All You Need to Know About CPUs

All You Need to Know About CPUs

What is a CPU?

CPU stands for a Central Processing Unit and can be thought of as the brains of a computer. It is the main chip in a computer which is responsible for interpreting and executing commands from the computer’s hardware and software. It tells other components within a computer what to do, in accordance with the instruction given to it by the software.

Physically, it is small and square with short, rounded connectors on the underside of it, which attach to the CPU socket on the motherboard. Even when running for a short period of time, CPUs can quickly get hot. It is, therefore, necessary to attach a heat sink and fan directly on top of the CPU to help dissipate the heat. But don’t worry, these usually come in a package with the CPU.

The CPU (and the cooler it comes with) are designed to be able to be removed easily. If anything goes wrong, it means the CPU can be easily replaced. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean it can be replaced with a more powerful model. The CPU needs to be compatible with the motherboard, so if you’re after an upgrade, you may need to change the motherboard as well.


What is clock speed?

The clock speed of a CPU shows the number of instructions it can process every second. It is measured in GHz. For example, if a CPU has a clock speed of 1Hz, it can process 1 piece of instruction per second. The higher the clock speed, the more calculations the CPU can process.


What are cores?

Cores are another characteristic of a CPU that affects how quickly data is processed. There are different types of cores; single core, dual core or quad core. But what does this mean? If you have a dual core processor, it means that you are running 2 processor units side-by-side, so the CPU can manage twice the amount of instructions every second. Increasing the number of cores, increases the amount of instructions the CPU can manage, in turn, improving the performance.


What is cache?

Cache is the temporary holding place for commonly used data. Don’t get confused between cache and RAM though! Instead of calling upon RAM to access this kind of data, CPU’s determine what data you use regularly and assumes you want to keep using it. It then stores this data in a cache. Doing this is faster than using RAM as it is a physical part of the processor. Having more cache means there is more space for holding more information.


How can you tell which is the best CPU?

Unfortunately, it is not as easy as saying “the CPU with the highest clock speed is the best”. The clock speed and core won’t necessarily tell you which CPU is better than another. It completely depends on what the CPU is being used for. For example, a video editing program that demands CPUs which function best with several CPU cores, is going to work better on a multicore processor with low clock speeds than it would on a single-core process with high clock speeds. The trick is to know what you will be using the CPU for and taking it from there.


How important is CPU?

CPU’s aren’t necessarily important in deciding the overall performance of the system, but they do play a big role in the running of the device. The faster the CPU is, the faster some of the applications on your device can run, and therefore the more things you can do at once!


To conclude, the CPU is the brains behind the computer, and can affect how quickly or slowly some of your applications can run. It is important to know what the CPU will be used for before you purchase it. Here at Servers and Spares, we stock lots of different types of CPUs, from Intel to HP to AMD. Whatever you need, we will have it! Take a look at our website now!