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Back in the days clock frequency used to be THE criteria to compare CPUs (or perhaps you had to take into account whether it was a DX or SX). The world was simple back then, but in these fast evolving modern times, it's not so easy to figure out to best spend your hard earned cash on a new CPU.

Could someone please enlighten me as to what kind of applications benefit from different aspects?

When should you choose more cores over clock speed? What is cache and when do you need it the most? Gaming? Video editing? Development?

  • Clock frequency:
  • Number of cores:
  • Cache memory:
  • Other:
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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

more cores: good for doing multiple jobs (hosting virtual machines, etc) more speed: good for doing each job faster

cache is basically a much much faster (and smaller) RAM memory that lives on the cpu. The amount you need depends on the workload, and how often the cpu is swapping data in and out, but more is better. It normally "stepped" as the faster cache is more expensive and hence smaller, so you get level 1, 2 and 3 cache, 1 being the fastest, youll normally find a certain amount of each on a cpu. The cpu will try to keep data it needs the most often in the fastest cache it has space for it.

Its a pretty wide ranging question you've asked though, prolly easier to point you to google and search for the proper articles on the subject.

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