Choosing the right CPU

Choosing the right CPU
Written by Melker Wångdahl

Choosing the right CPU can be tricky. Here´s how a CPU works, what it does and how you can compare them to make the right choice.

Choosing the right CPU is one of the key aspects to consider when investing in new devices. The CPU could be considered the heart of any computer, smartphone or rugged handheld. It tells the other hardware what to do and when.

But there are a lot of CPUs on the market, so how do you know if a device has the right chip for the job? If it is too weak it won’t be able to handle all the required tasks at the same time. On the flip side, an overqualified CPU will end up making the investment needlessly pricey. Either way you end up losing money, choosing a device with the right CPU is key.

What is a CPU?

CPU is short for Core Processing Unit and is often referred to as just a processor. Basically, it´s the brain of your device, the chip that makes your Computer run. It tells the other components like RAM, graphic card and disk drive what to do.

When you click on an application it´s the CPU that tells the RAM to load it. It also tells the screen what to show you or turn up the speaker volume. These are just a few examples, the CPU is involved in almost everything you do on a computer. Windows explains it very well in their youtube clip below.

Choosing the right CPU – What to look for

There are a lot of CPUs on the market but when it comes to Windows devices Intel and AMD are the most common ones. Android devices have a couple of big players, Qualcomm and MediaTek are two of the common ones.

If you’re looking at a regular computer the most common CPUs are named Intel Core and AMD Ryzen. To make it easier the comparable chips have the same number, for example, Core i5 and Ryzen 5. An i5 / 5 CPU is used for the average work laptop, i3 / 3 is suitable for simple surfing. The i7 / 7 for more demanding tasks like video editing and the i9 / 9 for the most advanced jobs.

Not all CPUs are this easy to compare but there are a couple of things you can look at. The number of Cores a CPU has, how many Threads it has and what generation the chip is from.

Cores can be described as small processors inside the CPU itself. Each core can carry out a task, the more cores a CPU has the more it can handle at once.

Threads allow cores to multitask, letting each core do more than one thing at a time. They do this by leveraging the leftover CPU power.

The amount of threads is basically the max amount of tasks a device can perform at once but since it uses leftover power it can’t do it as fast as a core can. So while threads decide the max amount of tasks you could say that the cores tell you the number of tasks that can be done at full speed.

On top of this, you want to prioritize getting the newer generation of CPU chips. Newer CPUs are more effective and will let several cores work on the same task, speeding things up.

A rugged CPU upgrade

When Handheld group heavily upgraded the Nautiz X2 in 2020 a new processor was one of the priorities. The choice fell on an 8 core processor from MediaTek. The Nautiz X2 now has more speed and performance than ever, allowing it to perform any suitable job.

The processor was not the only upgrade, follow the link to read more about the Nautiz X2 upgrades.