If you are planning on building your own computer choosing the right processor is a critical decision with the wrong choice potentially wasting the other expensive parts of your machine. The processor market has been dominated by two major players for over a decade now with Intel and AMD alternately being at the top, more recently ARM low power processors have begun to move from the mobile device market into low-end Netbooks.
Benchmarks and reviews are invaluable as a way of comparing prices and specifications, especially as the GHz processing speed figure that was long used as a benchmark of performance no longer tells you how much data the processor will be able to shift accurately. When buying a new processor you should be considering the socket type, this is the connector in the motherboard that the processor is housed in and carries data to and from the processor. For Intel cores this is the LGA 1366, also known as Socket B which replaced the LGA 775 (Socket T) for high-end and performance users in desktops as well as the recently released LGA 1156 for the second generation i3, i5 and i7 quad-core processors, and in 2011 the LGA 1155 motherboards were released for the newer i3, i5, and i7 Sandy Bridge processors. AMD processors use the AM2+ and AM3 sockets and motherboard chips so your choice of motherboard must be able to support the chip you choose.