Help Me Choose: Processors
The processor is the brain of your computer system. This is where all tasks are executed and all computations are made. Everything on your computer is run through the processor.
Because the processor is physically on the motherboard, it can be very difficult and expensive to upgrade the processor after you purchase your Alienware™ system. Choosing the processor that best meets your computing needs is a great way to help ensure your computer can perform at a high level for a long period of time.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4960X||Intel Core i7-4960X||Intel Core i7-4930K||Intel Core i7-4820K||Intel Core i7-4770||Intel Core i5-4440||Intel Core i5-4430||Intel Core i3-4130||Intel Core i3-3220|
|Available on||Alienware Aurora||Alienware Aurora||Alienware Aurora||Alienware Aurora||Alienware X51||Alienware X51||Alienware X51||Alienware X51||Alienware X51|
|Turbo Boost Overclock Frequency|
Overclocks the Turbo Boost Frequency
to a higher level for even more performance.
|Turbo Boost Frequency|
Frequency that your processor automatically speeds up to when Turbo Boost technology activates.
This is the speed at which your CPU processes information
|Cores / Threads|
Cores - number of cores present on the CPU
Threads - number of virtual threads visible to the operating system; enabled by hyperthreading
|6 / 12||6 / 12||6 / 12||4 / 8||4 / 8||4 / 4||4 / 4||2 / 4||2 / 2|
This is the amount of cache, or onboard memory, contained within the processor.
The number of memory channels supported by your processor. More channels equals greater performance.
|Quad-Channel DDR3||Quad-Channel DDR3||Quad-Channel DDR3||Quad-Channel DDR3||Dual-Channel DDR3||Dual-Channel DDR3||Dual-Channel DDR3||Dual-Channel DDR3||Dual-Channel DDR3|
|Lanes of PCIe 3.0 (Gen3)|
Data Communication lanes used for information flow between your processor and add-in cards such as graphics cards.
|Turbo Boost Technology Enabled|
Automatically speeds up your processor when your PC needs extra performance.
Allows the processor to execute additional operations simultaneously. Effectively doubling core performance via multiple threads.
Unlocked processors allow you to openly change overclocking settings on processors to boost performance.
There are three dynamics to the processor:
- The number of cores is the number of microprocessors that are inside the processor itself. By being able to allocate tasks across multiple cores, your system can perform more calculations at once, as well as perform more complex calculations by pooling cores together to share resources. While the clock speed of a quad-core processor may be lower than that of a dual-core processor, keep in mind that you have four cores running at that speed as opposed to only two running at perhaps a slightly higher speed.
- Clock speed tells you how quickly your processor can perform. Clock speeds are measured in gigahertz or GHz. One hertz equals one action per second and 1GHz equals one billion actions per second.
- Overclocked processors* have been adjusted to run faster than the clock speed for which they were tested and approved. Unlike Intel® Turbo Boost that dynamically adjusts core speeds, maxing out a single core, Alienware sets a higher default speed for all cores. This performance is useful in a gaming environment because your machine can update and render more quickly, giving you an edge in the competition.
- Cache is the amount of memory that sits on the processor, as opposed to memory that sits on the motherboard. Cache helps the processor balance the load and operate more efficiently. Since it is on the processor, it is faster than system memory.
There are also other optional features of processors you can select for your Alienware system:
- Turbo Boost speed is the maximum speed the processor will achieve when lowering the performance of all but a single core. A quad-core CPU with a clock speed of 1.73GHz and a turbo boost speed of 2.93GHz will run all four cores at 1.73GHz for most applications. When additional power is needed, the CPU will lower the clock speeds of three of the cores while increasing the clock speed of one core up to a maximum speed of 2.93GHz. It is essentially a dynamic overclocking process built in to the Intel Core™ i5 and Intel Core i7 processors.