What Is Processor (CPU)? What You Need To Know

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Like every component on a laptop, tablet, computer or phones, most people have a difficult time knowing what it is or does on our devices. Big companies that is trying to sell you those components fail to realize that most people don’t have knowledge of what is the difference between the specifications of those component. They may look at it as advantage that you don’t know that knowledge.  

We all hear companies say you get this and that on a component without knowing what it is or even if this component is good or not. Our lack of knowledge makes it easier for companies to sell you anything that sound fancy without giving you quality and the best component for your money. The same is it with processor.

In this article we are going to empower so you understand what a processor is and what it does on your device, so you can make better decisions when you are buying a device.

The Basics of Processor (CPU)

Let’s first start with what CPU stands for. CPU stand for Central Processing Unit.  Like Ram and graphics card, the processor is one of the most important components on your device. Some would say that of those three, the processor is the most important. We say that with all of them nothing would work, so they are all equally important because they depend on each other.

The short answer to what a processor is – A processor is the logic circuitry that responds to and processes the basic instructions that drive a device. A processor has four basic functions. Those functions are: fetch, decode, execute and writeback.

The main players you should know about in the CPU world are: Intel and AMD that are the two most popular CPU manufacturers for desktops, laptops and servers. Then you have Apple, NVIDIA and Qualcomm for big smartphones and tablets. Those 5 companies dominate the CPU market because they make the best processors.

What Does A CPU In Your Device?

When the Ram or graphics cards commands task the processor then interprets and execute most of the commands from the computer’s other hardware and software.

In simple terms – the CPU processes all the information from your hardware and software on your device. This process could go slow or fast, dependent on your CPU power. What deceits if your CPU is slow or fast is the CPU Clock Speed. Let’s take a look at that!

CPU Clock Speed

CPU clock speed is what determines how fast your CPU is to process, as said before. The clock speed of a processor is the number of instructions it can process in any given second, measured in gigahertz. You might have come across a CPU that has clock speed of 9.0 GHz. This means that the CPU is able to process 9 billion instructions each second.

Or you have seen a CPU with 2 Hz of Speed. This mean that the CPU is able to process 2 pieces of instructions every second.

CPU Cores

A CPU can have multiple cores, this means that the CPU have multiple processor units. What you hear often is that a CPU have dual-core or quad-core. The first one means that the CPU have two processors that can process double as fast as one CPU. The quad-core CPU can process at the speed of four CPU’s.

Just because a processor is dual-core or quad-core, that don’t mean that the processor is double as fast or four time faster than one single processor.  How fast the CPU is often depending mostly on the type of software that runs on the computer — in other words, the applications that will be using the CPU.

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