Laptop buying guide (2022): How to choose the right computer (Step by step guide)

The letter at the end of the chip name (“U” in our example) is Intel’s symbol for the purpose of the chip. For laptops, the letters you’ll see at the end are Y, U, and H. The only thing you need to worry about is the Y series chip, which is optimized for battery life. That’s fine if you regularly don’t use the plug for long periods of time, but the extra battery life comes at some cost of performance. The H chips are optimized for performance, and the U chips are “power efficient” but not “extremely efficient” like the Y series.

AMD processor

AMD’s chip naming is as difficult to decipher as Intel’s.

In the AMD Ryzen 5 7600X name, “7” stands for generation (how old; higher is better) and “6” is how powerful it is. “6” would make this example a medium power chip, while 3 or 4 would be weaker (slower). The next two numbers don’t affect anything much. The “X” at the end indicates high performance. Other letter symbols include U for ultra-low power.

Is there a big difference between Intel and AMD chips? My experience, testing dozens of both per year, is that it depends. All in all, it’s impossible to tell an Intel i5 from a Ryzen 5, other than very specific benchmarks. They are similar when you are doing things like browsing the web or editing documents. The same goes for Intel i7 and Ryzen 7 and Intel i3 and Ryzen 3.

Graphics performance is the area where you will notice the difference. In my testing, in both benchmarks and real-life usage, AMD’s integrated graphics tend to outperform Intel’s in graphics-intensive tasks — think video editing or gaming. game. Intel’s most recent series of chips has significantly closed that gap, but AMD still has the edge. You can benefit from buying an AMD machine if you’re a video editor or gamer, but what you most likely want is a dedicated graphics card. (More on that in GPU section below.)

How much processing power do you need?

If you’re a regular user running a web browser, Microsoft’s Office Suite, and maybe even some photo editing software, we recommend a laptop with a next-generation Intel Core i5 processor. ninth and up. That should be displayed like “Intel Core i5-9350U.”

If you can afford it, the Intel i7 chip will make a good upgrade and will make your laptop perform faster. However, the extra power usually means shorter battery life, so you’ll need to balance that with your needs. For example, a gaming laptop will use an i7 (or i9) chip, but an i3 or i5 is generally good for less demanding tasks.

Likewise, for the casual user, the AMD Ryzen 5000 series should suffice, but the Ryzen 7000 makes a decent upgrade – again at the expense of battery life.

Are you a proficient user?

If you compile software, edit videos, or work with very large databases, you’ll want more processing power than the rest of us. I recommend Intel i7 or Ryzen 7. You’ll also want to load up on RAM, but we’ll deal with that in a minute.

Best processor for Chrome OS laptop

Lenovo Flex 5

Photo: Lenovo

Chrome OS is built on top of Google’s Chrome web browser and runs most of the software directly in the browser. That means it doesn’t need big and powerful Intel chips. That’s the theory, at least. In my experience, Chrome OS works best with at least an Intel i3 chip, or what I think is the current best value you can get with a Chromebook, an AMD Ryzen 4000 chip.

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