On the market.
With so many processors on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your needs. Whether you are building a computer for games or for computations, you should invest time in researching the right processor to buy. The processor itself is an integral part of the computer and the choice you make will dictate your computer's performance and lifespan.
Which processor should you get?
A processor, essentially a silicon chip made up of transistors, is responsible for interpreting and executing your computer's commands. In most cases, a CPU's clock speed and a number of cores dictate its potential performance. Depending on the type of software and applications you plan to run, it's best practice to choose the CPU that's most suited for the task as many single and multi-threaded workloads are optimized with the respective CPUs in mind. Single-threaded tasks benefit from CPUs with higher clock speed and multi-threaded workloads benefit from multi-core processors. For tasks like browsing the web, word processing, and listening to music, it's best to utilize a CPU with higher clock speed. For tasks like photo editing, video encoding, some gaming, and computation, a CPU with multiple cores is preferred as it is able to split the workload among the multiple cores.
To maximize clock speed, look into processors with the capability to overclock. Some users should also take into account power consumption. Higher power consumer processors require more cooling. The heatsink or cooler will have to work harder and may create a louder sound profile. In these cases, a low power consumption processor is more favorable for those who prefer silent systems.
Intel versus AMD.
Currently, Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) lead the charge in producing computer processors. In recent years, it was common to pick up an Intel Core series CPU due to its price to performance ratio. However, with AMD's new Ryzen CPUs released this year, AMD is stepping up its game to compete and offer affordable processors for its price performance.
For system critical or high demanding tasks, server CPUs are key for performance and validation. If this fits your profile, look into Intel's Xeon and AMD's EPYC processors.