How to choose an Intel processor

When choosing an Intel processor, it is best guided by its model number as this alphanumeric code gives comprehensive information about the device.

How to choose an Intel processor

How to choose an Intel processor: what to look for

When choosing an Intel processor, it is advisable to pay attention to following device parameters:

  1. Family;

  2. Generation;

  3. A type;

  4. Energy consumption.

  5. Scope of use

Other parameters (such as a socket) follow from the previous ones. Moreover, almost all information about the characteristics of the processor can be found out from the model name.

So, from the name of the Intel Core i7-7700K processor, you can find following:

  1. Family: i7, top-end, with support for all Intel technologies;

  2. Generation: Seventh, Kabu Lake (first digit in four-digit code);

  3. Type: processor that supports overclocking (letter K at the end models).


By the way, Intel Core i7-7700K processor is the best processor for games in 2017.


Intel processor family

In 2017, nine processor families from Intel:

  1. Intel Atom – ultra-mobile processors designed for use in smartphones, tablets, low-performance hybrid computers and laptops. They can work without a system cooling. Sold only in OEM form;

  2. Intel Celeron M – Mobile Processors. Intended for low-performance laptops. Found mainly in old configurations, as they are superseded by other solutions;

  3. Intel Celeron D are more powerful mobile processors that also used mainly in laptops;

  4. Intel Pentium – low-power universal processors. Can find in both laptops and low-performance desktops computers;

  5. Intel Core 2 Duo – low-power desktop processors;

  6. Intel Core i3 – the youngest family of the new processor series company. It has a fairly small L3 cache and is only available in dual-core version;

  7. Intel Core i5 – the mid-range family of the new processor series company. Universal processors that are suitable even for non too productive game configurations. Often deprived Intel proprietary technologies;

  8. Intel Core i7 – the once-top family of the new series company processors. The chips are equipped with a full range of branded and modern technology, therefore, perfect for powerful configurations;

  9. Intel Core i9 – a special family of processors of the company, which includes the most powerful and productive chips. Insofar as games for such devices are not yet optimized, unless what for enthusiasts.

The first five families are most often stock or obsolete processors. When upgrading a computer, it’s better to purchase something from i3, i5 or i7 series.


Intel processor generation

Every year, Intel releases new versions of its processors. Each episode is called a “generation” and receives additional code name.

So, current Intel processors belong to the following generations:

  1. Haswell (2014, socket LGA1150);

  2. Broadwell (2015, LGA1150 socket);

  3. Skylake (2016, socket LGA1151);

  4. Kabu Lake (2017, socket LGA1151).

The fresher the processor generation, the better. New chips characterized by increased productivity, less power consumption, low heat.

Thus, when upgrading, you should switch to the chips of the next generations (or families within one generation), and when assembling computer – use the latest processors.

As can be seen from the above list, processors of various generations differ not only in characteristics, but also in socket – a connector that connects the motherboard and the chip. Unfortunately, at Intel is not cross-compatible. So with the mother a board equipped with an LGA1150 socket can only be used processors of generations Haswell and Broadwell.

A type

Intel processors are available in various versions. They marked with the corresponding symbol – the last letter in model name:

  1. K – chips that can be overclocked;

  2. X – chips with maximum performance;

  3. M – mobile chips, for use in laptops and portable computers;

  4. HQ – chips with integrated powerful graphics card;

  5. Q – quad-core chips;

  6. P – special chips in which graphic accelerator and automatic acceleration mode;

  7. S – high-performance, but economical chips;

  8. T – chips with increased energy efficiency;

  9. U – chips designed for ultrabooks;

  10. Y – energy-efficient chips for ultrabooks;

  11. R – soldered high-performance chips.

So for home use, including number of gaming computers, chips of versions K, Q, HQ, X are suitable.

Energy consumption

Energy consumption

Two factors depend on this parameter. The first – whether “pull” power supply processor. Second – what system will be required cooling.

For high-end processors, you need a powerful power supply – 600 W minimum. If you plan to put two video cards, it’s better use even kilowatt. It should be noted that budget blocks power from unknown manufacturers often have less power than indicated on the package.

The higher the processor power – the more productive cooling system required. For chips less than 60 watts, simple enough stock cooler. For 95 W processors, a more powerful one is needed. For 125 W chips, a full-size tower with several heat pipes – thick copper tubes.

Scope of use

If a processor is selected for specific needs, it is recommended Use the following families and generations:

  1. For the office. If you plan to use the computer as a “printed typewriter “- work with documents, tables, graphs, etc., then there will be enough families of Pentium and Celeron generation Haswell either Broadwell. They provide optimum for office programs. performance and at the same time are inexpensive;

  2. For home. Here the processor should be taken “with a margin” – in case games, viewing multimedia and other entertainments. Chips fit Pentium and Intel Core i3 generations of Skylake or Kabu generations Lake

  3. For study. It depends on the form of training. If speech it’s about writing essays, even Atom will be enough – but it is more expedient to take Pentium or Celeron 4-5 generations. If you need to draw something, draw, program, calculate – better pay attention to Intel Core i3;

  4. Work with graphics and multimedia. It is clear that performance computer in this case is determined by the video card, but for compatibility with it is desirable to take a fairly powerful processor. That is Intel Core i5 – and choose its model and family It is based on the characteristics of the graphics accelerator itself;

  5. Games. The more powerful the processor, the better. The greatest performance for 2017 shows the Intel Core i7-7700K, but, if you want to save, you can buy Intel Core i5 last generation.

A processor such as the Intel Core i9 is more suitable for 3D modeling and multi-threaded computing, therefore acquire it is impractical for games.


In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose a processor for the computer and the secrets of choosing a cooler for the processor.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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