The CPU or Central Processing Unit is the microprocessor that handles all data processing in your computer. This is why we typically refer to the main computer unit as the “CPU” although the CPU is actually the processor.
CPU Buying Tips
- DO NOT COMPARE CPU SPECS!
Do not compare CPU specifications when purchasing a CPU unless they are CPUs from the same category and same family. (i.e. i7, Sandy Bridge) Imagine that these numbers mean nothing to you! Compare benchmarks and read reviews instead!
- Buy a CPU with the same socket as your motherboard
Make sure to buy a CPU that is compatible with your motherboard. Save yourself the headache of going back to the store or shipping the CPU back because you bought the wrong one.
- Buy a CPU cooler
This is optional, but make sure to buy a CPU cooler. Excellent CPU coolers can be purchased for under $30 and can provide much better cooling than the stock CPU cooler thus increasing CPU life expectancy. If you’re planning to overclock, this is MANDATORY!
- Hyperthreading is NOT a Core!
The most common mistakes from buyers out there is thinking that a processor capable of hyperthreading gives you more cores. That is mistaken! Hyperthreading only gives you more threads, not cores! Read more from my i7 2600K vs i5 2500K buying advice post! DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ALLOW THE SALESMAN TO TELL YOU OTHERWISE!