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What CPU do I need ?

What CPU do  I need ?



Intel Processors

Intel’s processors are at the forefront of the computing market, and have been for a long time. Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences between them.

Different Socket Type

First of all, different CPU’s require different sockets. The latest Intel CPU’s use an LGA 1151 socket, previously there have been LGA 1150 and LGA 1155. There is also the LGA 2011 socket which is for more advanced users that need serious power, usually for video editing and other strenuous tasks. Information in this article is based on LGA 1151 7th Generation Kaby Lake i3/i5/i7 series processors.

Differences Between Them
The differences between the CPU’s are clock speed and number of physical or logical cores. A Kaby Lake i3 CPU has 2 cores but features hyper threading, meaning that each physical core can act as though it is 2 cores. This helps with multitasking and with general performance. An extra physical core, is of course always going to be better than a logical one. That brings us to the i5 chips, these CPU’s have 4 physical cores, but do not feature hyper-threading, they are much faster than their i3 counterparts due to having more physical cores and also having a built-in turbo feature, which will boost the clock speed (up to a certain limit) where necessary. The i7 chips have 4 physical cores, but feature hyper threading, giving us a total of 8 logical cores, of course the more cores you have, the more extra power and performance you gain from hyper-threading. The usefulness is however currently limited outside of a professional environment. A lot of games will not take advantage of the extra available cores; however programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Aftereffects can take full advantage of the extra cores. It is also of great benefit for any sort of video rendering and/or recording. All new “i” series CPU’s come with Intel HD integrated graphics, which can be great for a low budget or a business machine, where a powerful graphics card may not be needed.

i3 CPU’s are generally budget CPU’s, i5 CPU’s are the best value for money for gaming and the i7 CPU’s, while good for gaming as well, are mostly used in a professional environment, mostly due to the cost/performance ratio as the gaming experience doesn’t improve proportionately to the extra cost compared to an i5. Please see below for a summary of specifications for the best i3, i5 and i7 chips for the LGA 1151 socket:



  • Base clock speed of 4.20GHz
  • 2 physical cores
  • 4 logical cores (hyper-threading)
  • 8MB cache
  • Integrated Intel HD 630 graphics
  • Cost – around £165

i3 cpu









  • Base clock speed of 3.80GHz
  • Turbo of up to 4.20GHz
  • 4 Physical cores
  • 8MB cache
  • No hyper-threading
  • Integrated Intel HD 630 graphics
  • Cost – around £245

i5 cpu








  • Base clock speed of 4.20GHz
  • Turbo of up to 4.5GHz
  • 4 physical cores
  • 8 logical cores (hyper-threading)
  • 8MB cache
  • Integrated HD 630 graphics
  • Cost – around £370









There are of course many different i series CPU’s on the market, these are just the latest and best of each one. Regardless of budget there is a CPU to fit you, and here at Proactive IT Support , using our 20 years of experience, it is our job to find the CPU and system that suits your specific needs.

If you have any questions just call us on 01604 582000 Northampton or 01908 887515 Milton Keynes or contact us through our Live Chat.

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