direct connection to the computer processor and memory it is quicker than PCI. The most recent type is PCI Express, which is the quickest of the three. It will also support more than one video card in use.