How fast a computer would you need?


My clients often ask me ‘How fast computer do I need?’

Well…I’ve got the answer for you.

Have you heard the term “saying hello” to your computer? It is common knowledge that 1-2 seconds is all it takes. While this may be true for some people, this does not necessarily mean that 1-2 seconds is how long it should take for everyone. You would only really know what time frame works best for you if you use computers on a daily basis. 

It can be difficult to determine what type of speed you need in a computer because there are many factors that will affect the performance of your computer even though it might have a powerful processor and lots of RAM memory.

For example, high end graphics cards will not help a computer’s display if its screen resolution cannot keep up with the processing power of the video card.  

This article will go over some factors that you should consider when choosing a computer, and I hope it can help you choose the right speed for you. 

Please keep in mind that for a laptop, you’ll need to consider these factors as well.

I personally use and favour Intel over AMD as I’ve always had driver issues with the latter.

Related: What Makes A Computer Fast?

Light Home Use 

If you’re going to be using your computer for light home use such as surfing the web, receiving and sending emails, editing documents etc then an Intel Core i3 would suffice.  This is the most basic level of computer that you should consider if all you’re going to be doing is simple tasks. 

Mid-Range Home Use 

If you’re going to be editing pictures, videos, or documents then an Intel Core i5 would work fine. The more cores in a CPU generally means that it can handle more threads at once without slowing down too much.

If your programs are multi-threaded this could mean, for example, rendering a video using Adobe Premiere works faster with an i5 than an i3 even though the i5 might have lower clock speeds since it has 6 cores vs 4 on the i3. Just keep in mind that lots of modern software isn’t coded well enough to take advantage of multiple cores yet and will instead bog down when it tries to do too much at once. 

Business Use 

If you need a computer for business use, such as for office work, word processing and networking. You should consider a computer that is fast enough to carry out both your business tasks and your entertainment activities such as listening to music or watching video clips. 

We would recommend at least an Intel Core i5 or an i7 for business use. A Core i7  is faster and the best processor money can buy!

Gaming Use 

If you want a gaming computer then you must ensure that it has sufficient performance in terms of graphics quality, HDD storage capacity and speed. The specifications for the perfect gaming pc are very high in line with all modern gaming pc’s capabilities. 

To play the latest games on ultra-high settings at 1080p resolutions you will need one of the fastest processors available at this moment, 8GBs of RAM would be enough but 16GBs are better especially if you also use it for everyday tasks like surfing web or watching movies and 16GBs of RAM will allow you to run any application smoothly. 

An SSD is the best storage solution for gaming performance so if possible, choose a laptop with an SSD, at least 256 GB capacity. Even though it’s very expensive when compared to HDD’s one it offers much better performance in all areas such as load times, running applications and multitasking or doing different things at once. And don’t forget that games are huge memory consumers especially the new generation games reaching 20+ GBs per game so a 1TB hard drive would be not enough even for a single AAA title. 

We would recommend at least an Intel Core i7 or an i9 for gaming use. 

Photography or Extensive Video Editing Use 

If you want a computer for photography or video editing, you will need a lot of disk space and possibly several extremely powerful processors. If the computer is going to be used for extensive video editing, it’s important to consider a “workstation” instead of a personal computer. A workstation can have multiple processors and high-speed hard drives which are optimized for multi-tasking. 

We would recommend at least an Intel Core i9 for photography or video editing use. 

Types of Intel Processors

Intel Core i3: The Intel Core i3 is an entry-level quad-core CPU  and should be avoided for most processor intensive tasks. As aforementioned, most software can’t be multi-threaded yet so having an i3 is like having a 1 or 2 core processor. Even if it did support multiple threads well, there’s not much point because the same performance could be had for less money with an AMD which supports up to more threads AND has a larger L2 Cache (which helps speed things up). When we get closer to 2022 we may see more software pushing the need for more cores but until then don’t buy an entry level quad-core CPU unless you are on a very tight budget. 

They are still great for media encoding and basic everyday tasks but they won’t be quite as fast in multi-threaded applications like games. If you don’t play too many games, then this is an excellent budget processor. 

Intel Core i5: The Intel Core i5 is a hexa-core CPU. If your work involves things like video editing, 3D rendering, CAD etc then having 6 cores will help you speed up significantly. However, if these types of tasks aren’t part of what you do then it would be pointless to spend more for a hexa core than a quad core (likewise with AMD APU’s). Even though they have two less cores, the overall performance difference isn’t enough to justify the extra price tag. This chip is also useful if you want to build a high-end gaming PC because games are starting to require more cores as well (i.e., Battlefield 4 and 5) 

Intel Core i7: The Intel Core i7 is the best CPU for gaming (in most cases) and will be able to handle anything you throw at it, even if that means running many programs or web browsers. The i7 is an Intel Octa core which means it will have excellent performance in multi-threaded applications, but only slightly better than the i5. This chip is also very expensive so unless your budget can’t go any further, I would recommend getting the next one below this. 

Intel Core i5 As mentioned above, the Intel Core i5 is almost identical to the i7 with only a few minor differences one being the number of cores. Where the Core i5 does have a distinct advantage over the i7 is that it is has a lower power draw so if you will be running a lot of programs at once or overclocking, this chip will save you from having to upgrade your PSU.  

Intel Core i9: The Intel Core i9 is an extremely fast computer processor and is an octa-core processsor. It is used by the NASA to manage their space station, and it runs at 0.0001% of its true processing power due to the common consumer not requiring that much computing capability. 

These processors have one of the highest single core benchmarks on the market today. These benchmark scores could make your computer run at 0.0001% of its true processing power, which is more than enough for any ordinary task. 

These processors are optimized to allow you to watch movies in 4K resolution – something that requires a high amount of computing capability (4x as much as 1080P). If you think your computer doesn’t have enough memory for you to use it, feel free to upgrade it with another 8 GB RAM module so you can burn through all cores at once!

Computer Technicians can upgrade your computer at a very reasonable price!

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...