Even accomplished geeks shy away from motherboard upgrades on their main PCs. Years ago, I would often upgrade gaming and test systems in my own basement lab, but keep chugging along with a production machine using a two-year-old motherboard and CPU.
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This article is the third in a series of how-to stories on building a computer. For a video version of part three, click here.
When you're shopping for a new PC, don't meekly settle for the default processor recommended by the configurator. Picking the right CPU is a personal decision that you shouldn't enter into lightly. And with so many options to choose from, you need to know what you're getting into when you settle on a chip for your system. We've rounded up eight of the leading processors on the market and put them through a battery of rigorous tests to help you shop with confidence.