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What makes a CPU good?

OhhPaigeyOhhPaigey Member RarePosts: 1,517
What are some things to look for when comparing CPUs?

I've been reading about the new Zen CPUs which got me interested.

Recently I overclocked my i5 3570k to 4.2ghz, what effect does that have on my PC now? I haven't really noticed a difference.

When all is said and done, more is always said than done.


  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,059
    edited November 2016
    What makes a CPU good, in my opinion:

    * It is consistently correct in it's calculations (several CPUs haven't been because of various bugs)
    * It operates stablely
    * It is capable of running within it's own physical limitations (mainly heat, but also power to some extent)
    * It does what you require of it

    That's pretty much all I ask of a CPU

    For your Ivy - you won't notice any difference, except those cases where your CPU wasn't already fast enough. If you didn't have any of those cases, you won't really notice anything - your CPU wasn't the bottleneck, and I suspect that to be the case for most things, as an Ivy is a pretty capable CPU.

    As far as effect on your system: upping the clock speed will have two main effects
    * It will generate more heat. Just raising the clock speed alone will raise the heat production some. If you bump the voltage as well, the heat will go up much faster.
    * It will be a bigger strain on your PSU. Overclocks can take significantly more power than stock clocks and voltages - up and over double the wattage even.

    My advice on overclocking:
    * Do it. At least see how far you can take your system and have it remain stable and cool enough to operate for your use
    * Test it well. Just because it boots doesn't mean it's stable. Make sure it can run loading for long enough for everything to get all the way up to temp - at least a couple of hours. Some people say overnight. Your looking for reboots, BSODs, incorrect results or errors in benchmarks, artifacting in graphcs, thermal throttling, and overtemperatures.
    * Then turn it off, and only turn it back on when you find out you need it. Otherwise, your just wasting power and generating a lot of extra heat (which creates noise as your fans run harder).
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,090
    A good CPU for you is one that does everything that it is supposed to do, and fast enough that more performance wouldn't noticeably benefit you.  That ideal isn't always possible, as sufficiently slow software can manage to run poorly on even very fast hardware.  But a better CPU for you is one that comes closer to it more often in the programs you care about.
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