Next lets sort out the generation that the Oculus people spec’d. The Intel i5-4590 is a mid range good value for the money processor (reference). The 4590 designator indicates it is a 4th generation version. It was released in Q2-2014 and comes in 3 flavors; 4590, 4590S, and 4590T. All use Haswell technology. It is a quad-core, meaning there are 4 CPU’s in one chip.
You’ll find K, M, R, S, and T designations. R indicates it has Iris graphics. M is ultra low power for laptops and these are lower performance CPU versions. The S & T versions have some embedded technology and power saving features gamers don’t need.
The 4590’s run US$120 to $200.
Look up the CPU number designations explanation here: Intel Processor numbers.
BUT… is this i5-4590 4th gen CPU the one to buy? Probably. 5th gen CPU’s are on the market, but not cheap. There are some 6th gen cpu’s out but only i7’s with i5’s coming Q3-2015.
Intel does what is called tic-tock development. On the tic part of the cycle they come out with a change in design. On the tock part of the cycle they shrink the chip size and power consumption. The 5th gen chips are the tock cycle chips. The 6th gen chips (tic) are using a different socket. LDA 1151 in place of a LGA 1150. The 1151 uses one pin more than the 1150. Making them incompatible with 1150 boards. :/
The 5th gen chips can use faster memory, DDR4, depending on the motherboard manufacturer. The 4th gen CPU’s use DDR3. Since memory speed is a significant factor in SL performance, the 5th gen CPU/motherboard may make sense. But, whether Sansar will have such memory dependence is a speculation. I suspect it will have.
The 6th gen CPU’s are showing up (reference). The i5-6440HQ, 6300HQ, 6300U, and 6200U are announced for Q3-2015. They use the FCLGA 1151 socket. So, most existing motherboards are not going to work. So, the upgrade path for LGA 1150 motherboards ends with the 5th gen CPU’s. That means we will see prices dropping on 4th and 5th gen CPU motherboards as they have a limited future, 3 or 4 years from now. The LG 1151 boards will likely be able to be upgraded through several generations of CPU’s. Or… not, depending on what Intel does.
So, what is our best choice for a CPU? The 4th or 5th gen CPU with a number of 4590 or better (bigger) is the better buy for your dollar. The 6th gen CPU’s if you have the money or feel you must be able to upgrade.
Various gamers recommend the 5th gen i7 as it has a significant improvement in gamer performance.
More pages, links below…