If you’ve decided to mount a PC or update your devices while an Intel processor is waiting, don’t hurry. Before you start, it’s important to consider a few Basic considerations to avoid mistakes Because of their relevance, you can spend a lot of money unnecessarily, which can become a problem in the medium or long term.
I know you may have rotated it a lot and you probably have a great setup in your head, but stop and for a moment there is a final round to confirm that you made none of the five mistakes that we’ll check next. It only takes a few minutes and can save you more than one major glitch.
On the other hand, we also want to help you with this guide overcome some of the main myths that still exist and that they continue to do great harm to less experienced users because they’re most likely to be carried away by them.
In case you plan to build a computer with an AMD Ryzen 3000 processor I invite you to read this guide We released a few weeks ago, where you will also find five important mistakes that you should avoid. As always, if you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments and we will be happy to help you solve them. We start without further ado.
1. Intel processor and cooling system
Many of the processors marketed by Intel do not include a cooling system, and the model that comes standard with some chips offers limited power dissipationThis means that it won’t be able to maintain really good working temperatures when used with mid to high-end processors, let alone high-end processors.
However, this does not mean that the dissipation system is provided by Intel not good for nothingactually happens But on the contrary, It is true, however, that we need to be aware of its limits and the reality of the workload we face every day. If we only play games and use applications that never put 100% load on the processor, the dissipation system has to dissipate less heat and vice versa.
Don’t be obsessed with buying a better drainage system than the one that the chip giant has built into some of its processors since then in most cases it corresponds without problems. For example, the Core i5 10400F reaches a maximum temperature of 77 degrees in a total voltage situation with the series fan. This means that it can easily be positioned below 70 degrees in normal environments where the workload is not so high.
As you can see, it’s not bad, especially considering it’s a 6 cores and 12 threads. However, if we plan to install a more powerful Intel processor, we should consider buying a higher quality air heatsink 120mm AIO liquid cooling.
It is obvious that we have to be very careful when choosing the cooling system if we want to mount and overclock an Intel K series processor. For reference, I can confirm that the Core i5 10600K and the Core i7 10700K work perfectly with a system of 240mm AIO liquid cooling of quality, but to “tame” the Core i9 10900K with overclocking and maintain acceptable temperatures, we need a kit from 360mm AIO liquid cooling, since we are in the range of 85 to 90 degrees with a 240 mm kit under high workload.
In summary, In many cases it is not absolutely necessary to change the inventory sinkIn fact, we can keep it perfect until we reach the level of a Core i5 10400F, but if you want to mount a more powerful Intel processor, don’t skimp on the cooling system.
2.-The speed of the RAM memory is important
Each Intel processor is less dependent on the RAM speed than comparable Ryzen processors. This has a logical explanation that we will tell you about in this article, and that means that the former use a monolithic core in which all the cores lie the same silicone tabletThe latter are based on a multi-chip modular architecture into which the cores are divided two interconnected silicon pads using an infinity fabric system.
However, this does not mean that the performance of an Intel processor does not depend on the working frequency of the working memory. Let’s take the Core i5 10400F as an example, a chip that I have been able to test for some time and that has a good taste in the mouth due to its good price-performance ratio. This chip is limited to memory 2.666 MHz DDR4 unless we mount it on a Z490 motherboard.
If this chip is used with a memory of 2,666 MHz, its performance in some games will be lower than that achieved when configured with DDR4 memory at 3,200 MHz. In many cases, however, it can outperform a Ryzen 5 3600 with DDR4 memory at 3,200 MHz. says something very important and that’s it the fact that it outweighs Ryzen even when using slower memory is a clear indication of this less dependency the speed of RAM to which we have referred. If we use both processors with 2,666 MHz DDR4 memory, the Core i5 10400F clearly has priority.
We have to make it clear from all of this that the speed of RAM is important, even if we want to mount an Intel processor, and that too We have to look for optimal values in terms of value for money. It doesn’t make sense to mount a Core i5 10600K with DDR4 RAM at 4,333 MHz because the performance improvement is negligible compared to a configuration at 3,200 MHz, and we shouldn’t mount a Core i5 10400F with DDR4 memory at 2,133 MHz because we lose performance change of almost zero savings.
That said, and for you to have a reference, we can say that an Intel K-series processor mounted on a Z490 motherboard must be accompanied by memory 3,200 MHz DDR4 RAM, that is the optimal level in terms of price-performance ratio. We should never get out on lower platforms 2.666 MHz.
3.-Obsess with the «K» series
I know the idea of getting a processor up to 5 GHz is attractive, but it’s really not a must. The performance that processors offer today is as affordable as the Core i5 10400F is more than enough for every user, even if you want to play challenging titles. Thanks to its high IPC, its 6 cores and 12 threads and its turbo mode of up to 4 GHz with all active cores, you can easily move everything.
The processors of the «K» series show a significant price increase. In fact, we just have to see what the Core i5 10600KF costs and what the Core i5 10400F is worth. The first costs around 270 euros, the second around 172 euros. Both have 6 cores and 12 threads and have the same IPC, but the first one works more often and supports overclocking, which means that With luck, we can get it to 4.9 GHz or 5 GHz.
The price difference is 100 eurosand we have to add to this number the cost of the cooling system, since the first is delivered without a heat sink as standard. If we work with a liquid cooling AIO of 240 mm, the thing is already triggered, there is no doubt about it. So is it worth buying the Core i5 10600KF? For a user who wants the best possible performance and has a budget, this may be a good option, but for most users The Core i5 10400F is a much more balanced alternative and interesting.
Don’t forget that Intel has built a fairly balanced turbo mode into its processors, and thanks to that, dynamically adjust the working frequencies to get the best possible performance. If you buy an Intel Core i5 10400F, this won’t work at 2.9 GHz, which is the fundamental frequency, however is set between 4.3 GHz and 4 GHz depending on the workload that you can bring forward.
For example, with what you save for this price difference, you could buy a more powerful graphics card or an SSD with higher capacity, So keep that in mind.
4.-Motherboard: to the right degree
There are still many myths surrounding the motherboard. Many users believe that if we want to mount an Intel Core i9 10900K processor, we will have to buy a 400 euro motherboard, yes or yes. Nothing is further from reality, in fact this idea is real nonsense, since we could cope perfectly with a motherboard of just over 200 euros like that MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWKwho has one 12 + 2-phase VRM Well chilled, which means that even a Core i9 10900K can move up one lap.
The choice of motherboard largely depends on the Intel processor we are going to buy. However, we can set a number of general rules that serve as a starting point for correctness. If we want to buy a processor of the «K» series like a Core i5 10600K or higher, we should not spend more than 200-250 euros for the motherboard.
We don’t need a Z490 series motherboard for non-K series processors. In the case of economic models like Core i5 10400F and below is the ideal not to spend more than 75-110 euros on the motherboard. This price range leads us directly to the models equipped with B460 and H470 chipsets.
As I said in the Ryzen 3000 tutorial, it is ideal to look for motherboards that have a price tag between a third and (maximum) half when the processor cost us.
5. Intel processor and cores: a realistic look
We have already seen that we shouldn’t be obsessed with overclocking, and We shouldn’t do it with the cores eithers. The minimum recommended today when we want to play and use demanding applications is a six-core, twelve-thread processor. An Intel processor like the Core i5 10400F offers everything we need in the short and medium term, and its price is very good.
If we have a big budget, we might be tempted to access the Core i9 10900, but the truth is we won’t be using it unless we work with applications that require a high degree of parallelization. Games have just started taking advantage of six-core processors, and most general-purpose apps are great for quad-core configurations. Therefore, assembling a 10 core processor with 20 threads is a good choice for most users at home, unnecessary.
I know what you think, shouldn’t I go beyond the six cores and twelve threads? If you have a very tight budget, you shouldn’t exceed this range. If your budget is higher and you want to provide a more powerful Intel processor with long-term views, the best option today is that Core i7 10700, This has 8 cores and 16 threads and costs around 351 euros. Its turbo mode is quite generous because it reaches 4.8 GHz with an active core.
To sum up, it is not worthwhile today to install a processor with more than 8 cores and 16 threads. Note that with the introduction of PS5 and Xbox Series X, it is likely that these types of processors will start to have a higher level of performance in games, but that won’t happen overnight.
If you want to play, forget the chips of 10 or more cores and invest what you save on a more powerful graphics card.