There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing the right laptop. These include design, screen, memory, storage, build quality and so on. But we believe the processor could be the most important part of any PC. It will determine how much computing power your device can handle, as well as run every process that goes through it. There’s a reason why they call it your computer’s brain.
Let’s keep that in mind while we go through a short list of the best laptop processors. Of course, we couldn’t simply pick a single best one. That’s because determining which one you should pick will highly depend on your needs and budget. Instead, we will highlight the best ones and tell you their pros and cons over the competition. Shall we get started?
Intel Core i5 and i7
While the Intel Core i3 processor is a good performer, we believe the difference in price is worth upgrading to the i5. The mid-end Intel Core chip is known to offer great performance at a reasonable price. Depending on the set-up, it should be able to handle intensive processes, like video/photo editing, without too many hiccups.
These processors are at the top of the CPU food chain. They are known for their power and are the most common in performing computers, but that comes with its downsides. For starters, they are not the cheapest processors, so expect to pay a bit (or a bunch) more for them. In addition, they are known for taking more resources, which translates to less battery life, more over-heating and so forth.
Regardless, these are things Intel continues to work on. Their latest 6th generation chipsets (Skylake) improve upon power consumption, as well as CPU and GPU performance.
Intel Core M series
Intel Core M processors may not offer all the power demanding users need, but it does pretty well and can even handle some editing (with hiccups). They are above the Celeron line, after all. But there is a huge benefit stapled to Intel Core M processors like the M3, M5 and M7. These run on very low power and don’t tend to overheat.
Because of their lower energy consumption, manufacturers can offer vastly improved battery life or thinner bodies. Furthermore, one major reasons why laptops tend to get thicker is the addition of a fan, something Core M laptops can get rid of thanks to their lack of heat issues.
You will usually find these CPUs in ultra thin laptops, tablets and Ultrabooks. If what you are looking for is a very portable computer, this is likely your best choice.
Are you on a very tight budget? The Intel Atom can do great for casual tasks and is usually found on much cheaper laptops. But because of the lack of power users also get improved battery life, especially over contenders like the Celeron and Pentium SoCs.
AMD A8 and A10
Intel pretty much owns the laptop market, covering every price point with almost no competition, but AMD chips do come in some laptops. AMD processors’ main advantage is that it offers more value and promises similar performance to that of the Intel Core i series.
Most tests will prove that they are not quite up to par with Intel in terms of performance, not to mention the fact that they tend to run hotter. AMD is known to have better integrated graphics when compared to its Intel counterparts, though.
The real value AMD processors have is the price, as these CPUs are cheaper and offer decent performance.
As we said before, no processor is better than the other, they are just superior in different ways. If what you want is the absolute best performance in terms of raw power, you have to go with an Intel Core i7 processor (preferably Skylake). I suppose that would be the simplest answer. But then again, not everyone needs that! Maybe you want the mobility of Core M processors, or the energy savings of the Atom.
Which processor do you think is the best laptop processors and why? Hit the comments to let us know!