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How do I read Intel CPU specs?

So I'm building myself a computer, and I know all the components and where they go, but I have no idea how to read and compare CPU specifications, such as how to tell the difference between different models.

Where do I begin if I want to understand those?

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I think that due to "... and compare" part this question is not a duplicate. E.g. which CPU is faster: one with a higher GHz or one with a bigger cache, etc. –  haimg May 28 '12 at 22:03
    
@Tom I would agree with haimg that this is not a dupe. This is more about understanding the specs rather than just finding them. –  BloodPhilia May 28 '12 at 22:36
    
@haimg: Comparison is trivial once you understand them, and that's what the other question already helps you doing. The other question does help you understand the specs (and isn't about finding them). –  Tom Wijsman May 28 '12 at 22:48
    
(cc @BloodPhilia) –  Tom Wijsman May 28 '12 at 22:48
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marked as duplicate by Tom Wijsman, slhck, Indrek, Oliver Salzburg, Randolph West May 28 '12 at 22:47

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2 Answers

This is a good place to look for CPU specs: CPU-World

You need to find the specific CPU type looking at the CPU's manual or on the CPU itself (Before connecting the CPU fan).

For example, check this picture of CPU from Wikipedia: Top view of an Intel central processing unit Core i7 Sandy Bridge type core, model 2600K. LGA 1155 socket, 32 nm process, core frequency 3.40 GHz, By Eric Gaba. You can see this CPU's spec here: CPU-World - Intel i7 - 2600k 3.40GHZ

Just search for the model in the site.

If you want to compare performance of different CPUs, try Tom's hardware, they are the best at comparisons and reviews.

EDIT: I thought you wanted to know where to see and compare the specifications of different CPUs, If you want to learn details about what each specification means, you can check this out:

Hardware-Revolution - 12 CPU Specifications Explained in Plain English

You are welcome to ask for more details if you want.

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If it's an Intel chip you can use their Product information website. It also contains descriptions of the various model features, such as virtualization technology, AES instruction, etc.

(Too many variants, if you ask me)

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