This is the first in our nine part series of how to choose the perfect computing device! We will show you the different key aspects to look out for when choosing your next computing device so that you will get the most out it.

With our everchanging notebook (and tablet) landscape which keeps improving drastically every year, how do you choose something that can remain current and do all the things you want to do on it well? Well, we are here to help!

Part 1) Choosing the Brain (Or Processor/CPU) of your computer 

The first thing you should take note off in choosing a computing device is the Processor. A processor, or CPU in short, is the brain of your computer. You need to choose a “brain” that is fast enough to cope with the tasks that you will ask your computer to do for you, be it video editing, watching youtube videos or working on powerpoints.

There are many types of processors you will find in a notebook, ranging from AMD processors to Intel Atoms (found in low end tablets and netbooks) and i3, i5 and i7 processors (used in better notebooks and tablets). Sure, all these can do the job, but can they remain current with the times for the next three years? Sadly, not all of them do. Most processors from AMD and Intel Atom series are good enough for a year or two, but after that, as applications become more complex, you would find them too slow to use.

I recommend getting an i5 or i7 processor, as you would want to ensure your computer is fast and reliable and would not need to be changed frequently. I will elaborate how to choose an i-series processor from intel here.

What is the difference between the different i3, i5 and i7 series?

The difference is in the features that the different I series processor contain.

-Core i3: It is basically just a Dual Core CPU.  It is slowest in the i series of intel and found in cheap laptops ($899 and below) so I don’t recommend it as it may not be able to keep up with future use

-Core i5: This is also Dual Core (or quad core, depending on CPU) with Slightly higher clock speeds than core i3. It also has Turbo Boost. This means the processor can make itself run faster when your computer is cool and you are doing demanding tasks like video processing or gaming

Core i7: This is a series I would recommend.This series has slightly Higher clockspeed than the Core i5, plus Hyper Threading (which simulates extra cores to make your computer process stuff even faster.

Additionally, There are a few types of Core i5/i7Processors:

Standard Dual Core CPU (Models ending with M) -These are lower end of the Core i7 spectrum, which do the job, but create more heat. These notebooks tend to be heavier and have a little less battery life.

Ultrabook/Tablet Dual Core CPU (Models ending with U, like 4500u) -These processors may be slightly slower than the Core i7 M series, but generally you may not feel the difference. it creates less heat, resulting in better battery life. These are usually used in ultrabooks and tablets .

Quad Core CPU (models ending with HQ and MQ, like 4700HQ or 4700MQ) types available in the market. Generally, I would recommend these if you are getting a notebook as it is fastest and can be often found in laptops around $1199 and above. Turbo Boost is also available.

Note: Core i7 MQ Models have better integrated graphics than Core i7 HQ Models. This is really something to look out for if your notebook/tablet only contains an integrated graphics card

The model numbers can be confusing though.

There are many generations of this CPU though:

first generation, second generation, and third generation which were phased out many years back, has 3 digits (e.g. 640m) or 4 digits after the I value, with a 2 in the first digit (E.g. i5-2630m, or i5-3630m). This models are very battery inefficient. Also. THESE are VERY OLD and slow. DON’T GET CONNED INTO BUYING THIS. 

-The Fourth generation, also has four digits, but its first digit is 4 (e.g. 4700mq).  It has better graphics processing, and good battery efficiency compared to other generations. Try to get this type of processor as much as possible

A higher clock speed for the i-series processor is good as it means that the processor can do more tasks at one go. For example, a 3.0 Ghz processor would be faster than a 2.20 GHz Processor of the same generation.


In short, I recommend a forth generation core i7 series model as they can keep up with times with their huge processing power.