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CPU - Intel Desktop

Not sure which processor is right for you? Read our Intel CPU Buying Guide

The CPU is the brain of the PC and Intel processors continue to rule the roost. Retail CPUs are installed in the motherboard inside a desktop PC. There are many grades of Intel desktop CPU from entry-level models to high-end models, including some that can be overclocked for additional performance. Those looking for a performance PC ought to make a beeline for Intel Core i5, Core i7 and Core i9 processors, with the latter offering staggering performance that makes a mockery of benchmarks and multi-threaded applications. Make sure you select a compatible motherboard for your chosen CPU.

Intel Core i9 Socket 2066 Skylake-X Processors

These new high-end Core X CPUs are based on the Skylake X architecture and are designed to fit into the new Socket 2066 and so require an Intel X299 motherboard. These CPUs support up to 18 cores plus HyperThreading and so are ideal for heavy multitasking and content creation applications. As the LGA2066 socket has the same external dimensions as LGA2011-3 you can use any of these coolers with a LGA2066 CPU.

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Intel Core i9 Socket 1151 Coffee Lake Processors

Intel 9th generation Core i9 Coffee Lake processors have 8 physical cores plus Hyper Threading technology, allowing them to work on up to 16 threads simultaneously. Despite the Core i9 branding, these CPUs are compatible with mainstream Z390 & select Z370 motherboards, and therefore don't require one of the much more expensive enthusiast-grade motherboards such as X299 models.

Important - Please Note: A number of Intel Z370 motherboards will support these processors out-of-the-box, or with a BIOS update. Please check the list of supported CPUs for your motherboard before purchasing one of these processors to ensure it is compatible.

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