How Many Types of Laptop Processors Are There?
Want to make sure you purchase the best processor type for laptop efficiency?
Choosing the right processor for your laptop is hard, especially when you’re trying to decide between an Intel or AMD processor.
The process of choosing a new laptop can be overwhelming and confusing. There are so many different options and features that it’s difficult to find one that meets all your needs without breaking the bank.
But don’t worry! You don’t have to worry about making the wrong choice because we’ve got everything you need right here in this guide!
We’ll walk you through what each type of laptop processor offer, their pros and cons, and how they stack up against other processors on the market today.
By reading this laptop processor types explained guide, there will be no more confusion when it comes to finding a good laptop. Let’s dive in:
1. Core i3
This processor is for elementary computers, laptops, and netbooks. It has more cache than the i5 but less than an i7, so it ends up being in between them when it comes to speed. To put that into perspective: The i3 tops out at 2.9 GHz while the i5 can reach 3.4 GHz and the i7 can go all the way up to 3.6 GHz if maximum overclock settings are used.
As a result of this, in terms of gaming power, the i3 is in between an Intel HD Graphics 5500 and an Intel HD Graphics 4600—it’s noticeably worse than both in performance. However, it should be noted that the Core i3 is often paired with lower-end graphics cards in budget laptops, so you’ll get less of an unplayable-ness than you would otherwise.
2. AMD A6
The AMD A6 is the exact opposite of the Intel Core i3 when it comes to gaming power its performance falls somewhere between an AMD Radeon HD 8400 and an AMD Radeon HD 8330, both of which are for budget laptops rather than high-end gaming machines.
However, it’s again worth it that many budget laptops pair the AMD A6 with worse overall specs than would be normal, so overall gaming performance can be better than expected.
3. AMD A8
The AMD A8 is an upgraded version of the AMD A6—why upgrade it? Because its graphics card reaches the Radeon HD 8550 level, which is on par with Intel’s integrated graphics alone.
The CPU works best on systems with a dedicated graphics card, and it’s still suitable for more casual gaming. Because of this, its place is between the Radeon HD 8550 and the AMD A10—with more overall power than both of them. However, that can vary greatly depending on what you’re playing.
4. AMD A10
When it comes to gaming, the AMD A10 shines—it’s more powerful than an Intel HD Graphics 4600 and is on par with many dedicated gaming cards. That’s exactly what you get when you pair the AMD A10 with a good graphics card: Full 1080p gaming at 30 fps or higher on the highest graphic settings.
However, unlike the AMD A8, it doesn’t have a particularly impressive graphics card built-in—mild gaming or online streaming is all you can do with it. The processor itself isn’t quite as good as an Intel Core i3 either, so gamers shouldn’t buy this laptop if they care about performance with more modern games.
5. AMD A12
The AMD A12 is the natural upgrade to the AMD A10—that means it’s got a graphics card that’s slightly better than an Intel HD Graphics 4600 and a processor (on its own) that’s about as good as an Intel Core i3-5010U, which is an integrated graphics powerhouse.
However, the downside is that it doesn’t work as well as a gaming laptop processor as the AMD A10 (or even the Intel i3) does. It’s on par with them in some games and benchmarks, but there are also games where it falls behind—don’t expect to play new titles like Battlefield 4 or Metro: Last Light on this.
6. Intel Core i5
The Intel Core i5, in terms of gaming power, is very similar to the AMD A10—on par with most dedicated graphics cards and capable of 1080p 30 fps gaming at high settings with most games out today.
Where it falls behind is in processing power. The Intel Core i5 has less cache memory and a lower frequency than the AMD A10, which results in slightly worse overall performance.
Still, it’s a very good processor to have for gamers. If you’re looking for raw CPU power rather than pure gaming, then an Intel Core i5 is a great choice—it’s certainly better than the AMD FX-7500.
7. Intel Core i7
The Intel Core i7 is the most powerful gaming laptop processor available right now (that’s paired with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M or higher). Its graphics card alone puts it ahead of anything else, which means it can handle pretty much any game you throw at it.
However, the downside is that because of the high graphics requirement (not to mention a high price) you wouldn’t want to pair it with anything less than a mid-range graphics card—the GPU would bottleneck performance. If you want pure CPU power and plan on not playing games, then an Intel Core i7 is the best choice.
8. Intel Core i7 Extreme
Intel’s new “extreme” range of processors is targeted at the gamer who wants nothing but the best—and they deliver.
The most powerful of these, in terms of gaming, is the Intel Core i7 Extreme 975—this is a crazy high-end processor that will play any game you throw at it, no matter how high the settings are.
However, the downside is that not only does it have a very high price tag—it’s also paired with Intel’s ultra-expensive X79 chipset, which no manufacturer has released yet. This means there are no laptops to pair this processor with—not even upgradable ones.
If you want the very best bang for your buck, we recommend the Intel Evo laptop.
9. Intel Core i7 Non-Extreme
The next in line is the Intel Core i7 that’s not “extreme”. It provides a decent upgrade over the i5, but it offers little additional performance for the price—it can handle most games, but you’ll need to turn down some settings such as shadows.
It’s the same story on its own—it falls behind dedicated chips, so it needs to be paired with higher-end graphics cards just to keep up. An Intel Core i7 is a great choice for gamers who value CPU power but aren’t looking to spend ridiculous amounts of money.
10. AMD FX
The AMD FX is about as powerful as anything not labeled “extreme” in terms of gaming. It’s a great all-around processor that is capable of displaying most games at 1080p with high/very high settings and is capable of playing most new games on medium to high, depending on the title.
It can be paired with a wide variety of graphics cards to provide an upgrade path—which is very important if you are looking for a laptop that will serve you well into the future.
The AMD FX’s only downside is its price—it’s not the most expensive processor, but it isn’t cheap either. However, given its power, ability to scale up and down, and OS support, the AMD FX is a very good choice for a gamer looking for a laptop.
11. Intel Core M
In terms of gaming power, the Intel Core M is pretty much on par with an Intel i7 non-extreme they’re almost identical in benchmarks and performance.
The big difference is that the Core M uses less power than the Core i7 non-extreme— it runs cooler, doesn’t require as much cooling, and is more efficient overall.
Want to Learn More About the Different Types of Laptop Processors?
When it comes to laptops, there are many different types of laptop processors. The best laptop processor types for gaming is either the Intel Core i7 or AMD FX. They both have great capabilities when paired with higher-end graphics cards – and are upgradable if you decided to go for a more powerful laptop in the future.
The “best” type of laptop processor really depends heavily on what you are looking to use the laptop for. If it’s just something that you want to go online with and send emails/videos, there are processors available that are more than adequate for those needs.
Whether you need a power-efficient laptop for occasional use or something with more processing power for graphics-intensive applications like gaming or video editing, there are many different types of processors in laptop for your needs! Check out our blog to learn about all the different varieties and find one that is right for you.