The First Piece of Hardware

When it comes to building a PC, I always start with the CPU.  The CPU is an amazing piece of technology that is able to perform billions of processes every second.  The amount of processes a certain CPU can perform is measured in GigaHertz(GHz for short).  One GigaHertz is the equivalent of one billion processes per second.  If you think that sounds like a lot, consider that most of today's processors have a clock speed of 3 to 4 GigaHertz.  They can get even faster than that with technology some processors have called overclocking.

When looking for a processor there is more than just your clock speed to consider.  Another key part of a processor is its cores.  All processors have cores and some have more than others.  Processors that have more cores naturally outrank processors with fewer cores.  When a processor has more cores it acts as multiple processors all computing together and splitting up the workload, some PCs will require more cores to their processors because they have a lot more work to do at once.  When choosing your processor it is important to consider the amount of work your PC will be required to do at once.  This will determine the number of cores you should expect to have on your processor.

Another key factor to consider when picking out processors is whether or not it has hyper-threading.  Hyper-threading is a technology that allows a processor to act as if it has more cores than it actually has.  Processors that use hyper-threading act as if each core they have is 2 cores and represent themselves this way.  When your operating system sees a 4-core processor it sees that your processor has 4 cores that it can delegate work to, however, if that same processor had hyper-threading your operating system will see that your processor has 8 cores to delegate work to.  This adds a small boost to your processor's performance, however, a processor with more real cores is better than a processor with fewer cores and Hyper-threading.

When it comes time to pick out your processor you must consider these three things.  Does it have Hyper-threading?   How many cores does it have?  What is the processor's clock speed?  These questions are essential for picking out the right processor.

For example here are the 4 processors I will be using in the computers from my previous post.

Computer no. 1

Ryzen Threadripper 1950x

  • 16 cores
  • 3.4 GHz
  • Has Multi-Threading (A different version of Hyper-threading)

These specs make it perfect for handling multiple processes simultaneously while being fast and efficient.  Perfect for gaming.

Computer no. 2

Core i7 7740x

  • 4 cores
  • 4.3 GHz
  • Supports Hyper-threading

The reason I chose a processor with fewer cores for this video editing PC is that we need speed for editing, however, there isn't usually a lot of processes being performed at once.  This way some money is saved while still being a great choice.

Computer no. 3

AMD Athalon X4 950

  • 4 cores
  • 3.5 GHz
  • Does not have Multi-threading

The reason this part was picked is for efficiency.  Since a home computer does not usually consume too many resources I opted to pick a processor with the standard 4-cores and moderate processing speed.

Computer no. 4

Ryzen Threadripper 1950x

  • 16 cores
  • 3.4 GHz
  • Supports Multi-Threading

The reason this is picked for a mining computer is that of its insane specs.  16 cores with Multi-Threading allows for this beast to handle a large number of processes at the same time.  This processor is one of the best when it comes to multiple processes.

In my next post, I will cover which motherboards to select and why.

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