How to assemble a PC: the processor

Published on Mar 10, 2018

The Central Processing Unit (CPU), better known as processor, is the main unit of processing in any computer. The task of the CPU is to read data in the memory of the computer, to process instructions, perform calculations and manage the flow of data to input peripherals and output of the PC.

Before proceeding in this article, you should be aware of some of the concepts.

First of all, as you already know, the panorama of the CPU is very broad: There are various producers who direct their products to a specific market. If smartphone have Snapdragon and MediaTek, for PC we Intel and AMD.

These two giants, in the ongoing struggle between them, offer the vast possibilities of choice, as they produce processors to suit all needs and all budgets.

For a better understanding of the performance proposed by any of the CPUS, you need to consider:


How to install a processor? In reality the process is as simple as it is delicate.

After you have made the lever to open the slot of the socket, place the processor by matching the “arrow” printed on the motherboard with the one on the CPU.

Attention! This procedure must be done very slowly, because the pins in the CPU allocation is very fragile, and if tampered with will affect the operation of the whole system.

Once inserted, the processor, richiudiamo the slot. Both Intel and AMD provide in the package, a heat sink stock (unless it's an i7), for which we apply the heat sink (there is already thermal paste pre-applied), or alternatively by use of the thermal paste better and we will install the other heat sink.

Now that you know how to behave with a CPU, let's see what are the best proposals in the market for the price range!


Intel has thought well to produce one of the processors is more accessible and with a quality/price ratio from scream to beat the competition. We are talking about a dual-core CPU (which, thanks to technology hyper-Threading, four threads) with a frequency of 3.5 GHz.

It has 3 MB of cache memory, supports RAM DDR4 by 2133 and 2400 MHz.

It is part of the family Kaby Lake, shares with the previous series of Sky Lake, and in the next series Coffee Lake the socket, which remains 1151.

The integrated video card, the HD 610, allows graphics operations to be basic.


This Ryzen 3 is the direct answer to Intel and its Pentium.

It is a quad core CPU, 3.1 GHz, overclocckabile, with 8 MB of cache. Supports RAM DDR4 up to 2667 MHz, the socket AM4 is brand new, which makes the motherboards that are compatible at the forefront and in step with the times.

The eye, however, to the fact that it has a integrated video card: we will need to use a GPU external. Alternatively, you can take a look at Ryzen 3 2200G, who loses in the cache memory but buy an integrated video card Vega.


The i3 of Intel has always been little considered as intermediate between Pentium and i5. This year, the i3 8100 is an exception: this CPU is 14% faster than a i5 6400, this suggests that Intel has given a lot to do in the past few months to counter Ryzen AMD.

Also in this case we have a quad core 3.6 GHz, with 6 MB cache and that supports RAM DDR4 by 2133 and 2400 MHz.

There is also a integrated video card, the HD 630, top to HD 610 of the Pentium, but also not so powerful.

This processor of the house, AMD is the esa core 3.2 GHz, up to 12 threads thanks to a technology similar to that of Intel. Socket AM4, 16 MB cache, and you can overclocckarlo.

It seems perfect right? It depends on the areas of: outperforms Intel with regard to the computing power and rendering and editing, but in gaming lose some stroke in comparison to the other party Intel, now let's analyze.


Here is the counterpart to Intel: the esa core also, but loses HyperThreading, therefore remains to 6 threads. The processor frequency is 3.6 GHz and can go up to 4.3 GHz in boost. With 9 MB of cache and other small improvements, we understand immediately how it is under the Ryzen 5 1600 for rendering and editing, but gains in gaming.

Also, the “K” stands for “overclocKable”, which means that we will be able to further increase the frequency of the processor, to improve performance. The price, of course, leaven.

If this Intel processor will seem excessive to some areas, take a look at the i5 8400, which loses in frequency and power, but remains on the threshold of a price markedly lower.

Still in the house of AMD, the Ryzen 7 1700 is a middle way proposed by AMD between the i5 and the i7.

We have a processor of 3.0 GHz that rises to 3.7 GHz in boost, octa core processor that reaches the 16 threads. Supports memories of significantly higher level, DDR4 also 3000 MHz. It has 16 MB of main cache, and 4 MB of secondary cache.

Appreciate the decision to include in the packaging a heat-sink and stock clearly superior to the Intel or the one supplied with Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5, so much so that it is also equipped with some devices such as LED lighting RGB.


Even here, Intel is working to sow the seeds of competition: CPU esa core processor with 12 threads, 12 MB cache and a frequency of 3.7 GHz, which reaches up to 4.2 GHz in Turbo Boost.

What makes us choose in this case the “blue” instead of the “red”? As usual, Intel fits in better with the ecosystem NVIDIA, then this CPU is more directed at gaming. On the contrary, the family, Ryzen, which proves to be a very good game, has preferences in the calculation, and rendering.

Important is the purchase, in part, a sink is powerful enough to cool it.


Here is the answer to the i7 processor: AMD this processor is not made to escape anything, nor the letters after the serial number of the CPU. The “X” is, in fact, for XFR, which increases the frequencies of the RAM and the processor itself automatically, according to the effort that is currently running.

On board we have an octa core with 16 threads working base at 3.6 GHz but it comes in the boost to 4 GHz. Also present here two cache, primary 16 MB and the sub 4 MB.

Useless to speak of the sink or less, it is obvious that this beast is in need of a dissipation system is significantly more powerful than stock!


I felt good, would you like to fill the mouth of the specifications at the top? You want to enrich your cultural baggage or, why not, you are really interested in buying a CPU that costs around 900-1000 euro? Well, then watch a little bit what to expect!

AMD has certainly not spared in the genesis of this processor, in fact it has the specific as to leave us speechless: 16 cores and 32 threads animate the heart of this CPU that has a frequency of 3.4 GHz, boost to 4 GHz.

If this is not enough for us to understand, that is addressed to a world of computing power and rendering, we have 3 cache: the first is 1.5 MB, the second to 8 MB, and the third by 32 MB.

You fell in love with this CPU? I will then tell you that his price starts from 900 euro.


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