Choosing a CPU really depends on what you want to use it for. Before you choose a CPU you need to decide whether you’ll just be using it for basic tasks such as word processing and browsing the internet or whether you want to game, stream or edit. This article will help you choose which CPU is most suitable for which tasks, let’s get right into it!
So if you only plan on doing basic tasks such as word processing and browsing the internet, an Intel Pentium CPU is sufficient. These processors have two cores, they aren’t particularly powerful but basic tasks don’t require much power.
If you’re a gamer using a low end graphics card, a hyperthreaded Intel Pentium such as the G4560 is actually a good budget choice, it can handle most modern games and won’t bottleneck a GPU such as the GTX 1050 ti or lower in most situations.
A latest gen coffee lake i3 or Ryzen 3 is a good choice for mid range gaming systems or for playing more demanding titles that require more processing power such as the Witcher 3. these are all quad core processors and the Ryzen ones can even be overclocked.
If you’re gaming with a mid or higher end graphics card such as the GTX 1060 or RX 480 and up, an i5 8400 or Ryzen 5 1600x is a good choice. Both of these processors have 6 cores, the Ryzen processor can even be overclocked to make it even faster, the Intel one can’t.
If you have a high end gaming system and are using a GTX 1070 or 1080, an overclockable i5 such as the 8600k which has 6 cores and can be overclocked as high as 5GHz is a good choice.
Alternatively, if you want to squeeze out every last drop of performance or you want to stream and edit then a processor such as the i7-8700k is a great choice. This processor can be overclocked to increase its performance further and it has six cores and 12 threads so it performs well in productivity applications such as the Adobe creative suite and streaming.
Another great choice for productivity tasks that require a lot of cores is 8 core Ryzen 7 lineup. The Ryzen 7 1700 is a great value buy, it’s the best in terms of price to performance and its overclocked performance matches the stock speed of the high end 1800X. These processors are great for video editing and streaming. If you just want to game you’re better suited with something like an i5-8600k or i7 as these have higher clock speeds so they tend to perform better in game but the Ryzen 7 line is great if you want to game at the same time as steaming as the 8 cores mean the CPUs don’t drop too many frames. Just to clarify, the performance of the Ryzen 7 CPUs in game is not bad by any stretch of the imagination but the higher clock speeds of the Intel processors does mean that they can squeeze out a few extra frames which means a processor like the i7-8700k will game at 144hz better than a Ryzen 7 will.
The Ryzen 7 1700 is a good choice for streaming and gaming or productivity work such as Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects or intense Photoshop work. The i7-8700k is also another good all-rounder, it shines when gaming but performs decently for multi threaded workloads and does very well in single threaded work loads due to its high clock speeds.
If your professional work revolves around productivity activities such as video editing and you need outstanding performance regardless of the cost, the high end enthusiast platform might be for you. On the AMD side, the Threadripper CPUs have 12 to 16 cores and on the Intel side the Core X offerings range from a mere 4 cores to a colossal 18. The star of the show is the 18 core i9 7900x on the Intel side, on the AMD side it is the Threadripper 1950x. These are called enthusiast CPUs for a reason, they are not aimed at the mainstream CPU market and the average consumer does not need one as these are expensive, high end pieces of kit.