Computer CPU Knowledge

A Computer CPU is, in simple terms, the “brain” of your computer. It is also known as the processor. CPU’s are used to process everything from basic to complex functions. Every time something needs to be computed it gets sent to the CPU. It attaches directly to the motherboard using a socket and is usually cooled by a heat sink or fan. Depending on the manufacturer of the computer processor, the socket types will be different.

Make sure that your CPU has the correct socket type for your motherboard. Not all CPU’s have pins on the bottom side, but be careful with ones that do. The pins can be easily bent while attaching the CPU to the motherboard. Processors have drastically advanced over the years from the Pentium 4 Processor, to the Core 2 Duo, and now to the Quad Core Processor.

There are several different manufacturers of CPU’s such as Intel and Athlon. Each manufacturer has many versions of their processors, differing in specifications. To identify one CPU from another, each version is given a core name. Taking Intel for example, a couple of the different cores might be: Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad. Each CPU has a clock speed, which refers to the speed that the CPU runs. This is the most important indicator of a CPU’s performance level. Another very important performance factor of a CPU is the FSB. The FSB is the data transfer speed between the CPU and the RAM. A CPU also has an L2 Cache speed. Level-2 cache is an area of fast memory inside the CPU. This memory is used to store more frequently used data so it will not have to be received from slower RAM. The larger the L2 Cache, the faster your processor will be. The technological advancement of processors has made them more efficient in many ways.

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