Information Systems & Computing (ISC) has developed this page to help Local Support Providers (LSPs) understand the many processor choices currently available. This guide does not cover enthusiast, workstation, or server processors.
ISC currently tracks six different lines of processors. In most cases, processor speed is no longer considered important, but the class of processor (such Core i5, Core i7, etc.) and the size of the cache is.
Specifications will be reviewed and updated as appropriate.
ISC suggests Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors for Performance PCs while suggesting Intel Core i5 processors for Value PCs. Notebook suggestions range from Intel Core Ms and Core i5s on the low-end to Intel Core i5s and Core i7s on the mid and high-end—almost all notebook users will be well served by the Core i5.
Atom: Intel's low-end and low-power dual core processor, available on tablets. Actual processor speed is important with this processor.
Core M: Intel's lowest-powered processor that is part of the Core family, available on low-powered tablets and notebooks. Actual processor speed is important with this processor.
Core i3: Intel's low-end to mid-range dual core processors, available on some notebooks and desktops. Current versions of the i3 have Intel HD graphics on-chip.
Core i5: Intel's mid-range to high-end dual and quad core processors, available on notebooks and desktops. Currently the center of the market. Current versions of the i5 have Intel HD graphics on-chip, with options ranging up to Iris/Iris Pro.
Core i7: Intel's highest-end quad core processors, available on notebooks and desktops. Current versions of the i7 have Intel HD graphics on-chip, with options ranging up to Iris/Iris Pro.
A6/A8/A10: AMD's all-purpose (APU) processor, available on notebook, ultra-small desktop, and low-end desktop designs. Actual processor speed is still important with this processor. The A-series processers have integrated AMD Radeon graphics on-chip.