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Which CPU to buy for a 2020 PC computer. full Buying Guide

Buying Guide

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As you all know, the performance of any PC or laptop is marked by the type of processor or CPU chosen in your configuration. Thus, a gaming computer needs the best CPU from Intel or AMD, while if you want autonomy, they should think of a more efficient CPU.

In this way, before buying a computer of any brand, it is convenient to know the different families of Intel Core and AMD Ryzen processors to be able to choose the one that best suits our needs for use. Without going into technical details, we are going to show you how to do it.

The best CPU for gaming and games

  • Global best choice: Intel Core i5-10600K / € 305.90
  • Alternative: Ryzen 5 3600X / € 217.90
  • If yours are computers to play, currently the best option is to provide the latest generation Intel Core. Most games require single core speed and do not demand multiple cores. This is where Intel hardware stands out the most .

    The not-so-advanced gaming CPU (leaving out gaming enthusiasts ), right now is the Intel Core i5-10600K . It uses the latest Comet Lake architecture, offering performance with six multithreaded cores. 

    To cite an example, with the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark the Core i5 reached 12,434 points, the best result of any mid-range chip. Its main competitor, the Ryzen 5 3600X and Ryzen 5 3600XT were around 300 points slower. 

    In Ghost Recon Wildlands already 1080p, for example, a PC equipped with the Core i5-10600K offered an average of 84 fps, while the Ryzen 5 3600X PC reached 81 fps. Similarly, Warhammer averaged 123fps at 1080p with the 10600K, and AMD’s was down to 118fps.

    If these little differences don’t bother you, you can save a good amount of money. AMD chips are still capable in games and may be faster for other tasks. You would be saving the order of € 100 less with the AMD configuration.

cpu pc ryzen

In case you are looking to build your own gaming PC, you are probably interested in the Core i7-10700K, which has eight CPU cores and guarantees a speed with 5.3 GHz HyperThreading. Its price is currently at € 429.90 .

Not everything is there, since Intel has a superior model, the Core i9-10900K which is the fastest in its category and is aimed at computer gaming enthusiasts, priced at € 694.28 just for the CPU. 

AMD also has to say about it with the Ryzen 9 3900X at a price of € 473.78. It offers 12 CPU cores at 3.8 GHz speed and has a thermal dissipation TDP value of 105 watts. 

Which CPU should I buy?

We are facing an interesting moment if you think about buying a processor or computer. AMD and Intel are releasing fantastic chips, and the stiff competition translates into more user supply at more competitive prices. This is a blessing if you want performance at the best price.

Against it, you should know that such a wide catalog can make the choice more confusing if possible. AMD and Intel offer excellent chips, but it is good to know the performance you need and how much you should spend. 

With the preparation of this guide, we intend to give you advice on which CPUs are the best at the moment, either to take it into account when buying a new computer, or because you are mounting your own PC. 

CPU Processors Buying Guide

Although we will not be too technical, it is advisable to understand the basic concepts of the CPU, such as the cores, the clock speeds and the architecture of each platform. 

Cores are smaller processing modules that combine to form the chipset. There are several cores that work within a CPU so that it can handle multiple tasks at the same time in multitasking mode. 

Chips with fewer cores are usually for computers with a somewhat more basic configuration of office environment or basic game playback. For their part, those with more cores allow content generation and address more intense workloads. 

Most CPUs also use a technique called multithreading that allows individual cores to tackle two tasks at the same time, multiplying x2 the number of cores or threads. 

It is for this reason that you will see specifications such as 6 cores or CPU Core (there are 12 threads or threads of execution), which is the case of some Intel Core i7 and AMD’s Ryzen 5 2600X. In these cases, Windows shows all the cores.

Although we will not be too technical, it is advisable to understand the basic concepts of the CPU, such as the cores, the clock speeds and the architecture of each platform. 

 

Cores are smaller processing modules that combine to form the chipset. There are several cores that work within a CPU so that it can handle multiple tasks at the same time in multitasking mode. 

Chips with fewer cores are usually for computers with a somewhat more basic configuration of office environment or basic game playback. For their part, those with more cores allow content generation and address more intense workloads. 

Most CPUs also use a technique called multithreading that allows individual cores to tackle two tasks at the same time, multiplying x2 the number of cores or threads. 

It is for this reason that you will see specifications such as 6 cores or CPU Core (there are 12 threads or threads of execution), which is the case of some Intel Core i7 and AMD’s Ryzen 5 2600X. In these cases, Windows shows all the cores.

ryzen pro 1

The other important specification is the clock speed, such as 3.6 GHz. This figure indicates how fast the cores complete tasks: the higher the number, the better. 

Most chips have a base speed that each core can use, and an overclocking speed (4.2 GHz, for example) that one or two cores can employ in order to promptly increase their processing speed.

Cores and clock speeds are the most important aspects of a processor, but you should also consider the underlying architecture, because it is not a good idea to buy a CPU that uses outdated technology. 

Buying the latest models means that there is a good chance that you can upgrade to a better processor in the future. There are also those oriented to desktops, and the most efficient low-voltage, more oriented to laptops. 

The latest AMD chips use the Zen 2 architecture, while current Intel CPUs use an architecture called Comet Lake. They belong to the tenth generation and have five ranges with the Core i9-10900K as the most advanced with 10 CPU cores. 

Those are the key things to keep in mind. However, you will also want to understand the acronyms and nomenclature. To get a next-gen CPU, you should be aware that AMD goes for the Ryzen 3000 series, while Intel goes for the 10th Gen Intel Core.

They both divide their CPUs into different ranges. The entry-level chips from AMD and Intel are called Ryzen 3 and Core i3 respectively, while the mid-range chips are Ryzen 5 or Core i5. The high range is for the Ryzen 7 and Core i7, and the maximum workload for the Ryzen 9 and Core i9. 

Best CPU for video editing

In this content creation and video editing environment, things are very close, although AMD’s latest family of chips has proven to be the best option for video editing, surpassing Intel also in the management of CAD tools and apps complex. This is because AMD’s Zen 2 architecture seems to handle multi-threaded execution somewhat better, taking more advantage of the clock speed management offered by each CPU core.

The best starting point for handling difficult workloads is the AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT . It is a new generation chip that replaces the Ryzen 7 3800X and that maintains a high but measured price against its competitor Intel.

In the Geekbench and Cinebench multicore tests, the Ryzen 7 3800X scored 8 scores of 8,676 and 4,927 points; We expect the Ryzen 7 3800XT to be a little faster. These scores are virtually identical to those of the Intel Core i7-10700K.

The Ryzen 7 3800X matched the 10700K in video rendering, and was faster than Intel in numerical computation, cryptography, artificial intelligence, and encryption. The Ryzen 7 3800XT will probably be a little faster in all of these situations.

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For higher workloads, AMD chips are still very efficient even though their price point is lower. You can get the Ryzen 9 3950X from AMD for around € 100 cheaper than its equivalent from Intel. 

It seems that AMD is here to stay, proving that it may well come to lead the most common tasks area of ​​the work environment. If your purchasing decision is reduced based on a lower budget with a similar workload, go for one of their chips. 

However, there are still areas where Intel makes notable differences from its competitor. Photo editing applications and graphic design tools are highly dependent on the performance of the thread which is where Intel outperforms AMD.

We have verified with tests that the Core i7-10700K manages to reach values ​​of 628 and 948 benchmarks in Premiere Pro and Photoshop, compared to its AMD rival that stayed at 625 and 937 respectively with the Ryzen 7 3800X chip. 

For its part, the expensive Core i9-10900K processor somehow justifies its high price with a score of 773 and 1057 in the Premiere Pro and Photoshop tests, compared to the values ​​of 761 and 950 reached by the Ryzen 9 9300X.

If you are looking for a computer with the best profile to run Adobe tools, there is a clear argument here for choosing Intel CPUs despite being more expensive solutions, given that they will allow you to save time in image rendering and video processing. 

Can I upgrade the CPU of my PC computer?

  • Only if the motherboard supports your CPU model
  • You may need to update the motherboard BIOS
  • Sometimes it is more profitable to buy a complete PC

Upgrading to a new CPU is one of the best ways to give your PC a second life and a significant speed boost, but it’s not always as simple as removing the old processor and putting a new chip in the empty socket.

If you have a PC with a relatively recent AMD chip, then you’re in luck – most current AMD CPUs use the AM4 socket, which has been used on motherboards for several years. 

Most existing motherboards support the latest AMD chips; At most, you will need to verify in advance that your board does support it, and then apply a BIOS update before installing the new CPU for it to be recognized.

The only thing you’ll lose is features that aren’t included in older chipsets, but that probably won’t be a practical concern unless you want super-fast PCI-Express 4.0 storage. If that’s the case, you’ll need to upgrade to an AMD X570 motherboard.

If you want to use an Intel Comet Lake chip, you will need a new motherboard, as they require the new LGA 1200 socket. This is an additional cost that is not always applicable to AMD CPUs. And a new motherboard can incur an extra cost of € 200. 

If you need a motherboard for your new CPU, there are many things to consider. First, make sure it’s compatible with your chosen processor, and then look at the different slots, connectors, and features included on the board. 

If you don’t take it into account, you could end up paying more for functions that you will never use. 

Remember that modern CPUs also need to be accompanied by more modern and higher speed DDR4 memory modules, so if your current PC has DDR3, you will not be able to take advantage of them for your new configuration. 

Screenshot 31

The same goes for the power supply if your unit demands more power connections or simply demands more power from the cooling system. 

If you find yourself in the situation that you will only be able to take advantage of your computer case and hard drive, start evaluating the purchase of a complete PC or starting from scratch with all the components. It can be cheaper than trying to adapt an old one. 

There are some specialized stores that can help you get all the components you need to mount a PC, including CoolMod or PcComponentes , with configurator and specific offers on components to mount the PC from scratch. 

Should I wait for the arrival of Ryzen 4000?

If you see it from that point of view, waiting for new releases, in fact you would never end up buying it. You should know that Ryzen 4000 series processors for notebooks have already been released, but the desktop chips will not arrive until autumn or winter.

If you need a new CPU, don’t wait. But if you can wait a few months, then it might be worth waiting at the end of the year to see if the 4000 series offers any significant performance advantage (for the same budget) as the Ryzen 3000 series. 

Screenshot 32

AMD has promised that performance will increase in line with what you would expect from a new architecture, meaning Zen 3 could potentially improve current ratios by as much as 10 to 15 percent. 

Best low budget CPU

If you need a CPU for a day-to-day computer and that covers the most basic needs, you should know that the Ryzen 3 and Core i3 models discussed here have a similar price of € 139.90 at the time we wrote this article. 

With them you can perform office tasks, manage email, surf the Internet, watch videos and play basic games. These are the entry level chips and you will find them in the lowest priced computers on the market. 

The Ryzen 3 3300X is based on the Zen 2 architecture with four CPU cores and clock speeds that can reach 4.3 GHz. It beats the Intel equivalent at various benchmarks which means it is better for everyday use. 

cpu pc intel

The Intel chips in this range are currently slightly faster in gaming compared to their AMD equivalent, making the Core i3-10100 a better choice for low-budget gaming. The price is the same in stores like PcComponentes. 

You might be interested in taking a look at the older generation if you want to spend less money. You will still find equipment configurations for sale at a reduced price with the Ryzen 5 2600X or the Core i3-9100 and Core i5-9400, although from years ago.

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