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How to Choose the Best Processor When Buying a Laptop

by Roveen

Laptops were supposed to be phased out by phones, according to some predictions, but the portable ‘flip computers’ have persisted and seem not to be going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, they remain the go-to workhorses for heavy tasks.

That said, choosing which laptop to buy can be a daunting task, especially with regard to processors. Do you go for AMD Ryzen or Intel? Do you go for Core i3, i5, or i7 or Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7, or Ryzen 9? Below we look at what to consider.

Daily usage

Let’s go with the first reason. What will you be using your laptop for? If you are looking for a simple daily browsing laptop, then one with core i3 or Ryzen 3 will serve you well and get work done. However, if you want a workhorse capable of being fast on the task while also packing a punch for strenuous activities like high-res video editing, then one with a core i5 or Ryzen 5 is the best bet. And also consider the newest generations of chips. For example, a core i5-12600k means the core i5 is the 12th generation, meaning it will be a better processor than, let’s say, core i5-8500, which is the 8th generation. Same goes for Ryzen. A Ryzen 5-5600X is a newer and better processor (considered 4th generation since AMD skipped the 4000 series for CPU) than a Ryzen 5-3600, which is the third generation.

Battery usability

The other thing to consider is battery life. Newer laptops will have the better processors and better chips and screens, but that sometimes comes at the expense of a reliable battery life.

If battery is your main concern, then choosing a laptop with lower specs or older generation chips is the way to go. However, know that you will be sacrificing some edge in performance for reliable battery life.


If you are a massive gamer who cares a lot about performance, then you will need to look further up the processor chips and also further up in prices – Core i7 or Ryzen 7 chips and above. However, the Core i5 and Ryzen i5 are still totally capable of proper gaming, but if you are extremely casual in gaming, a Core i3 or Ryzen 3 could still work.

Choosing the laptop based on processors is not a one size fits all process, and you will select one based on the above factors and many more. So, always buy a laptop knowing that you will need to make some compromises in other areas if you want it for a given purpose.

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