What is the CPU

Central processing unit (CPU) is a complex chip with millions of transistors and a plurality of contacts is engaged in the processing of machine code of computer programs. The central processing unit (CPU or CPU) is the brain of the entire computer system, performing arithmetic and logic operations on data, so it is often in the jargon called the “percent” or “brain”.

Therefore, from the CPU performance depends primarily on the speed of the entire computer . His choice is to pay attention especially if you plan to use demanding software. The desktop processor is easily removable and can be replaced by another, supported the motherboard in the case of system upgrade or release it from the  system .

Among the main CPU, it is worth noting the following:

Architecture (microarchitecture) – the principles of the internal CPU device determining the amount, characteristics, location of its internal components. Some architecture is used in a family of processors, but within the family there are usually several different sub-architectures what some characteristics from the rest. These subgroups are called nuclei. Since the process is not in place in the nucleus make various changes aimed at improving efficiency or error correction, in order to distinguish the different versions from each other introduced the concept of core revision or stepping. For example, Intel processor, it looks like this: Bloomfield Nehalem microarchitecture core model Intel Core i7-920 stepping SLBEJ (D0).

Process technology  – the technological process used in the production of the processor. It specifies the size of the transistors constituting the CPU. The unit is nanometer (nm). The smaller the transistor size, the smaller the size of the entire CPU, less heat dissipation and higher frequency can be. Soon manufacturers will rest in the physical limits of reducing, and then have to move to a fundamentally new types of processors.

The clock frequency  – if a prime, the number of operations per unit time, which the processor can execute. Directly affect the CPU performance consequently, the higher the frequency of the CPU is faster. Directly compare the frequency can be within a single core, because the performance is influenced by many other factors.

The socket  – connector on the computer motherboard designed for the installation of the CPU. Suitable only for a strictly defined type of processors, and is characterized by the number of contacts and the CPU manufacturer. Just physically does not allow to install the wrong type of processor. The socket is the limiting factor when you upgrade the processor.

Number of cores  – the CPU can contain multiple cores in a single package, then it is called multi-core. The core of the CPU is the main part, which determines the basic characteristics of the processor and directly engaged in calculations. The presence of multiple nuclei facilitates multiple concurrent tasks simultaneously, as well with the proper optimization computer program to greatly increase the speed of it. For example, the modern games, video processing, archiving, 3D-modeling and many others speak positively for the presence of multiple nuclei. There are also technologies to create multiple virtual cores in one physical.

However, one must understand that an increase in the number of cores does not lead to a proportional increase in CPU performance, but some problems may even worsening, compared with single-core variant. Everything depends on the ability to perform this task in several parallel flows, and how well it is implemented in a particular software. Multi-core is the most promising way to improve the performance to date.

Cache  – high-speed memory, integrated directly into the CPU. It serves as a buffer between RAM computer and the actual computing processor unit. It provides increased productivity due to a much higher speed. The cache is of three levels: L1, L2, L3. The larger the cache, the faster the CPU, ceteris paribus.

Heat  – the amount of heat generated during operation by the CPU. This heat must be removed via the CPU cooling system to maintain the temperature in the optimal range. An important parameter since if the cooling system will not cope, then the processor will overheat until forced off the computer. This is especially significant during acceleration and in small enclosures .

The main producers of CPUs for PCs are the companies Intel and AMD. Processors of these companies are not interchangeable. In the case of upgrading the computer, choose the new processor based on the need to use in your computer’s motherboard.

How do I find a processor used in the computer

You may need to find out what processor is in the computer to determine the ability to install any complicated software or games. You need this information when you upgrade your computer. You can obtain this information in several ways.


The easiest and fastest way to find out, right-click on the icon “Computer” on the desktop and select “Properties”. Among other things, it will be specified by the manufacturer, model and CPU clock speed. For more information, including other features such as the processor core, process technology, socket, stepping, cache, and so forth can be found with the help of special programs. We recommend using a simple and convenient program CPU-Z showing a lot of useful information about your system. The data collected on the CPU on the CPU tab.

program CPU-Z

program CPU-Z showing a lot of useful information about your system


How do I know how many cores in the processor

This information can also get a variety of ways. The easiest way to start the Task Manager , and on the “Performance” tab to see the number of columns in the chart “CPU Usage History”. Launch Manager easiest tasks key combination Ctrl + Shift+ Escon the keyboard. In the figure below we can see the percentage of the total load and quad-core processor for each core separately.


task manager


As the number of processor cores can be found in the program shows information about the system, such as in the above CPU-Z program.

Since the performance of the entire computer is most dependent on the performance of the CPU, then it is usually the first candidate to replace the old computer.However, if you are not going to change at the same time and the motherboard, then your choice is strictly limited CPU socket (socket) of the motherboard.Moreover, even if the socket on the motherboard and the CPU are the same does not mean that you can install it. Sometimes the motherboard does not support all processors models with the CPU socket, or only support with the updated firmware. Find out the exact list of supported motherboard CPU can be in the specifications on the website of the motherboard manufacturer.

So we looked at what the CPU, its main characteristics that affect performance and how they can learn.

Install a Hard Drive

How to choose a motherboard?