Once you know which operating system you want and get some idea of the software you’re running, you can figure out the minimum hardware specifications you need. The first thing we recommend to look at is the processor, also referred to as the chip or CPU.
There are basically two companies that make laptop processors: Intel and AMD.
Intel’s main processors are Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9. Core i3 is the least powerful, Core i9 is the most powerful. We usually omit “core” from the name because it is repetitive.
Within each of these chip lines, Intel uses cryptic strings of numbers and characters that give you more information about the capabilities of that chip and when it is released. It will help you learn to understand and make better buying decisions. (Here Intel’s guide to model naming.)
Intel Core i5-10510U How can a laptop manufacturer’s website have a list of processor types?
Let’s break it down. The first number (“10”) refers to the generation; In this case it is a tenth-generation chip. The I5-9510U is a ninth-generation chip or perhaps a year or older older
The next two or three numbers (“510”) relate to performance. The higher these numbers, the stronger the chip. Although this is true within the chip line. The Intel Core i5-10510U is a bit more powerful than the Intel Core i5-10210U but much more. Less Powerful than the Intel Core i7-10350U. The i7 chip is always stronger than the i5 and the difference between any two chips in the same chip line is greater.
The letter at the end of the chip’s name (“U” in our example) is Intel’s last name as the chip’s purpose. For laptops, the letters you see at the end are Y, U and H. The only thing you should worry about is the Y series chips, which are optimized for battery life. This is great if you are often away from the plug for a long time, but the battery life attached to it comes at the expense of some performance. H chips are optimized for performance, and U chips are “power efficient” but not “extremely” efficient like the Y line.
AMD’s chip naming is just as difficult to understand as Intel’s.
Named the AMD Raisin 5 3600X, the “3” generation (how old it is; the higher the better) and the “6” how powerful it is. A “6” would make this example a medium driven chip, where 3 or 4 would be weak (slow). The next two numbers will not have much effect on anything. The “X” at the end indicates high efficiency. Other letter surnames include u for ultra-low power.
Is there a big difference between Intel and AMD chips? In my experience, I test both of them every year … it depends. Generally speaking, an Intel i5 is distinguishable from a Raizen 5 outside of very specific criteria. These are the same when you do things like browsing the web or editing documents. This is the case with Intel i7 and Ryzen 7 and Intel i3 and Ryzen 3.
Graphics performance is another area that you will notice a difference. In my experiments, using both standard and practical work, AMD’s integrated graphics-intensive work tends to perform better than Intel’s video video editing or playing games. Intel’s most recent series of chips has closed that gap significantly, but AMD still has an edge. If you are a video editor or gamer you may benefit from buying an AMD machine but what you probably want is a dedicated graphics card. (Some more Below is the GPU section.)
How much processing power do you need?
If you are an ordinary user who runs a web browser, Microsoft’s Office suite and possibly a photo editing software, we recommend a laptop with an Intel Core i5 eighth generation or later processor. It will display something like “Intel Core i5-8350U”.