One of the first things you’ll do while building your computer is to pick out your CPU or processor. Knowing what socket type you have will then help you to pick our your motherboard. This year is a great year for processors because Intel released its Sandy Bridge or 2nd Generation of “i” series processors and AMD will be releasing it’s all new Bulldozer CPU in quarter 2 of 2011. Although we’re unsure if this will allow AMD to compete with Intel in higher-end CPU, it’s certain that they will continue their presence in the mid to low-range CPU.
Budget/Value CPU 2011 – 2012
Our pick for best budget processor of the year is the AMD Phenom II 1090T X6. Not only can you get six core processing power for under $200 right now, it also competes well with Intel’s processors from the $200-$300 range. (See a more detailed comparison in our table below.)
Breakout CPU of the Year 2011 – 2012
The Intel Sandy Bridge processors are sure to become the bestselling series of processors this year. We have our eye specifically on the LGA 1155 2600k (unlocked) and 2600.
Top Rated/Bestselling Processor of 2010
The bestselling processor of 2010 was the i7-950. Gamer’s enjoyed the raw power, durability, and low price (around $300) of the 950.
Here’s a quick comparison of these 3 great processors.
i7-2600k vs. i7-950 vs. AMD Phenom II 1090T X6
|CPU||i3-4130T||The i3-4130T has a low TDP of just 35W. For an upgrade, consider the i5-4570T.|
|Graphics Card||Gigabyte GeForce GTX 750 Ti||The 750TI has a low TDP of 60W. An upgrade from here would be the R7 370 but at additional cost and energy usage.|
|Motherboard||ASRock H97M-ITX||Cheap, reliable, and includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0|
|Power Supply||Corsair CX 430M||Modular, durable, and 80 Plus Certified|
|Case||Cooler Master Elite 120||This great little case is on rebate this month.|
|Storage||Western Digital Caviar Green||The Caviar Green drive offers up to 40% energy efficiency and in doing so prolongs the life of the hard drive as well.|
|Ram / Memory||2x4GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz Ram|