The 7 Best i7 Processors of 2021
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If you’re building your own PC from scratch or if you’re planning to upgrade the CPU in your existing desktop or laptop, one of the best i7 processors might be a good option if you want something priced in that mid-range. There’s an i7 processor to fit just about every need and budget. You can find a lower-tier i7 from a previous generation for less than $200, while some of the newer gaming-grade i7 CPUs will cost you more than double that amount.
If you are an avid gamer, you’ll want to look for a CPU with higher clock speeds that supports high amounts of RAM. However, don’t get too caught up in the number of cores and threads, as this will likely have less impact than other factors like clock speeds, memory, and your overall system storage. For content creators, it’s probably worth it to shell out a bit more cash for extra cores. You’ll also want more RAM and 4K video support, but you don’t necessarily need those blazing fast clock speeds. Business professionals and home users need security and stability, as well as fast access to frequently used programs like Microsoft Office. If you’re using your PC for work, school, or home use, you can get away with a low of mid-tier i7, and you don’t always need to tack on those extra costs for more cores or lightning-fast clock speeds.
Whatever you need your computer to do, we have you covered with the best i7 processors in different categories and price ranges. Our top pick is the Intel Core i7-10700K because it’s a powerful processor at a reasonable price. If you’re looking for something different, we’ve also included budget picks, as well as our top picks for gaming, content creation, and other areas.
- Optane Memory support
- Integrated graphics
- 4K ready
- No thermal solution included
The i7-10700K provides a lot of value, and it’s an excellent choice for gamers, or for anyone who wants to boost their PC’s performance. It features 8 cores and 16 threads, with an impressive base clock speed of 3.8GHz. The unlocked CPU can be boosted up to 5.1 GHz with Turbo Boost Max 3.0.
It supports up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM, and it works with Intel’s Optane Memory technology to learn your most-used apps and programs to keep them at-the-ready for faster access. The i7-10700K is 4K ready, allowing you to future-proof your PC and take full advantage of the integrated graphics technology. With integrated Intel UHD 630 graphics, work and home users won’t have to drop extra cash on a fancy, dedicated video card in order to get great images and framerates (you’ll still want to invest in a separate graphics card if you’re using your PC for gaming though).