Tag Archives: CPU

Qualcomm targets low-cost PCs with the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 CPU

Qualcomm’s lower-end Snapdragon 7c chips carved out a space for Chromebooks and other value devices that aimed for long battery life and consistent connectivity. Now Qualcomm is announcing an upgraded Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 chip aimed at powering the low-end $350 Chromebooks and PCs that flood Amazon’s “most popular” list.

Comparing 2019’s Snapdragon 7c and the new Snapdragon 7c Gen 2, the main difference is in clock speed: the Snapdragon 7c used a Kryo 468 CPU running at up to 2.4 GHz, which the new chip uses an identical Kryo 468, yet running 6 percent faster at 2.55GHz. It appears every other feature on the two different chips remains identical. The latest chip also uses the same X15 4G LTE modem as the 7c Gen 1.

What else has changed is the competitive landscape for low-end PCs and Chromebooks, which the original 7c seemed headed for. Intel’s Celeron N4020 processor and Pentium Gold N5030 are now viable solutions for low-end PCs and Chromebooks, as is the Mediatek 8183. You probably won’t look for any of these on a spec sheet, but you will notice how peppy the resulting performance is. What Qualcomm can’t really quantify is the battery life since that’s dependent on the hardware manufacturer.


The Snapdragon 7c Gen 2’s feature set remains largely unchanged.

One hardware maker that will use the Snapdragon 7c will be Lenovo, which has often built laptops like the Lenovo Flex 5G around Snapdragon processors like the Snapdragon 8cx. Qualcomm executives said they expect the first Snapdragon 7c devices in summer, without specifically identifying Lenovo.

“We look forward to launching new Lenovo devices with the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 compute platform later this year,” Emily Ketchen, chief marketing officer of Lenovo’s Intelligent Devices Group, said in a statement. 

Qualcomm declined to publish actual performance numbers backing the Snapdragon 7c. Instead, it published relative comparisons against its competition from Intel and Mediatek across a variety of benchmarks. However, we’ve already completed early testing on the HP Elite Folio, which uses the faster Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 chip, the premium offering in Qualcomm’s lineup. We also performed hands-on testing with the original Snapdragon 7c, and it felt quick enough.


Qualcomm’s performance estimates are disappointingly vague.

Meet the Snapdragon NUC

Two other key things have changed since Qualcomm released the original Snapdragon 7c. First, Microsoft now allows users to run 64-bit apps via emulation and via the Windows Insider program, allowing the vast ecosystem of Windows apps to finally run unimpressively on top of Snapdragon hardware. (The capability has not yet been pushed to the mainstream release build of Windows 10, however.) Second, more apps now have versions specifically coded for Windows on Arm.

To kickstart development even further, Qualcomm and Microsoft said this week that they’ve co-engineered a low-cost development platform consisting of a NUC-like box with a Snapdragon processor inside of it. The Snapdragon Developer Kit will be commercially available at The Microsoft Store this summer, the two companies said. The price and configuration weren’t immediately available.


Microsoft and Qualcomm have co-developed a Snapdragon development it, which developers will be able to purchase from the Microsoft Store this summer.

The development work has also paid off in another area as well. This summer, Zoom will be available in a native version coded for Windows on Arm that can run on Snapdragon. In a demo video, Qualcomm said that the added efficiency would allow a Snapdragon test notebook to run for up to almost eight hours while continually running Zoom. That’s up to 12 percent more than the un-optimized version, the company said. 

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

What’s the best CPU for gaming? AMD and Intel picks for 2021

Buying a processor for a gaming rig isn’t as hard as it used to be. Now that Ryzen 5000-series and Intel’s 11th-gen Core CPUs come with more performance and cores than ever before, it’s hard to buy a stinker these days—especially because most games favor graphics firepower over CPU oomph. All that said, there are specific chips that stand out from the horde as the best gaming CPUs due to their price, performance, or nifty extras.

Whether you’re on a budget or willing to pay for sheer face-melting speed, these are the best CPUs for gaming PCs that you can buy.

Editor’s note: We constantly updated this article as necessary. The latest iteration adds various tidbits to the news section below.

Latest gaming CPU news

  • CPUs are seeing some of the same shortages that have been plaguing graphics cards in recent months, leading to low availability and higher prices of many AMD Ryzen processors in particular—especially at the high end. Fortunately, supply is becoming more available for the Ryzen 5 5600X and Ryzen 7 5800X, and there’s hope on the horizon for the Ryzen 9 5900X too.
  • After a two-year drought, modern versions of AMD’s ultra-popular Ryzen APUs are on the horizon. The Ryzen 5000G series wields significantly faster Radeon graphics and up to twice as many Ryzen cores than before, but they’ll come to prebuilt systems first before launching in DIY retail form later this year. Our guide to everything you need to know about Ryzen 5000 can help you wrap your head around AMD’s APUs and CPUs alike.
  • Intel’s latest chips are here now, and while the 11th-gen “Rocket Lake” Core processors are still built on the ancient 14nm manufacturing process, the architecture itself is built from the company’s newer 10nm “Ice Lake” cores. It’s an interesting, perhaps desperate idea that yielded mixed results, as you can see in our Core i9-11900K review and suggestions below.
  • The performance-boosting PCIe Resizable BAR feature continues to become more widely available after debuting in the form of AMD’s Smart Access Memory. AMD introduced the feature with Ryzen 5000, but it has since spread to Intel’s newer Rocket Lake chips. BIOS updates are adding it to older processors and motherboards from both chipmakers, though you shouldn’t expect the feature (or any Ryzen 5000 support) to extend back to AMD’s older x370 motherboards.

The best gaming CPU for most people

Intel Core i5-11600K ($270 on Amazon)

Midrange CPUs are the sweet spot for PC gamers. In fact, if you don’t need the additional cores of pricier CPU options, this class of chip offers essentially the same gaming experience of processors that cost hundreds more. The bigger question is: Intel or AMD? The answer is complicated.


After a decade of Intel dominance, AMD came back with a vengeance in recent years. Its Ryzen 5 2600 and 3600 offerings conquered mainstream gaming. The company’s newer 6-core Ryzen 5 5600X delivers killer gaming speed for the class and solid productivity results. However, Intel’s solid Core i5-11600K earns our nod for two simple reasons: price and availability.

AMD raised prices by $50 over previous generations for the Ryzen 5 5600X thanks to its newfound gaming supremacy, then got hit by the same semiconductor shortages and logistics woes plaguing the GPU industry. Supply of the chip has been hit and miss since its November launch, though it’s finally starting to loosen up. When you can find it at retailers, it’s usually going for $350 (or more!) rather than its $300 MSRP.

Enter Intel’s $270 Core i5-11600K. Launched in late March, it offers the same 6 cores and 12 threads as the Ryzen 5 5600X and top-notch gaming performance, per reviews from TechPowerUp, Tom’s Hardware, and PC Gamer. It doesn’t win every battle—the Ryzen chip comes out slightly ahead on average in TechSpot’s gaming tests—and Intel’s aging 14nm process makes the 11600K less power-efficient than AMD’s 7nm 5600X. Still, the chips offer effectively similar experiences, especially at the higher visual settings and resolutions that most PC gamers play at. They’re both excellent.

Gordon Mah Ung

A motherboard with an LGA1200 socket is required to run a 10th- or 11th-gen Intel Core CPU.

We’d give the AMD chip the nod in a world where parts flowed freely, but the Core i5-11600K’s $80-plus price advantage gets our recommendation in today’s market. Note that you’ll need to buy a cooler for it, however, while AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X comes with one bundled. You may want to factor that into your buying decision if you aren’t dead-set on outfitting your chip with a nice third-party cooler.

If you don’t mind giving up PCIe 4.0 support and a wee bit of potential speed, give last generation’s Core i5-10600K a long, hard look. It’s another 6-core, 12-thread, highly clocked gaming chip, and currently you can find it going for just $230 on Amazon and other retailers. That’s a great price for a good chip, especially if you plan on playing at 1440p or 4K resolutions, where games become more GPU-bound than CPU-bound.

The best high-end gaming CPU

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X ($550 on Amazon or NeweggRemove non-product link)

To repeat: Modern Core i5 and Ryzen 5 chips with six cores deliver nearly the same levels of gaming performance as pricier processors. You only need to step up to a high-end gaming CPU if you need more cores for productivity tasks, want eight cores for streaming or future-proofing against console hardware configurations, or simply demand the absolute fastest potential frame rates in any situation.

Gordon Mah Ung

If you’re in the market for a high-end gaming processor, the Ryzen 9 5900X ($550 on Amazon or NeweggRemove non-product link) is the best option available. It offers no-compromises gaming performance on a par with Intel’s new 8-core Core i9-11900K flagship, but significantly more productivity performance thanks to the Ryzen chip’s 12 cores and 24 threads. This can handle anything you throw at it, and then some—that’s why we called it “the best consumer CPU we’ve ever seen” in our review.

The step-up $750 Ryzen 9 5950X offers even more performance, thanks to its whopping 16 cores. That’s overkill for most people, though, and its gaming performance isn’t fundamentally faster than the 5900X’s.

Intel’s Core i9-11900K costs $550, so it’s priced the same as AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900X, though we’re seeing it going for roughly $615 on the streetsRemove non-product link in Rocket Lake’s early days of availability. It’s very power-hungry and not appreciably faster than AMD’s chip. It also lags far behind in productivity tasks, as the Core i9-11900K comes with only 8 cores and 16 threads. In fact, Intel’s chip performs more comparably with the 8-core Ryzen 7 5800X, which carries a $450 retail price.

Gordon Mah Ung

Intel’s Core i9-11900K.

We can’t recommend Intel’s 11th-gen Core i7 or Core i9 chips given those facts, even though they’re great gaming CPUs in a vacuum. The high-end Ryzen CPUs have been subject to even more extreme pricing volatility than the midrange 5600X, and the Ryzen 9 chips often sell for hundreds of dollars more in the real world. If Intel is able to keep 11th-gen chips in stock and AMD can’t step up, that will make the 11900K more appealing. As we said, though, it’s more comparable with the Ryzen 7 5800X, and availability of that chip at MSRP is much more reliable. Go with AMD if you can.

You  might consider Intel’s older 10th-gen Core processors, if you don’t mind giving up PCIe 4.0 support or Rocket Lake’s vastly improved integrated graphics. The 11900K is more of a side-grade or even a downgrade to its predecessor, offering two fewer cores and only slightly faster gaming performance than the last-gen 10900K. The former flagship is hard to come by now, but the step-down Core i9-10850K remains widely available, with 10 cores and just 100MHz lower top speeds than the 10900K.

Better yet, you can buy one for just $380—meaning it offers more cores for less money than either AMD or Intel’s current 8-core offerings. The 10850K is a screaming value while it lasts, and we’ve seen it as low as $330 if you don’t mind heading into your local Micro Center.

The best budget gaming CPU

Intel Core i5-10400F ($152 on Amazon)


Usually, we recommend AMD’s Ryzen APUs (like the Ryzen 3 3200G) for budget builders. These chips costs between $100 and $150 and come with integrated Radeon graphics that let you get game without a graphics card if you don’t mind dialing back your visual quality or resolution. Unfortunately, AMD hasn’t released a new APU since the 3200G’s introduction in mid-2019—though new Ryzen 5000G chips will arrive later this year—and that chip has all but disappeared in today’s weird world of silicon shortages.

If you’re a gamer on a tight budget and already have a graphics card, consider Intel’s last-gen Core i5-10400F first. This 6-core, 12-thread chip costs only $152 now and comes with a cooler in the box. It offers the same thread count as rival Ryzen 3000 options and similar-to-better gaming performance, per TechSpot and TechPowerUp reviews, though it lags the K-class Core i5 chips by double-digit percentages in CPU-bound games. The newer processors in our “Best gaming CPU for most people” section also smoke it, though if you’re playing with higher visual settings, you’ll feel it less—especially at higher resolutions.

The “F” denominator in “Core i5-10400F” means it lacks an integrated GPU, however, so a graphics card is necessary. If you want to game without a graphics card, consider the new Intel Core i5-11400. The Core i5-11400 includes Intel’s vastly improved Xe integrated graphics (which can actually game with compromises!) and Rocket Lake’s various other improvements (like PCIe 4.0 support) for $184Remove non-product link

Gamers Nexus reviewed the Core i5-11400 and says it’s a good, affordable part for people who have no plans to overclock and don’t mind losing a few percentage points in gaming performance in exchange for a much lower price. The 11600K is a better option if you do content creation on the side thanks to its faster speeds though.

Optimum Tech, meanwhile, reviewed the Core i5-11400F (with no integrated graphics) and called it “the ultimate value gaming CPU that you can buy right now,” though he notes that you’ll want to ditch the stock cooler and upgrade to even an affordable third-party cooler to get the most performance out of the chip. 

“If want to get the most performance that you can out of it, even a single-tower air cooler will let you run the full power and boost clocks that are on offer here.” Something like the legendary Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo should do the trick for around $30. Opting for our recommended Core i5-10400F and sticking with the stock cooler can get you most of the performance for around $60 less than the 11400F with a Hyper 212 costs, however.

Cheaper AMD options like the $100 Ryzen 3 3100 and $120 Ryzen 3 3300X would contend for this title if they truly sold for their asking prices, but the processors have been almost impossible to find since their debut. Currently, both are going for well over twice their MSRP, making Intel’s options the better buys.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

How to check your PC’s CPU temperature

In this topic we are going to talk about How to check your PC’s CPU temperature.

Is your pc’s CPU too sizzling? In case your PC begins spontaneously shutting down, locking up, or performing sluggish throughout intense duties, overheating may very well be the difficulty. Conserving tabs in your CPU temperatures is essential whenever you’re overclocking your PC’s processor, too—you don’t wish to by chance push the efficiency pedal too far to the steel whenever you’re supercharging your dear Core i9-10900K.

Save on vacation procuring with our picks of the perfect laptop computer PC offers of the season.

Bizarrely, Home windows doesn’t provide any method to examine your pc’s CPU temperature. You possibly can dive into your system’s BIOS to seek out the knowledge, however that’s loads of trouble to discover a easy sensor studying. Happily, a number of free applications exist that make it straightforward to see your processor’s temperature.

Read more about computers

Editor’s word: We up to date this text to incorporate fashionable processors and up to date cooling {hardware} suggestions all through.

Methods to check your PC’s CPU temperature

The quickest, best method to examine your CPU temp is utilizing the aptly named Core Temp. Be conscious throughout set up although! Like many free applications, it tries to put in bloatware until you uncheck some packing containers throughout setup.

CPU is important when you want to mine Bitcoin

As soon as put in, open Core Temp to see a no-frills take a look at the present state of your CPU, together with a mean temperature studying on the backside of the window. In order for you much more element, click on the Present hidden icons button within the system tray positioned on the proper fringe of your Home windows taskbar. You’ll see a temperature itemizing for each particular person CPU core in your pc.

Per-core CPU temperature readings supplied by the Core Temp app.

How to check your PC’s CPU temperature? Core Temp’s Settings menu lets you tweak precisely what you’ll see within the system tray, and the way you’ll see it, however the default configuration makes it dead-simple to see in case your CPU is overheating or performing as anticipated.

Core Temp isn’t the one possibility although. HWInfo is an in-depth system monitoring device that gives deep particulars about every bit of your PC’s {hardware}. If you happen to select to run it in sensors-only mode, scrolling right down to the CPU part—the devoted part, not the CPU temperature portion of the motherboard itemizing—reveals present temps and different nitty-gritty particulars.

NZXT’s Cam monitoring software program.

NZXT’s Cam software program is one other standard possibility with a various skillset. Its slick interface is less complicated to learn at a look than these on most different monitoring instruments, and this system exhibits all types of helpful data about your CPU, graphics card, reminiscence, and storage. Cam additionally contains an in-game FPS overlay and overclocking instruments, amongst different options. You should use NZXT’s Cam cell apps to maintain tabs in your software program whenever you’re away out of your PC, too.

How to check your PC’s CPU temperature

Open {Hardware} Monitor and SpeedFan are different well-regarded monitoring instruments that may monitor system info. You’ve received choices! However for merely checking your pc’s CPU temperatures, Core Temp’s simple focus can’t be beat.

If monitoring software program (like HWInfo right here) shows two CPU temperatures for Ryzen processors, search for the “Tdie” studying.
Talked about on this article

This is How to check your PC’s CPU temperature. Lastly, word that when you’re working an AMD Ryzen system, together with Third-gen fashions just like the ferocious Ryzen 9 5900X or the extra modest Ryzen 5 5600X that’s the perfect gaming processor for most individuals, you might even see two completely different CPU temperature readings. You need the “Tdie” studying, relying on how this system you’re utilizing shows the data. It’s a measurement of the particular warmth on the die.

The choice “Tctl” studying is the management temperature reported to your cooling system and typically features a temperature offset to make sure common fan pace conduct between the assorted Ryzen chips. Any of the applications above that record a single temperature account for the offset already.

What’s the perfect temp in your CPU?

One among our favourite CPU air coolers

The utmost supported temperature varies from processor to processor. A lot of the free monitoring software program talked about above lists the knowledge as “Tj. Max.” That stands for the temperature junction, or the very best working temperature of the {hardware}. If you happen to don’t see the knowledge for some motive, search the CPU World web site in your CPU’s mannequin quantity to seek out the knowledge. Each program listed above shows your processor’s mannequin quantity, so it’s straightforward to seek out.

However that’s the most temperature—the purpose at which your processor freaks out and shuts right down to keep away from injury. Working wherever close to that sizzling usually is unhealthy for the long-term lifetime of your {hardware}. As an alternative, observe this normal rule of thumb relating to CPU temperatures underneath load.  

  • Beneath 60° C: You’re working nice!
  • 60° C to 70° C: Nonetheless working superb, however getting a bit hotter. Think about cleansing the mud out of your PC if CPU temperatures proceed to creep up over time.
  • 70° C to 80° C: That is hotter than you wish to run until you’re pushing an overclock. If you happen to’re not, positively examine to verify your followers are working and there aren’t mud bunnies clogging up your system’s airflow.
  • 80° C to 90° C: Now we’re getting too sizzling for long-term consolation. Examine your {hardware} for damaged followers or mud build-up, and when you’re overclocking, dial again your settings—particularly the voltage when you’ve tweaked it. One notable exception: We typically see extra highly effective laptop computer processors hit the low 80s throughout gaming periods when plugged in, at which level they begin throttling again efficiency. That is anticipated, but when temperatures cross 85° C, be involved.
  • Over 90° C: Hazard, Will Robinson!

Methods to decrease your CPU temperatures

If you happen to’re usually encountering excessive CPU temperatures, there are some steps you may take to attempt to repair the difficulty.

Roll up your sleeves.

First, clear out your PC. Excessive CPU temperatures are sometimes attributable to years of mud and dirt constructed up inside a PC, clogging followers and essential air pathways. Native {hardware} shops often cost outrageous costs for canned air, however you may choose up a bottle for about $8 on Amazon. PCWorld’s information on find out how to clear your PC can stroll you thru the method. When you’re at it, examine to be sure that all of your followers are working accurately, and that not one of the vents in your PC are blocked.

Hopefully that fixes the difficulty. If not, extra intensive steps are so as. The thermal paste that transfers warmth out of your CPU to its cooler might need dried out when you’ve had your PC for just a few years. That may trigger temperature spikes.

Eradicating the previous thermal paste with rubbing alcohol and making use of a recent layer can probably assist decrease temperatures by a big quantity. You will discover small syringes of thermal paste by revered manufacturers like Arctic and Noctua for underneath $10 on Amazon. (I’ve been a cheerful Arctic Silver 5 consumer for years now.)

If all that doesn’t assist, your cooling resolution merely won’t be able to maintaining together with your CPU’s warmth output, particularly when you’re pairing a inventory cooler or a modest third-party cooler with higher-end chips—and doubly so when you’re overclocking. Shopping for a brand new CPU cooler could also be so as.

The Cooler Grasp Hyper 212 ($35 on Amazon) is a stable, inexpensive air cooler. With its bigger heatsink and fan, it’s a stable step up over inventory AMD and Intel CPU coolers. Transferring up in measurement and value, the Noctua NH-D15 ($90 on Amazon) is without doubt one of the best air coolers ever to hit the streets, however its massive measurement may block reminiscence entry or not even slot in smaller circumstances.

Talked about on this article

Closed-loop liquid cooling options (CLCs) present far cooler temperatures than air coolers with minimal trouble and simple set up. EVGA’s 120mm unit ($60 on Amazon) is a superb entry-level CLC, however when you plan on overclocking, think about transferring as much as a mannequin with bigger 240mm radiator, just like the straightforward-named EVGA CLC 240 ($80 on Amazon). All that further steel and followers can accommodate even fierce overclocks. A number of manufacturers can be found, however we’ve been utilizing EVGA’s closed-loop cooler in PCWorld’s highly effective, devoted graphics card testing system to nice outcomes. Word: While you buy one thing after clicking hyperlinks in our articles, we could earn a small fee. Learn our affiliate hyperlink coverage for extra particulars.