A fast processor is an essential part of every good gaming computer. Without it, the gameplay will slow down when playing the latest titles, and thus have a negative effect on your overall gaming experience. If you’re playing any kind of competitive multiplayer games, this type of slowdown is something you cannot afford, since your opponents can easily take advantage of it. And even if you’re just a casual gamer, playing with constant spikes in performance is frustrating enough that it can easily suck out all the joy from playing video games.
Processors can make complex calculations in a fraction of a second
Depending on the type of video games you play, certain ones will put a lot of strain on your graphics card, and some of them will require you having a good processor for gaming. In practical terms, though, you’re going to need both, there’s just no way around it. While you may be able to get by with an older processor if you’re playing some of the older titles exclusively, not upgrading your processor will quickly lead you to being limited in terms of what you can play (at least without constant performance interruptions).
How to select the best processor for your needs
Your choice will depend on each specific model’s performance in the following categories: price, performance, and power consumption. In terms of performance and the processor’s ability to handle different types of workloads, there are 2 main types you need to consider: single-threaded and multi-threaded.
The former involves simple activities like editing documents, browsing the web, etc. The processors with a high clock speed rather than having a large number of cores are usually better suited for the task. The latter type is what you want to go after for the purpose of having a smooth gaming experience, since multi-threaded processors were designed exactly with this purpose in mind. Among other things, there are also a great choice if you’re going to do some video encoding or photo editing.
A quick word on overclocking
Overclocking means raising the processor’s computing power even more, often above its targeted maximum. But keep in mind that not all processors are suitable for overlocking; more often than not, the more expensive the unit, the better suited it is for this purpose.
Power consumption, although probably the least important consideration, does play a role if you’re going to be overclocking your processor. Since the more you overclock it, the more power it’s going to consume, and generally speaking, the more powerful units also require more power to operate. If you overdo it, overheating can quickly become a problem, which means you’re also going to have to get a better cooling unit like liquid coolers, for example.
This should cover the basics on how to choose the best processor for your gaming needs. Whenever you’re in doubt and would like to study up on some additional facts before making the final purchasing decision, reading online reviews of particular models is a great idea. That way, you’ll be able to narrow down your decision even more, hopefully picking a gaming processor that will last you for years to come.