Top 5 Best Core i7 Processors - PC CPU Motherboard 2013
When you are building your own computer you need to stick to a budget, but where is it good to cut corners and where is good to spend your hard earned money? Where you spend your money should really depend on what the purpose of your computer is.
If you are designing a computer for your business, then the weight might lean towards hard drive space and speed. If you are building a gaming computer, then your focus might be on a video card or processor.
One piece of hardware that is important for any type of computer is your CPU. This hub will cover the best processors for 2013, and which one you should pick.
Best i7 CPU
Processor Reviews For 2013 - What's Your Spending Limit?
Before I begin my analysis, it's important to take into consideration the budget you have set for your computer. If it's around $500, then I highly recommend you go with a LGA 2011 processor like the i7-3930k. If it's over $500, then the i7-3970X is the fastest available for home use.
If all you do is browse the internet or write, then, regardless of budget, go with a processor that represents around 15% of your overall budget. If you are a gamer, video editor, or do anything that requires a good processor, then I would recommend 20-30% of your overall budget go towards a good gaming cpu.
If you're looking for a processor with solid integrated graphics, then go with Intel's new i7-4770k Haswell processor. It's an amazing upgrade for those looking to do a bit of photo editing and light gaming.
CPU Motherboard Combos for the i7:
By selecting your CPU you narrow down which motherboard are compatible with your CPU. CPUs come with various socket sizes that are specific to motherboards that match them. For example if you pick a standard (not enthusiast) Ivy or Sandy Bridge i7 CPU, then you'll need an 1155 socket motherboard.
Haswell processors are not backward compatible with the 1155 motherboards and require an 1150 pin compatible motherboard.
However, any enthusiast level Sandy or Ivy (not released yet) processor will need an LGA 2011 motherboard. Older, but more recent socket sizes for the i7 include the 1366 and 1156. Here is some additional Information on motherboards.
Top Core i7 Processors 2013
Best CPU 2013:
My Choice for best Intel CPU of 2013 is the Intel Core i7 4770k (1150 socket) and the i7-3930k (2011 socket). These are the bestselling, best rated processors for performance on the market today. If hyperthreading isn't important, then consider the i5 4670k or the i3-3220 to save yourself some money. Hopefully we'll also see a price reduction in Haswell Processors by Q4 2013.
I'm also a big fan of the AMD FX-8350 for workstation computers. For AMD fans see my hub on the best AMD CPU 2013 which specifically reviews Phenom II as well as the newer FX Series Piledriver CPU released in 2012.
Intel Core i7-4770k Processor features:
- Four cores and 8 threads for better multitasking and multithreaded performance.
- Operating Frequency: 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo)
- 8 MB of L3 cache.
- Dual-channel DDR3 Memory Controller supports DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1600 memory.
- Virtualization Technology Support
- Intel HD 4600 Integrated Graphics
- Hyper-Threading Support
- LGA 1150 CPU Socket Type
- Includes Heatsink and Fan
- Unlocked Multiplier
Best Budget Gaming CPU 2013
If you are on a budget but still want most of the performance that the i7 offers, then go with the Intel Core i5-3570k processor. While it doesn't have hyper-threading it can still be overclocked for just as high of performance during games and most applications. You could also consider upgrading to the Haswell i5-4670k, but if you need to purchase a new motherboard to do so, then it's probably worth putting that money towards a GPU - especially if you're a gamer.
Intel's Haswell graphics cards provide up to 3 times the integrated graphics potential that Ivy Bridge, also another huge upgrade, had.
The latest Ivy Bridge processor for 2013.
If you don't plan on overclocking, then going with the i7-3770 should save you some cash.
As far as LGA 2011 processors go this is the one I'd choose. It gives you nearly the performance of the i7-3970X for half the price.
An overclocked Sandy Bridge i7-2600k gives you nearly identical performance when put up against the i7-3770k. If you can find it on sale, then it might be worth it to pair this with an inexpensive Sany Bridge chipset motherboard.
i7 Series Review and ComparisonClick thumbnail to view full-size
Recommended i7 Motherboard CPU Combos
A solid Z87 motherboard for those upgrading to Haswell.
If you plan on doing basic overclocking, then save some money by going with this highly rated board from ASRock.
Which i7 Processor Do You Plan On Purchasing in 2013?
Top 5 Best Core i7 Processors
2013 CPU Reviews:
In the end understanding what your needs are will allow you to pick which CPU is best for you. If you come up with a CPU that you feel I should feature, then please leave a comment below. More information on 1155, 1156, and 1366 motherboards.