Computer usage has changed dramatically in the previous few years, with the advancements in internet (like cloud computing), social networking and mobility features. Different people have their own different needs to be fulfilled by a PC. So first step is to specify your needs and the type of PC you want.
1) Desktop Users:
Desktop users got three choices to satisfy their computing needs.
Traditional Tower/Desktop PCs are like work horse. These are all about power and mostly used for processing intensive activities, like gaming. These are the most used form of PCs and are a access point for digital information. These are to provide provide more power and reliability so are packed with most powerful Processor & Microcontroller Development Kits.
All-in-One PCs share most of the features from above category but are to occupy lesser space as these are a stylish addition to your work place/room. There performance is some time compromised on style which allows them to run cooler applications.
Net-Top PCs are built with Internet usage in mind. Those in need of processing power with mobility get these here in Net-Top PCs. These comparise of processors with low processing power and have lower price.
2) Laptop Users:
Like desktop users laptop users also got three categories to satisfy their computing needs giving top priority to mobility.
Standard Laptops are designed to be your primary personal computers so feature a powerful processor to fulfill all your requirements. Among these gaming laptops are the top ones when it comes to processing power. Laptops vary in prices and sizes to allow you with more choice without threatening your pocket. Besides battery time is the most important issue to look at when it comes to purchasing a laptop, after all laptops are to provide computing with on-the-go lifestyle.
Netbooks/Webbooks are the new category of laptop computing after the introduction of cloud computing term. These small PC companions are designed keeping Internet users in mind. These compact devices got their processing compromised with low cost, more battery time and style.
Ultra Slim/Thin laptops are about 1-inch thick and weight about 3.5 lb which makes them a best choice for mobility but features a processor heaving ultra-low voltage consumption. These low voltage processors are designed to provide extended battery for long time usage before next recharge. These laptops have trade off between their processing power, style and batter life.
What are the features you must look at
Now it comes to choosing a right processor, once you have decided the type of PC you need. To get the best processor there is something more than speed and cores in a processor. As its not a right choice to get a Ferrari or Bugatti if you are living a village or somewhere heaving no proper roads. Today more and more processors are designed to maximize their features for specific use. Cores and Hyper-Threading are to provide more processing bandwidth and multitasking, and are important technologies to look at when choosing a processor.
In a multi core processor core is a separate processing unit, hyper-threading is a technology they is implemented on these cores to speed up the processing by creating separate threads for each process. So when you look for more cores its important to have an eye on hyper-threading feature of processor which allows you to achieve more efficient usage of you processor while performing parallel processing/computing characteristic.
Cache is the memory inside the processor and allows storage of most frequently used data by a processor. All processors have their cache memory and is a key feature to get a view of processor speed. Some processors have a single shared cache which allows all cores to access data in this shared cache on according to their use. Some processors implement a different cache for each separate core which makes each independent in utilization of its own separate core. More the size of cache memory in a processor the more expensive it is, but will have its processing power increased.
Over clocking or Turbo Boost Technology is a way to increase your processor’s processing power sometimes in GHz. This allows you to push your processor speed to highest level. Over clocking is easy to implement, with lots of tutorials available on internet, but involves some risk as increase in speed results in increased voltage requirement and heating of processor. Besides Over clocking puts you product warranty to an end. So you are advised to do it when you need it strongly and had you processor warranty time period already finished.
A processor besides other important task also monitors energy in your computer. Now a days more and more processors come with energy/battery saving feature like reducing screen intensity, shut down when not in use, balanced, low power and high power usage of battery. These features and mostly not identified with a processor but you can get help on these from online product manuals or different PC manufacturers to get maximum battery life and performance.
Performance of your System
Most of the people first look at the basic processor which will handle their basic needs like emails, web surging, social networking like Facebook, basic word processing etc. Believe me this can be achieved by almost all PC processors out there in market, what you need to look at is your future computing and processing demands.
Most of the people blame their slow internet connection when they play some HD online videos or other processing intensive web applications, but this is not always the true reason as with advance Internet technologies like AJAX now users are required to have more and more processing power with least load on requested Internet server. So its your old processor that is limiting you from proper usage of your web content and you need to look ahead about your future needs and changing technologies and select appropriate processor.
If you a PC gaming enthusiast then you understand it very well that to play latest and upcoming Video games like Crysis, Assassin Creed, Call of Duty etc you must have a powerful processor. If your are playing Hawx from Ubisoft today it does not mean that you will be able to play ever upcoming game for Ubisoft in this or next year.
To get a family video from your camera and edit it while checking your email/ Facebook account and listening a song and doing some other task you are required to have a multi core and multi threaded processor. And if you have latest versions of your media player, web browser, and other softwares than definitely you need more advance Processor & Microcontroller Development Kits to fulfill all your needs with pressing ALT+CTRL+Delete in windows.
To get best out of your investment these all steps are worth to keep in mind as for some of us its life time decision to buy a laptop and no one will like his/her new PC to hang up while enjoying their favourite multimedia content whether online of offline.