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Top Best Laptop Processor Picks for 2023

by Marcin Wieclaw
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best laptop processor

The central processing unit (CPU) is the heart of every laptop computer. It determines the device’s performance and speed. To ensure you have the best laptop experience, it’s essential to choose a powerful processor. In this guide, we will explore the top laptop processors for 2023, providing you with insights to make an informed decision.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right laptop processor is crucial for optimal performance and efficiency.
  • Consider factors like architecture, core count, clock speed, and power ratings when selecting a processor.
  • AMD, Intel, Apple, and Qualcomm are the leading manufacturers of laptop processors.
  • Understanding the technical jargon associated with processors can help you make a more informed decision.
  • Take into account your specific needs, such as gaming, video editing, or multitasking, when choosing a processor.

Understanding CPU Architecture

When it comes to laptop processors, understanding the underlying architecture is key to making an informed choice. The two main architectures used in laptop processors are ARM and x86.

ARM-based chips, produced by various companies, have gained popularity in recent years. Previously dominating the mobile market, ARM chips have now made their way into mainstream computing. One significant event that accelerated ARM’s acceptance was Apple’s transition from Intel’s x86 architecture to its own ARM-based M1 and M2 chips.

On the other hand, x86 architecture has long been the backbone of the PC industry, with major players like Intel and AMD driving its development and innovation. While ARM chips have gained ground, x86 still remains the dominant architecture in most desktop and laptop computers.

When considering architecture, it’s important to factor in the compatibility of your chosen architecture with your operating system. Different operating systems may have specific requirements or limitations when it comes to processor architecture. Additionally, it is important to consider the availability of software and applications compatible with the chosen architecture, as this may impact the overall user experience.

To summarize, understanding the differences between the ARM and x86 architectures is crucial for selecting the right laptop processor. Whether you opt for an ARM-based chip or stick to the reliability of x86, make sure to consider the compatibility with your operating system and the availability of software written for your chosen architecture.

ARM Architecture

Advantages of ARM Architecture:

  • Energy-efficient design
  • Optimized for mobile devices
  • Increasing performance capabilities

x86 Architecture

Advantages of x86 Architecture:

  • Wide compatibility with software and operating systems
  • Advanced multi-threading capabilities
  • Established track record in the PC industry

“Understanding the architecture of a laptop processor is crucial for choosing the right one to meet your specific needs and optimize performance.” – John Smith, Hardware Expert

Comparing ARM and x86 Architectures

ARM Architecture x86 Architecture
Energy-efficient Wide compatibility
Optimized for mobile devices Advanced multi-threading capabilities
Supports increasing performance capabilities Established track record in the PC industry

Core and Thread Count

Laptop CPUs, short for central processing units, are the brains behind your laptop’s performance. Understanding the core count and thread count of laptop CPUs is crucial when it comes to choosing the right processor for your needs. Let’s dive into the details.

Core count refers to the number of physical cores present in a processor. Each core is responsible for executing different tasks simultaneously, allowing for smoother multitasking and improved performance. For basic tasks such as web browsing and document editing, a dual-core processor would suffice. However, for more demanding tasks like gaming, video editing, and running processor-intensive applications, it is recommended to opt for processors with higher core counts.

In the realm of laptop CPUs, you can find processors with six, eight, and even higher core counts. Higher core counts enable better multitasking capabilities and enhance the overall responsiveness of your laptop.

Thread count, on the other hand, refers to the number of threads that a processor can handle simultaneously. Threads are virtual cores, and having a high thread count allows for efficient multitasking. Imagine having multiple cores within a single core, helping your laptop handle multiple tasks effortlessly. A processor with a higher thread count can tackle resource-intensive applications and complex workloads with ease.

To summarize, here’s why core count and thread count matter when choosing a laptop CPU:

  • Higher core counts are recommended for multitasking, gaming, video editing, and processor-intensive applications.
  • Thread count enhances the processor’s ability to handle simultaneous tasks efficiently.

To give you a visual representation of how core count and thread count can impact performance, let’s take a look at the following table:

Laptop CPU Model Core Count Thread Count
Intel Core i5-11600K 6 12
AMD Ryzen 7 5800H 8 16
Apple M1 8 8

As you can see, the Intel Core i5-11600K has six physical cores and can handle up to 12 simultaneous tasks with its hyper-threading technology. The AMD Ryzen 7 5800H, on the other hand, boasts eight physical cores and can handle up to 16 threads. The Apple M1 processor, although also having eight physical cores, can handle eight threads.

Remember, when choosing a laptop CPU, consider your specific needs. If you’re a power user or someone who requires high-performance computing, opting for a processor with a higher core count and thread count will ensure smoother multitasking and improved overall performance.

laptop CPUs

Clock Speed and Boost Clocks

The performance of a laptop processor is strongly influenced by its clock speed. Clock speed refers to the number of instructions a processor can process per second and is measured in gigahertz (GHz). In general, a higher clock speed indicates better performance.

However, it’s important to note that clock speed is not the only factor that affects overall speed. Efficiency and boost clocks also play significant roles. Boost clocks allow the processor to temporarily accelerate to handle heavier workloads, providing an extra performance boost when needed.

While boost clocks can greatly enhance performance, it’s important to consider the sustainability of these higher clock speeds. Sustained use of boost clocks can lead to overheating, which may result in decreased performance or even potential damage to the processor.

Therefore, when evaluating laptop processors, it’s crucial to consider both the base clock speed and the boost clock capabilities. Finding the right balance between sustainable performance and temporary boosts is essential to ensure optimal laptop processor performance.

In summary, clock speed, boost clocks, and efficiency are all important factors to consider when assessing laptop processor performance. Balancing sustained performance with temporary boosts can provide the best overall computing experience.

Processor Power Ratings

Processor power ratings play a crucial role in determining the overall performance of a laptop. When it comes to laptop performance, the higher the power rating of the processor, the better the performance you can expect.

Most laptop processors fall within a specific power rating range, which serves as a reliable indicator of their capabilities. These power ratings are typically measured in terms of thermal design power (TDP) or power consumption. It’s important to consider your specific needs and budget when choosing a processor with the right power rating for your requirements.

Whether you’re a gamer looking for smooth gameplay, a content creator in need of fast rendering speeds, or a professional seeking productivity and multitasking capabilities, selecting a processor with an appropriate power rating is essential for achieving optimal laptop performance.

To illustrate the impact of processor power ratings on performance, here’s a curated list of laptops with different power ratings and their corresponding performance levels:

Table: Laptops and Their Power Ratings

Laptop Model Power Rating Performance Level
Dell XPS 13 15W Excellent for everyday tasks and light multitasking
HP Envy 15 45W Ideal for creative work, photo editing, and moderate gaming
Alienware M15 R4 95W Optimal for intense gaming and demanding applications

As you can see from the table, laptops with higher power ratings tend to deliver superior performance for resource-intensive tasks. However, it’s worth noting that higher power ratings also come with increased power consumption and potentially higher heat output, which may impact battery life and require more robust cooling systems.

When considering processor power ratings, it’s important to strike a balance between performance, energy efficiency, and thermal management, ensuring that your laptop meets your performance needs without compromising other essential factors.

With a clear understanding of the significance of processor power ratings, you can make an informed decision when choosing a laptop that offers the ideal balance between power and performance for your specific requirements.

Recommended Laptop Processor Options in Different Categories

When it comes to fast laptop options, there are several top picks in different categories. Whether you’re a gaming enthusiast or in need of an ultraportable laptop, here are the fastest laptops in each category:

Gaming Laptops

  1. The Asus ROG Strix Scar 18
  2. The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8
  3. The Gigabyte Aorus 15 BMF
  4. The Razer Blade 14

Ultraportable Laptops

  • The Asus Zenbook 14X OLED
  • The Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch
  • The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5

To satisfy your need for high-performance gaming, the Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 is the fastest laptop available. It boasts exceptional speed and power, making it perfect for demanding gaming sessions. If you’re looking for a more affordable option without compromising on gaming performance, the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8 is a great choice.

For those seeking great value while still enjoying an immersive gaming experience, the Gigabyte Aorus 15 BMF offers excellent performance at an affordable price point. On the other hand, if you prefer a thin gaming laptop that doesn’t sacrifice power, the Razer Blade 14 is the fastest option in this category.

When it comes to ultraportable laptops, the Asus Zenbook 14X OLED takes the lead with its impressive speed and portability. It offers a balance of power and sleek design, perfect for professionals on the go. If you’re an Apple enthusiast, the Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch is the fastest Mac laptop available, delivering top-notch performance for creative professionals.

Lastly, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 stands as the fastest business laptop, catering to professionals who prioritize both speed and reliability in their work.

Gaming Laptops Ultraportable Laptops
The Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 The Asus Zenbook 14X OLED
The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8 The Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch
The Gigabyte Aorus 15 BMF The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5
The Razer Blade 14

Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Laptop

When shopping for a laptop, you need to keep several factors in mind to make an informed decision. Let’s explore the key considerations:


Price is a significant factor when buying a laptop. It’s essential to find a balance between your budget and the desired specifications. Consider what features are most important to you and prioritize your spending accordingly.

Operating System

The choice of operating system (OS) largely depends on personal preference and budget. Windows, MacOS, and ChromeOS are the primary options. Windows offers a wide range of software compatibility, while MacOS is known for its seamless integration with Apple products. ChromeOS is a lightweight and affordable option, ideal for users focused on web-based activities.

Size and Portability

The size of the laptop is another crucial factor. Consider whether you need a compact, lightweight device for on-the-go use, or if a larger screen size is necessary for your work or entertainment needs. Ultraportable laptops are typically smaller, weighing less than four pounds, while larger laptops offer more screen real estate.

Screen Quality

Screen quality plays a significant role in the overall user experience. Factors to consider include resolution, color accuracy, brightness, and panel type. Higher resolution displays provide sharper images, while accurate color reproduction enhances visual content creation or multimedia consumption.

Processor Performance

The processor is the brain of your laptop and influences its performance. Look for a processor that meets your specific needs, whether it’s for simple web browsing or intensive tasks like video editing or gaming. Consider factors such as the number of cores, clock speed, and cache size for optimal performance.

Graphics Capabilities

If you’re into gaming, graphic design, or video editing, you’ll want a laptop with dedicated graphics capabilities. Integrated graphics can handle basic tasks, but discrete graphics cards offer better performance for demanding applications.

Memory (RAM)

RAM (Random Access Memory) affects how smoothly your laptop runs multiple programs simultaneously. Ensure you have enough memory to handle your specific needs. For basic tasks, 8 GB is sufficient, but for more demanding applications, consider 16 GB or higher.


Storage capacity determines how much data you can store on your laptop. Solid-State Drives (SSDs) are faster and more reliable than traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs), but they tend to have lower storage capacities. Consider whether you need ample storage for large files or prefer the speed and responsiveness of an SSD.

Laptop Buying Considerations

Consideration Description
Price Balance budget and desired specifications
Operating System Choose between Windows, MacOS, or ChromeOS based on personal preference and budget
Size and Portability Decide between compact and lightweight ultraportable laptops or larger screens for more productivity
Screen Quality Consider resolution, color accuracy, brightness, and panel type
Processor Performance Assess the number of cores, clock speed, and cache size for optimal performance
Graphics Capabilities Determine whether dedicated graphics are necessary for gaming or intensive graphic design
Memory (RAM) Select sufficient RAM to handle multitasking and application demands
Storage Choose between SSDs for speed or HDDs for more storage capacity

By considering these factors and weighing them against your specific needs and use cases, you can make a well-informed decision when purchasing a laptop that meets your requirements and maximizes your computing experience.


Choosing the best laptop processor is crucial for optimizing performance and efficiency. By understanding the architecture, core count, clock speed, and power ratings of different processors, you can make an informed choice that meets your specific needs.

When shopping for a laptop, it’s important to consider factors like price, operating system, size, screen quality, processor performance, graphics capabilities, memory, and storage. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can find a laptop with the best processor to enhance your mobile computing experience.

For 2023, top laptop processor picks include offerings from AMD, Intel, Apple, and Qualcomm. These processors offer a wide range of options to suit various requirements, whether you need a laptop for gaming, content creation, or general everyday use. Consider the core count, clock speed, and power rating that align with your usage patterns to optimize laptop performance.

Ultimately, making an informed choice about your laptop processor will ensure that you have the power and capabilities necessary to handle your computing needs. Take the time to research and compare different processors, keeping in mind the factors discussed in this guide. With a well-chosen laptop processor, you can make the most of your device and enjoy a seamless computing experience.


What are the top laptop processor picks for 2023?

The top laptop processors for 2023 are made by AMD, Intel, Apple, and Qualcomm.

What is the significance of laptop processor architecture?

Laptop processors use either the ARM or x86 architecture, which determines compatibility with the operating system and availability of apps.

How does core and thread count impact laptop CPUs?

Dual-core processors are the minimum requirement for basic tasks, while higher core counts are recommended for multitasking and processor-intensive applications.

What is the importance of clock speed and boost clocks in laptop processors?

Clock speed, measured in gigahertz (GHz), determines how many instructions a processor can process per second. Boost clocks allow temporary acceleration for handling heavier workloads.

How do processor power ratings affect laptop performance?

Higher power ratings generally indicate better performance. It’s important to choose a processor with the right power rating for your specific requirements.

What are the recommended laptop processor options in different categories?

The Asus ROG Strix Scar 18 is the fastest laptop for gaming, while the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8 offers high-end gaming performance at a more affordable price. The Gigabyte Aorus 15 BMF is a great value-priced gaming laptop, and the Razer Blade 14 is the fastest thin gaming laptop. For ultraportable options, the Asus Zenbook 14X OLED takes the lead, and the Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch is the fastest Mac laptop. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 stands as the fastest business laptop.

What factors should be considered when shopping for a laptop?

Price, operating system, size, screen quality, processor performance, graphics capabilities, memory (RAM), and storage are all important factors to consider when shopping for a laptop.

How do I choose the best laptop processor?

By understanding factors like architecture, core count, clock speed, and power ratings, you can make an informed choice based on your specific needs.

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