Best CPUs For Programming: The Ultimate Guide

by John Sanderson

If you’re a programmer, then you know that the best CPU for programming is important. The right CPU can make your job a lot easier, while the wrong CPU can slow you down and make your work more difficult. In this guide, we will discuss the best CPUs for programming and why they are so important. We will also provide some tips on how to choose the best CPU for your needs. So if you’re ready to learn about the best CPUs for programming, keep reading!

3 Best CPUs for Programming Comparison

Product
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core, 24-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
Intel Core i5-10400 Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.3 GHz  LGA1200 (Intel 400 Series Chipset) 65W, Model Number: BX8070110400
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core, 24-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
Intel Core i5-10400 Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.3 GHz  LGA1200 (Intel 400 Series Chipset) 65W, Model Number: BX8070110400
Product
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X 8-core, 16-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
Product
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core, 24-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X 12-core, 24-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor
Product
Intel Core i5-10400 Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.3 GHz  LGA1200 (Intel 400 Series Chipset) 65W, Model Number: BX8070110400
Intel Core i5-10400 Desktop Processor 6 Cores up to 4.3 GHz  LGA1200 (Intel 400 Series Chipset) 65W, Model Number: BX8070110400

8 Best CPUs for Programming Available In The Market

1

Features:

  •  8 cores and 16 threads for high-end gaming and content creation
  • Socket AM4 compatibility for easy upgrades
  • High performance for streaming and gaming
  • Compatible with AM4 motherboards

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X unleashes 8 cores and 16 threads of fury, giving you the power to take on even the most daunting tasks. Whether you’re streaming your favorite show or gaming online, this processor gives you the performance you need to get the job done. Plus, with a socket that’s compatible with AM4 motherboards, it’s easy to upgrade your system down the road.

Pros
  • High performance
  • Easy to upgrade
  • Compatible with AM4 motherboards
Cons
  • None that are immediately apparent!

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2

Features:

  •  Unlocked for overclocking
  • 12 cores, 24 threads
  • PCIe 4.0 support on X570 and B550 motherboards
  • AMD Ryzen Master Utility
  • Wraith Prism RGB LED cooler included (select models)

The world’s best gaming desktop processor, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is unlocked for overclocking and delivers elite 100-plus FPS performance in the world’s most popular games. Recommended for use with a high-performance cooler, this 12-core, the 24-thread processor can also support PCIe 4.0 on X570 and B550 motherboards for the advanced Socket AM4 platform.

Pros
  • Excellent gaming performance
  • Fast and responsive
  • Overclockable
  • Wraith Prism RGB LED cooler included (select models)
Cons
  • Pricey
  • May require a powerful cooling solution for overclocking

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3

Features:

  • 6 cores / 12 threads
  • 3.6GHz base clock, 4.2GHz boost clock
  • 20MB of cache memory
  • Unlocked for overclocking
  • Compatible with AMD’s AM4 socket motherboards

The Intel Core i5-10400 Desktop Processor is perfect for gamers, content creators, and overclockers who need the power of 6 cores and 12 threads. This processor is unlocked and overclocks up to 4. 3 GHz, making it a great choice for high-performance gaming rigs and workstations. The Intel Core i5-10400 also supports Intel Optane Memory, so you can get even more performance from your storage drives. A cooler is included to keep your CPU running at its best.

Pros
  • Outstanding value for money
  • Great performance for gaming and creative work
  • Overclockable for even more performance
  • Compatible with a wide range of AM4 socket motherboards
Cons
  • Stock coolers may be noisy
  • Requires a decent CPU cooler for overclocking

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4

Features:

  •  6 cores / 12 threads
  • 3.6GHz base speed & 4.2GHz boost speed
  • 20MB of cache memory
  • Unlocked for overclocking
  • Comes with Wraith Spire cooler

AMD’s latest Ryzen 5 CPUs are the most affordable way to get a 6-core processor. The AMD Ryzen 5 2600X is an outstanding choice for gamers and creators, with 6 cores / 12 threads clocked at 3.6GHz base and 4.2GHz boost speeds, along with 20MB of cache memory. It’s also unlocked for overclocking, so you can push its performance even further than before!

Pros
  • Excellent value for a 6-core CPU
  • Good gaming and multitasking performance
  • Overclockable
  • Comes with a capable cooler
Cons
  • No integrated graphics
  • Requires a dedicated graphics card

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5

Features:

  • Unlocked: Yes
  • Number of Cores: 6
  • Number of Threads: 12
  • Processor Base Frequency: 3.6 GHz
  • Max Turbo Frequency: 5 GHz
  • Cache: 8 MB L3 Cache
  • Bus Speed: 8 GT/s DMI3

The Intel Core i7-11700K is a 3.6 GHz processor with 8 MB of cache memory and an L3 cache of 12 MB. It has six cores and can handle up to twelve threads simultaneously, making it a great option for gamers who want to play in 4k resolution. The processor also comes with a new thermal interface material that allows it to be cooled efficiently by liquid cooling systems without the need for high flow pumps or fans.

Pros
  • Excellent single-core and multi-core performance
  • New thermal interface material for better cooling
  • Highly efficient liquid cooling system
Cons
  • Relatively high price
  • No integrated graphics processor

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6

Features:

  •  16 cores and 32 threads for the ultimate multi-tasking
  • The base clock of 4.9 GHz and a boost clock of 5.2 GHz for high performance
  • 40MB of cache memory for fast access to data
  • Unlocked for easy overclocking
  • Compatible with AMD Ryzen 3000 Series motherboards

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-core, 32-thread unlocked desktop processor is the world’s first and only 16-core desktop processor for gamers, creators, and enthusiasts. With a base clock of 4.9 GHz and a boost clock of 5.2 GHz, the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X has the highest clock speeds of any AMD consumer CPU. The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X also features a whopping 40MB of cache memory, making it an excellent choice for gaming, creating or streaming content, or working with large data sets.

Pros
  • Excellent performance for gaming, content creation, and productivity
  • High clock speeds for outstanding single-threaded performance
  • Plenty of cores and threads for multitasking
  • Easy to overclock with compatible AMD Ryzen 3000 Series motherboards
Cons
  • It May require a beefy power supply and cooling solution
  • Not as widely available as some

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7

Features:

  • World’s first 12nm desktop processor
  • 8 cores and 16 threads   
  • The base clock speed of 3.6GHz
  • Boosts up to 4.4 GHz on all cores
  • 20MB of cache memory

AMD’s new Ryzen 7 3700X CPU is the world’s first 12nm desktop processor with 8 cores and 16 threads. This chip comes with a base clock speed of 3.6GHz, but can boost up to 4.4 GHz on all cores! The AMD Ryzen 7 3700X also has a whopping 20MB of cache memory.

Pros
  • Incredibly fast
  • Multi-core performance
  • Low power consumption
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • No integrated graphics
  • Requires a beefy power supply

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8

Features:

  • Base speed of 4.9 GHz
  • Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology
  • Hyperthreading
  • Unlocked for overclocking
  • Ideal for gamers, creators, and power users

The brand new Intel Core i7-9700K desktop processor is now available! This top-of-the-line CPU has a base speed of 4.9 GHz and comes with features like Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology and hyperthreading. The Core i7-9700K is also unlocked, so you can overclock it to your heart’s content. It’s perfect for gamers, creators, and power users who need the best performance possible. Order yours today and experience the power of Intel!

Pros
  • Incredible speed and power
  • Overclockable for even more performance
  • Perfect for demanding users who need the best
  • Unlocked for overclocking
Cons
  • None

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5 Things You Must Know While Choosing The Best CPUs for Programming

1. Type (32-bit vs 64-bit)

A CPU can run in two modes: 32-bit or 64-bit. Programmers need the 64-bit mode because most of the time they are working on large projects with huge data sets, and if they were restricted to work within a limited memory space then it would severely hamper their workflow. Of course, some might argue that today’s machines have so much RAM that the difference between working in 32 bit versus 64 bit won’t matter at all, but there are still some hidden performance penalties in the 32-bit mode. For example, a 64-bit mode supports more than 4GB of memory address space, which is generally sufficient for most programming tasks. In contrast, a 32-bit mode can access only 2GB of memory space, and that’s not always enough.

Another thing that you need to remember is that some compilers/interpreters/VMs provide better performance in the 64-bit mode than they do in the 32 bit one. This happens because a human being was originally designed to think in a linear fashion, so the thought process of the programmer naturally evolved with time to write code based on his primitive thinking capabilities. The technical term for this evolution is “the bits are getting bigger” (I know, your mind just fell into a gutter).

2. Number of Cores

It is always better to buy CPUs that have more cores (assuming that you don’t need it for anything else like gaming etc.). Programming uses all the cores, not only one; there are tasks that take advantage of 1 core (like compiling) and tasks that can use 4 or 8 cores (like supercomputing), but you should always try to buy something in between (about 2-3 cores, since each core, has its own cache which reduces the latency). Moreover, many compilers/interpreters/VMs these days support multi-threading – basically, they distribute work among different hardware threads, so even if your application can’t take advantage of 8 CPU cores, the VM will try to spread the word among different hardware threads which can speed up things drastically.

Another thing that you need to consider is the number of instructions per clock cycle of each core. This factor is important because it defines how much time a particular core will spend performing its task (in simple terms: if one core takes 100 cycles to perform a task and another one 150 cycles, then obviously we should prefer using the former).

Intel’s hyper-threading technology is based on this principle; they split one physical CPU into two logical CPUs (two threads) by having two sets of registers and other functional units like branch predictors etc. However, there are some performance penalties involved in hyper-threading, as the cores share the same caches.

3. Clock Speed (Frequency)

Always buy CPUs that have higher clock speeds (frequencies). Just like the number of instructions per cycle, this factor is also important for making your programs run faster. The clock speed starts from a few MHz and goes all the way up to 3GHz now, although you should always prioritize mid-end CPUs as they have pretty good performance/price ratios. If you are looking for high performance then definitely go with those ones.

The thing about clock speeds is that they determine how many work units a CPU can process in a second: An Intel i7 2600 has a base frequency of 3.4 GHz or 3400 MHz, whereas an Intel Xeon X5680 runs at 3.6 GHz or 3600 MHz (notice that there is a 100MHz difference in their clock speeds). Now obviously the Xeon X5680 will process more work units per second (since it can do 3600 min 1 sec and 3400 in another sec, whereas the i7 2600 can only do 3400 in one sec), but sometimes this isn’t enough – for example when running applications with high computational intensity.

4. Cache Memory

Cache memory works like a buffer between the CPU and RAM: every time you request data from RAM, the CPU first looks into its cache memory to see if it contains any similar piece of data; if so then it processes that data instead of requesting new information from RAM, which reduces overall latencies and makes apps run much faster.

Intel’s Sandy Bridge CPUs have a special kind of cache called “last level cache” (LLC) which is 64MB and contains the data that the CPU recently requested from RAM: Each core has its own 32MB LLC, so in total, we get 2 x 32MB = 64MB for both cores which is shared among them as needed; this reduces latencies even more. On top of that, each core also has a 256KB L2 cache (which is private to each core). Cache memory generally speeds up programs like crazy by reducing their latency – well, not always because if your program requests some data from RAM whose content is already present in the cache memory then there will be no difference whatsoever; I would say that cache memory is more effective in server/enterprise applications than home ones (e.g. games).

5. FSB and RAM Types

FSB stands for Front Side Bus: This is a physical bus that connects the CPU with the RAM so data can be transferred between them in a timely manner. The FSB has a throughput of about 3 Gigabytes per second in modern CPUs, whereas the RAM runs at a speed of around 5-9 Gigabytes per second, depending on its type. Just to give you an idea: DDR3-1333 DIMMs have a transfer rate of 25.6 Gbps, while DDR3-1600 DIMMs have 29.9 GBps, both measured with 8 bits, so multiply these values with 8 to get the transfer rates measured in bytes (for example DDR3-1333 DIMMs have a theoretical maximum throughput of about 204.8 GBps, whereas DDR3-1600 DIMMs have a more impressive 243.2 Gbps).

Why Do You Need CPUs for Programming?

1. Fast

While this is true of any language, it’s especially true of CPUs. For one thing, CPUs are the only computer languages able to take full advantage of parallel processing – which you probably know has something to do with multi-tasking and speeding up tasks by dividing them between multiple processors at once. More generally, though, CPUs are extremely fast in comparison with other programming languages because they’re designed specifically for computers. This means they can use your computer’s hardware easily without having to go through lots of extra code that makes the process clunky or slow.

2. Portable

Although they aren’t perfect, one advantage of using a CPU is its portability; meaning it’s pretty simple to take your code from one operating system to another. For example, if you’re working on a project that requires Microsoft Windows and then try to run it on Mac OS X, you’ll probably encounter problems – but not so with CPUs. This is because most CPUs are programmed in such a way that they can be read by any computer language, making them usable on multiple systems without having to rewrite the code all over again.

3. Convenient

CPUs are very popular among programmers because of how convenient they are; for instance, many CPUs come pre-installed with their own integrated development environment (IDE). What this means is that while some other languages require third-party programs before they will work properly, CPUs just need themselves! One more advantage of using a CPU is that you can usually use all your computer’s built-in hardware like the graphics card, which makes programming easier and more fun.

Conclusion

We hope this guide has helped you find the right CPU for your programming needs. If not, don’t worry! Our team of expert writers is always on hand to help you out with any questions or concerns that come up along the way. All we need is a little information about what kind of person you are and what kind of work environment you’re in then our experts will take care of the rest!

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