What Is a Good Ghz? How to Choose the Best CPU in 2020

What Is a Good Ghz? Choosing the Best CPU in 2020

It’s widely known that the single most expensive component is the graphics card, and many gamers and streamers spend copious amounts of time researching the best graphics load-outs. Less significantly well researched and relatively unknown is the what and how behind CPU terms.

The CPU is a component that breaks the usual “bigger is better” trend that shopper brains like. Instead, you have to compare generations with architecture and in the matter of what is a good GHz, the downside of heat accrual.

Every year new chips hit the market with tweaks in the sizes, speeds, and reliability. Most of this means only gradients to the public but takes some serious engineering on the back end.

If you want to make an informed choice when it comes to your next CPU, keep reading.

Understanding CPU Terms

To get a proper grasp of what’s going on with a system, it’s good to start with the key terms.

Socket Type

Have you ever purchased a CPU motherboard combo deal out of fear of getting mismatched components? No? You only did it for the savings?

Not every CPU fits in the same motherboard. The socket type tells you what generation of processor is will fit. Typically this is constrained by the dimensions of the chip and the arrangement of pins.

The two most common socket types currently are the Intel LGA 1151 and the AMD AM4.

Your motherboard choice also determines your RAM choices.

Generation

Much like the generations of cell phone technology, the terminology isn’t strictly relevant to major updates or changes. For the most part, generation refers to changes in underlying architecture, how the chip is laid out and configurations of memory modules and instructions.

Higher generations don’t always boost performance but provide a larger overhead for other components to use.

For Intel users, your basement is the 7th gen and your newer purchases should aim for 9th gen. For AMD Ryzen users, look for 2nd or 3rd generation, though announcements on the 4th generation are expected before 2020.

3, 5, 7?

Also, the number 9 is showing up more in these lists, but you get the idea. Both Intel and AMD use these numbers to indicate families of processors.

The 3 line offers basic performance for workstations. The 5 sees a lot of mixed and gaming use. The 7s end up in high-end machines and the 9s aren’t worth it unless you happen to be doing your own rendering or asset creation.

Depending on the generation, power consumption, and speed not every 3 is worse than every 5 and so on.

Cores and Threads

The more cores a CPU offers, the more it can do. The doing is performed by threads which always come in pairs with the cores.

More cores and more threads generally mean more tasks can be handled simultaneously, but an Intel 1151 CPU with 4.1 GHz speed and 4 cores will do a small set of tasks faster than a 2.3 GHz 6 core processor.

Base Clock

Which takes us to the basic clock and the speeds it runs at (before all that spiffy overclocking). The base clock represents the idle speed in billions of pulses per second (GHz).

The higher the base clock, the more power draw and the hotter the chip gets. No getting around it, it’s a basic principle of conductance.

What is a Good GHz?

There’s a direct translation between a boost in GHz and a boost in the performance of CPU-intensive processes.

The number of GHz doubling on the same number of cores would mean roughly twice the speed. There are a few other aspects that will push those numbers up and down, including the frequency of RAM but generally, the math holds.

It gets more challenging when you factor in other cores. A 2.0 GHz 6 core CPU versus a 3.0 GHz 4 core CPU isn’t a level field. Even assuming they are both running a single task, depending on the architecture and processing allocation, they may handle things differently.

That said, it’s better to go with a higher GHz as long as your cooling can handle it. The power consumption of a 2.0 GHz chip versus a 4.0 GHz chip of the same cores also doubles.

Overclocking

The ratio between the base clock and the boost clock or overclock is not the same from chip to chip. This also comes down to the architecture and how well the voltage travels through a chip.

You may find it easier to overhead a chip on one motherboard over another. While some types of overclocking are fairly basic, there’s a reason that the process voids warranties and isn’t recommended for everyone. That reason has nothing to do with making sentient machines and everything to do with frying chips. It takes a lot of tweaking to do right.

Cost Concerns

The best way to evaluate the difference in GHz to your needs is to start with a baseline chip that meets the minimum recommendations on a game or program. From there, calculate the difference in price to the next chip up in the same family.

If the GHz goes up by more than the cost, that’s going to give you the best value hardware. If you are paying 20% more for a chip that is 5% faster, you are doing yourself a disservice.

CPU by Slot

For those running an overpowered AMD TR4 motherboard, get yourself a Threadripper 2950X and enjoy having more power than you know what to do with at the third-highest base clock of any chip out there.

For anyone looking to run a serious gaming rig, the AMD AM4 slot Ryzen 7 3700x brings the right number of cores and a 3.7 GHz base clock to you.

For an Intel purist, the LGA 1151 socket Core i7 9700k gives you that 3.7 GHz base and some extra headroom for content creation.

For those looking to do content creation and rendering of their own graphics and assets, the LGA 2066 socket Core 19-7900x gives you a solid 3.3 GHz base for the 10 core chip.

Build Right

Nowhere else in a build or a streaming setup do you have to make as many tight choices as with the CPU. While you can watch a dozen benchmark videos and read a lot of reviews, the real answer lies in what you use it for and what annoys you about computers.

When it comes to what is a good GHz if you hate noise and don’t mind slow processing the answer is a 2.8 GHz base. If you love speed and wear a headset anyway, shoot for that 4.6 GHz and higher sweet spot.

Once you know the speed of the processor you want, it’s time to decide between AMD & Intel.


AMD vs. Nvidia — Which Is the Better Graphics Card Option?

AMD vs. Nvidia — Which Is the Better Graphics Card Option?

Looking to buy your first graphics card?

Graphics cards are among the most vital parts of PC building. Building a gaming PC without one will only result in a giant paper weight that can’t even run minecraft.

When deciding which graphics card to buy, you will find yourself confronted with 2 choices. You can either go with AMD or with Nvidia.

Choosing between AMD vs. Nvidia is a choice that most people have trouble with. This is because they don’t understand what a graphics card does. This can happen to you, too, if you know nothing about these two brands.

Read below to learn which graphics card is the best option for you. We’ll compare each of them in the factors that matter the most.

1. Hardware

Nvidia comes on top because of the quality of their hardware.

Their cards don’t overheat as much as AMD’s do. They also consume less power, leading to a more efficient graphics card.

They also have a slimmer design compared to AMD graphics cards. This isn’t much of a factor, but the design choice may matter when installing the card into your PC.

Nvidia has the technological edge over AMD in every factor.

You shouldn’t disregard AMD graphics cards yet, though. They have a better memory bandwidth on their low-cost cards compared to the ones Nvidia sells at the same value. While they still overheat and consume more power than Nvidia cards, know that the gap between the two companies is getting smaller every year.

AMD got a big leap in their sales when they introduced the 7-nanometer workstation graphics card, the first-ever of its kind.

2. Software

Despite the large gap they have with their hardware, both brands are at a tie with their software.

Both brands do their due diligence in giving people their money’s worth. They both have proper drivers and user interfaces that fit the bill at which they’re sold.

Nvidia has a slight lead in their drivers, though. They have better consistency and are more stable overall. This will help keep your hardware updated and your PC visuals optimized.

AMD isn’t that far behind, though. Nvidia only has a slight lead because of their reputation.

Other than that, though, Nvidia has nothing else going on for their software.

This is clear in their user interfaces. Nvidia’s interface looks outdated compared to the clean, modern interface that AMD has. This makes the AMD control panel easier to understand for people who aren’t familiar with it.

Nvidia’s interface looks complicated. This is because of all the drop-down tabs it has that makes navigation difficult. You won’t know what you’re doing unless you have experience handling their software.

3. Performance and Prices

Choosing between AMD vs. Nvidia comes down to the graphics cards’ performance.

The performances of the brands are both affected by the price of the graphics card. This sets a clear divide that tells us which brand is better at what price.

For products at the low end of the spectrum, you can find AMD cards to be better. As mentioned above, their products are seeing a great increase in efficiency and reliability. You’ll be able to see this improvement in their cheaper products.

Nvidia also has products that perform like AMD’s graphics cards. Though they cost much more than the latter does. It’s often AMD that makes you feel you’ve spent your money in the best way possible for cheaper graphics cards.

This makes AMD a more viable option when you’re planning to have a multiple display setup. Monitors need little to be appealing to your eyes. They only need a good enough graphics card to display sharper images and colors.

With mid-range graphics cards, though, Nvidia will favor you more than AMD.

Nvidia has a better understanding of high-end processors and GPUs. AMD may cost less and offer the same specs, but their graphics cards will heat and burn out faster.

It makes Nvidia the only option when you’re running a high-end setup for your PC. They’ll cost you more, but you can expect their products to keep up with how you use them.

4. Features

Both brands have unique features for their graphics cards.

They also have the same features but with different names for each brand. Take the Nvidia CUDA cores and AMD stream processors as an example.

Both are GPUs that perform the same function. They have no notable differences in performance when they’re running their basic functions. Nvidia has better software optimization, though, with the Nvidia PhysX and Nvidia HairWorks available at the user’s discretion.

Both brands also have recording features. They function the same way but with small differences. Nvidia’s Shadowplay offers better video quality.

AMD’s ReLive is better for streaming, though. It faces fewer crashes when you’re streaming and it doesn’t interfere with as many applications. Consider getting a capture card if you want to use these features.

They also have their replacements for vertical synchronization. This is the feature that prevents screen tearing when you’re running applications in full screen. Both features that each company offer have a lot of positives including having no input-lag and increased screen refresh rates.

A notable advantage that Nvidia has is its upcoming 5G integration.

This will put Nvidia back on top if they will release it soon. This will mean that Nvidia’s support will have better connectivity with their customers should they have any problem with the software.

Choose Between AMD vs. Nvidia Today

Picking between AMD vs. Nvidia is a difficult choice if you don’t know what you’re getting.

Choose the right graphics card for your setup with the help of our guide! Make the right choice and optimize your PC today!

After you’ve chosen your graphics card, you’ll be faced with another key decision: an AMD or Intel processor.


JaredFPS

JaredFPS's Custom PC Build


Bio:

Real Name: Jared (Last unknown)

Most Streamed Game: Fortnite

Mixer | Twitter

JaredFPS is a Mixer streamer most known for playing Fortnite. However, he tends to branch out and play FPS games like Call of Duty far more frequently than your average Fornite streamer.


JaredFPS’s PC Specs:

Processor: Intel i9 9900K

Graphics card: Founder’s Edition RTX 2080Ti

Motherboard: Unknown

Ram: G.SKILL TridentZ 3600 MHz 32Gb (4 x 8gb)

Case: NZXT H710i

Power Supply: Unknown

CPU Cooler: Unknown

Hard Drives: Unknown

 

Peripherals:

KeyboardLogitech G915

Mouse: FinalMouse Capetown, Logitech G Pro

Monitors: Acer Predator 27in 240Hz, Acer Predator 24.5in 240 Hz, Samsung 4k 28in 60hz, Dell 24in 60hz

Microphone: Unknown

Webcam: Logitech Brio

Headset: Astro Gaming A50


Ship

Ship's PC Specs and Streaming Setup


Bio:

Real Name: Steve

Most Streamed Game: Fortnite

Mixer | Twitter

Ship is a 21 year old streamer from Buffalo, NY known for his solo games on Fortnite. He only started streaming in 2018, but is already the fourth most subscribed streamer on Mixer.

His current Fortnite acolades include:

  • #1 total wins on all platforms
  • #1 for solos on all platforms
  • #1 solo kills on all platforms
  • #2 in overall wins and kills on all platforms


Ship’s PC Specs

Ship’s gaming PC is a pre-built by CyberPowerPC, so many of the specifics are unknown. 

Processor: Unknown

Graphics card: Unknown

Motherboard: Unknown

Ram: Unknown

Case: Gigabyte G1 Gaming CyberPowerPC Exclusive Case

Power Supply: Unknown

CPU Cooler: Unknown

Hard Drives: Unknown

 

Peripherals:

Keyboard: Razer Blackwidow Chroma

Mouse: Logitech M185 Wireless Mouse

Main Monitor: ASUS VG248QE 24″

Microphone: Audio-Technica AT2020

Webcam: Logitech Brio

Headset: Astro Gaming A40


TheGregfg

TheGrefg's Custom PC Build


Bio:

Real Name: David Cánovas Martínez

Team: Team Heretics

Most Streamed Game: Fortnite

Mixer | Twitter

TheGregfg is a Spanish Mixer streamer, famous for playing Fortnite. He holds the title of the most subscribed Spanish-speaking streamer across Twitch or Mixer worldwide.

As of Novemeber 2019, TheGregfg streams to both Twitch and Mixer regularly which is extremely uncommon due to Twitch’s strict exclusivity rules for their partners.


Left: Gaming PC Right: Streaming PC

The Build:

Note: TheGregfg has two computers – a streaming PC and a gaming PC. Below are the specs on his gaming computer. 

Processor: Intel i9-9980XE

Graphics card: Gigabyte AORUS GeForce RTX 2080 Xtreme 8G Graphics Card

Motherboard: MSI Motherboard, specifc model unknown

Ram: G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 32GB (4x8GB) DDR4 4000MHz

Case: Coolermaster C700M

Power Supply: Corsair AX1600i 1600W

CPU Cooler: ASUS ROG Ryujin 360 RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler

Hard Drives: Samsung 970 2TB SSD NVMe M.2

 

Peripherals:

Keyboard: Ozone Strike Pro Spectra

Mouse: Ozone Argon

Mousepad: Team Heretics Custom Mouse Pad

Monitor(s): Asus ROG Line – we can’t identitfy the specific model from videos of his setup.

Microphone: Unknown

Webcam: Logitech C922x

Headset: Astro Gaming A50


Pokimane

Pokimane's Custom PC Build


Bio:

Real Name: Imane Anys

Team: Poki Squad

Most Streamed Game: Fortnite

Twitch | Twitter


Source: ASUS
Source: ASUS
Source: mans.io

The Build:

Note: Pokimane uses a pre-built PC, the G11CD by ASUS. Because it’s a pre-built, not all components are known. 

Processor: Intel Core i7-7700K

Graphics card: MSI GAMING GeForce GTX 1080 8GB

Motherboard: Unknown (our best guess is a Z170 chipset MSI board, so the MSI Pro Z170A is the likely component)

Ram: 32GB DDR4 Memory (Brand and speed unknown – common for pre-builts)

Case: Custom ASUS ROG Case

Power Supply: Unknown, likely something in the 650-750W Bronze family (like a Rosewill 700w Plus Bronze PSU)

CPU Cooler: Unknown

Hard Drives: Samsung 950 Pro 512 GB NVMe M.2 SSD + 2TB HDD (likely a Seagate 2TB HDD)

 

Peripherals:

Keyboard: HyperX Alloy Elite

Mouse: HyperX Pulsefire FPS

Monitor(s): BenQ Zowie XL2411P

Microphone: Audio-Technica AT2020

Webcam: Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam

Headset: HyperX Cloud Alpha


Imaqtpie

Imaqtpie's Custom PC Build


Bio:

Real Name: Michael Santana

Team: Unaffiliated

Most Streamed Game: League of Legends

Twitch | Twitter


Source: HP
Source: HP

The Build:

Note: Imaqtpie uses a pre-built PC, an Omen 880 by HP. HP uses a lot of proprietary components in their PC, so most of his build is HP specific. These components aren’t necessarily made directly by HP, but are made specifically for them. 

Processor: Intel Core i7-7700K

Graphics card: MSI GAMING GeForce GTX 1080 8GB x2

Motherboard: MSI Computer Extreme Gaming Intel X99 LGA 2011

Ram: 32GB DDR4 Memory (Brand and speed unknown – common for pre-builts)

Case: Custom HP Omen Case

Power Supply: 750W Platinum – HP Specific

CPU Cooler: HP Specific Liquid Cooled CPU Cooler – 120mm Back Vented Fan

Hard Drives: 512 GB SSD + 2TB HDD – HP Specific

 

Peripherals:

Keyboard: Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Stealth 2016

Mouse: Razer Deathadder Chroma

Mousepad: SteelSeries QcK+

Monitor(s): BenQ XL2430T (discontinued, updated version is the ZOWIE XL2536) and a BenQXL2411Z (also discontinued, updated version is the ZOWIE XL2411P)

Microphone: Electro Voice RE-20 Cardioid Microphone

Webcam: Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam

Headset: Sennheiser HD 598


DrLupo

DrLupo's Custom PC Build


Bio:

Real Name: Benjamin Lupo

Team: Rogue & Streamers

Most Streamed Game: Fortnite

Twitch | Twitter


The Build:

Note: DrLupo’s PC was built by NZXT via their custom PC build program called BLD

ProcessorIntel Core i7-6900K

Graphics card: ASUS ROG Strix Geforce GTX 1080 Ti

Motherboard: MSI X99A Gaming Pro Carbon ATX

Ram: 32GB G.Skill Trident Z

Case: NZXT H440 (discontinued, replaced by the H500/H500i)

Power Supply: Unknown – let us know!

CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X61

Hard Drives: Toshiba OCZ RD400

 

Peripherals:

Keyboard: CM Storm QuickFire Rapid

MouseRazer Deathadder Elite

MousepadLogitech G840 XL

Monitor(s)ASUS PG279Q

Microphone: Blue Spark Blackout SL

Webcam: Unknown – let us know!

HeadsetBlue Ella

Chair: Secretlab Titan


TSM_Daequan

TSM_Daequan's Custom PC Build


Bio:

Real Name: Daequan Loco

Team: TSM

Most Streamed Game: Fortnite

Twitch | Twitter


TSM approved pre-built

The Build:

Processor: Intel Core i7-7800K (several generations old, the most recent version is the i7-9700K)

Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE

MotherboardASUS TUF X299 Mark 2 LGA2066 Motherboard

Ram: Unknown – let us know!

Case: Thermaltake Core P3

Power Supply: Unknown – let us know!

Hard Drives: Unknown – let us know!

 

Peripherals:

Keyboard: Logitech G213

MouseLogitech G600

Monitor(s): ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q

Microphone: Blue Yeti Pro

Webcam: Logitech C920

Headset: Unknown – let us know!


dakotaz

dakotaz's Custom PC Build


Bio:

Real Name: Brett Hoffman

Team: TSM

Most Streamed Game: Fortnite

Twitch | Twitter


The Build:

Processor: Intel Core i7-4770K – this is a pretty old processor, but is still compatible with more updated components. For Fortnite, it’s adequate. The most updated version is the i7-9700K.

Graphics card: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11GB

Motherboard: Unknown – let us know!

Ram: 16GB DDR4 (Generic, our best guess is the G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16gb x2)

Case: Unknown – let us know!

Power Supply: Unknown – based on his graphics card, our best guess would be at least 600W, most like 700W. We believe he uses a pre-built, so unlikely modular (but possible)

CPU Cooler: Unknown – let us know.

Hard Drives: 250 GB SSD (Generic, our best guess is the Samsung 860 EVO for his OS, and a 1TB+ Seagate BarraCuda HDD to hold his games).

 

Peripherals:

Keyboard: Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum

Mouse: Logitech G502 Proteus Core

Monitor(s)ASUS VG248QE 24″ 1920X1080 144HZ 1ms Gaming Monitor

Microphone: Blue Yeti Pro

Webcam: Logitech C920

Headset: Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum