I am asked on a regular basis to help someone find the best computer for their graphics need. There is certainly no perfect computer for all users and all tasks. It all depends on the budget involved and the types of projects that need to be completed. Yet having a fast processor will typically make sure the overall computer is fast. I say typically as you also need other pieces to go with that fast processor.
Intel recently released the Intel Core i7-3820 Processor. Out of the box it runs at 3.6 GHz and users who want to overclock their systems can run it even faster. Of course, there is a limit to the amount of overclocking possible due to the heat generated. Even at 3.6 GHz, the 4 cores (hyperthreaded to 8) can get a lot of work done in short order. Other processors in this family are quite expensive at up to $1000. The Core i7-3820 is just over $300 so you get pretty darned good bang for your buck.
Some buyers have been upset that it does not include a cooling fan. With every processor I’ve purchased in the past, I’ve also purchased a separate fan that was far superior to the fan included in the box. You’ll probably need to spend $30-$40 to get a really good fan for the processor.
For those who are looking to build a new computer today, this processor would be a very good choice to include in that system.