Who doesn’t know this: I want to write a letter in Office and then the program takes forever before it opens the document. The browser is also annoying, the websites are stuck and input does not respond.
So a new CPU is needed to make the computer fit for my programs again. But stop! Before you dare to upgrade the processor, you first have to determine why my software is stuck.
Is it really the processor or is it the slow hard drive? Finally, there are other components in the PC that can cause your applications to lag. If the problem is clearly a CPU that is too slow, here are a few recommendations for you. We’ll tell you which CPU is currently the fastest in applications, which is the most convincing in terms of price/performance and what entry-level CPUs cost for simple work.
Live desktop CPU ranking
Live ranking: Overview of all current CPUs in performance comparison with live prices (incl. shipping costs).
The currently fastest processors
If the price doesn’t matter and you simply want the fastest CPU, then these models are the best choice:
Intel Core i9-13900KS 3 other prices and providers AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Box (100-100000514WOF) Best offer from: €609.00 incl. shipping 24 more prices and providers Intel Core i9-13900K Best offer from:613.98€incl. Shipping 37 more prices and providers
What do I have to consider before buying a CPU?
Proceed as follows:
Open the task manager with the key combination “Ctrl+Shift+ESC” and check which of the components has the highest load. In Windows 10, performance charts for the most important components can be found in the “Performance” tab.
The resource monitor is recommended for Windows 7. You can also find it in the task manager under the “Performance” tab. Now run your programs as usual and observe the performance charts.
If you own a second monitor, you can display Task Manager’s performance charts on it for a day. Over time, you should have a good grasp of why the application is stuck.
If the CPU has a permanent 80 to 100% load, then it is overwhelmed and it’s time for a processor upgrade.
But you have to be careful here too.
The rule of thumb is: Current CPUs require current mainboards. To find out which mainboard is in your computer, we recommend the small program CPU-Z. Download and open this little tool.
In the “Mainboard” tab you will now find detailed information about the mainboard in your computer and the BIOS version used. Next, you should go to the motherboard manufacturer’s website and locate your motherboard.
Found – on the mainboard’s product page, the manufacturer provides information about the CPUs to be used and points out BIOS updates. So check which CPU fits into your mainboard and is a BIOS update necessary for operation. If the desired CPU is not supported, then the mainboard purchase is the first step.
What CPU do I need?
Office and more – CPUs up to 100 euros
Basically, there are three performance classes of processors in the application area today. The first to be mentioned are simple and cheap CPUs. Some of these cost well under 100 euros and are easily enough these days to do all office tasks.
These are exclusively multi-core processors, sometimes even quad-core CPUs – i.e. with four processor cores. In addition, many modern CPUs already have integrated graphics units, which makes it unnecessary to buy an extra graphics card.
The AMD Ryzen 3 4100 for socket AM4 is quite far down in the performance ranking. This costs 56 euros and, with its four cores and eight threads, already offers enough power to handle all office tasks with ease.
The only drawback: it does not have an integrated graphics card on board. The AMD Ryzen 5 5500 has significantly more power than the first mentioned. However, it is also a bit more expensive and does not have its own graphics unit.
This is already available for 104 euros. Thanks to six cores and eight threads, it is well equipped for more than just office and surfing and can therefore also be used for games. With a little less performance, but with a relatively strong integrated graphics unit, the AMD Ryzen 3 3200G is another recommendation up to a maximum of 100 euros.
AMD Ryzen 3 4100 Best offer from: €56.28 incl. Shipping 37 more prices and providers AMD Ryzen 5 5500 Wraith Stealth Box (100-100000457BOX) Best offer from: 103.90 € incl. Shipping 37 more prices and providers AMD Ryzen 3 3200G Wraith Stealth Box (YD3200C5FHBOX) Best offer from:92.89€incl. Shipping 15 more prices and providers
If you aPC system with this CPU performance is sufficient, you should also browse through the mainboards with CPU. Here you will find inexpensive variants in which the CPU is integrated on the right mainboard.
More than just office and e-mail – CPUs up to 250 euros
This medium performance range describes processors that, in addition to office tasks and the daily monotony, can also handle special tasks with sufficient speed.
In addition to image processing, these also include coding and decoding video material or the creation of complex Excel tables as well as the packing and unpacking of large amounts of data. The price you have to spend for this type of processor is up to 250 euros. Once again, Intel’s price-performance breakers are recommended in this area.
Our first recommendation is the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, which with eight cores and 16 threads is the fastest CPU in the segment up to 250 euros. The price here is 221 euros – but without an integrated graphics unit.
Our second recommendation is the Intel Core i5-13400 with ten cores and 16 threads and a clock speed of up to 4.6 GHz, which also has an integrated graphics unit. Last but not least, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G is recommended, which can also compete with older AMD Ryzen 7 in applications – and it also has a relatively fast integrated graphics chip.
Fastest CPU up to €250: AMD Ryzen 7 5800XAMD Ryzen 7 5800X Best offer from: €221.48 incl.
Shipping 45 other prices and providers Our recommendation: Intel Core i5-13400Intel Core i5-13400 Box (BX8071513400) Best offer from: 237.09 € incl. Shipping 19 more prices and providers Directly with graphics chip: AMD Ryzen 5 5600GAMD Ryzen 5 5600G Best offer from: €121.79 incl. Shipping 64 other prices and providers
Which processors are really powerful?
From 250 euros it really gets down to business. CPUs romp around here, writing e-mails, surfing the Internet or writing a document – in the truest sense of the word – in their sleep.
Because with these processors, most of the cores are sleeping because there is simply far too little to do in the daily software monotony. However, when applications such as Photoshop or video editing software are started, all cores wake up and pure performance is the order of the day.
These CPUs are predestined to handle special tasks at high speed or even in real time. Most of them are so powerful that working and running multiple programs simultaneously justifies these CPUs.
Imagine a scenario: You have a mid-range CPU and you are editing your Full HD holiday video. Now the finished video is to be rendered with H.265 coding, i.e. exported and compressed. Your PC will need a certain amount of time for this, in which you can no longer do too much on this computer.
Now the same scenario with a high-performance CPU. The full HD holiday video has been edited and now needs to be finished. So start the video renderer, then fire up the virus scanner, and since there are still enough performance reserves, start a game. After all, you want to make good use of the time while rendering.
In this video, this was tested once using the AMD Ryzen Threadripper. In the high performance range, there is a large number of processors today. As far as the best price/performance is concerned, the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X is certainly one of the best choices, which is already available for 246 euros.
There is even more performance from 346 euros with the Intel Core i5-13600K. Even extreme multitasking over 14 cores does not lead to performance drops with these CPUs.
It looks better, but also more expensive, with the Intel Core i7-13700, which even has 16 cores and 24 threads and puts a more expensive AMD Ryzen 9 7900X in its place.
If you want to work and play a lot, one of these CPUs is the best choice. Our recommendation in the price range up to €300: AMD Ryzen 5 7600XAMD Ryzen 5 7600X Best offer of: €245.89 incl. Shipping 38 more prices and providers Our recommendation in the price range up to 350 euros: Intel Core i5-13600KIntel Core i5-13600K Best offer from:345.62€incl.
Shipping 46 more prices and providers Our recommendation in the price range up to 450 euros: Intel Core i7-13700Intel Core i7-13700 Best offer from: 402.87€ incl. Shipping 32 more prices and providers Intel has launched the Raptor Lake series as an answer to the very good and fast Ryzen 7 CPUs of AMD’s fourth Zen generation.
At Intel there is currently nothing faster than the Core i9-13900KS. This monster calculates with 24 cores and 32 threads and clocks up to 6 GHz. Render multiple videos simultaneously and gamble at the same time – no problem.
AMD can only achieve this performance with the absolute flagships, the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X and the Ryzen 9 7950X Benchmarks dominate.
When it comes to best price/performance, you can’t beat the new fifth-gen AMD Ryzen. The Ryzen 7 5700X with eight cores and 16 threads is already available for 195 euros and is in the upper performance range. For just over 50 euros more you get even more clock with the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X.
For a certain surcharge, you get significantly more performance from Intel: As an alternative to the AMD CPUs, you can take a look at the new Intel Core i5-13600K, Core i7-13700K or Core i9-13900K. Big advantage:
The K models (without F) already have an integrated graphics unit. They are also cheaper than the new AMD Ryzen CPUs of the 7000 series.
Basically, all CPUs in the high-end range should be well cooled. So there are additional costs for a high-end cooling solution. Because both AMD’s Threadripper and the Intel Core i9 convert up to 250 watts into heat.
So water cooling is the best choice here.
Very good cooling is particularly important for the new Core i generation from Intel and Ryzen 5000 and 7000 from AMD.
The new CPUs now have a similar function to the AMD consumer Ryzen CPUs and overclock themselves if necessary. However, this self-overclocking depends on the cooling performance.
Let’s recap. Simple office tasks, writing e-mails and surfing the Internet do not require too much performance. If you want to use your PC mainly for this, then a simple CPU from the range under 100 euros is sufficient.
You can find the jack of all trades in the middle class. With a current AMD Ryzen 5 you have more power than is needed for daily tasks. With these CPUs you can already run special applications with sufficient speed.
However, you have to rely on a separate graphics card here. AMD has hit the mark with the Ryzen series and is the undisputed ruler of the middle class. In the upper class, Intel can only compete with the much more expensive Core i9, but not climb the throne that AMD has with the Threadripper.
As you may have already noticed in the CPU ranking for gamers, all high-performance processors are also suitable for gaming PCs. But one or the other “small” CPU cuts a fine figure here.
Therefore, the task for the new CPU should be ensured before purchase. Because if you are exactly clear about what the PC should be for, you don’t have to spend an infinite amount of money.
Above all, games, unlike applications, usually do not use more than six cores, which is why it hardly makes sense to invest so much money in a CPU for pure gaming.
The hardware Scotsman says: In times of mobile computing, it often makes little sense to wait until the thick computer in the office has finally booted up and is ready for use.
If you just want to quickly check your e-mails or search for something on the Internet, smartphones and tablets are simple and sufficiently fast alternatives.
However, before you change your CPU, it is important to realize that this is also the pinching factor. It is often advisable to replace the lame hard drive with an SSD.
Do you have software that is stuck and do you know if the CPU is to blame?