As vital as the Central Processing Unit (CPU) is, it’s no surprise that many are likely to have even a simple grasp as to what the CPU is, whether they’re interested in tech specifics or not. For those who aren’t aware of what a CPU is, don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here we’ve provided a brief explanation on what a CPU is.
A component found on the motherboard of a computer, the CPU is a surprisingly small piece of technology that is responsible for your machines operation and performance. Everything you do on a computer from moving the mouse to closing an application relies on the CPU.
Difference Between the Processor and the CPU?
It’s not wrong to call the CPU the processor and vice versa as they more or less mean the same thing, but answers will still vary depending on who you ask. Broadly however, it can be said that they have similar functions. Both the CPU and processor do indeed “process” commands, but is should be said that the processor is actually part of the CPU and that a CPU can have more than one processor.
The CPU is Used For…
As it is found inside the motherboard you can know for sure that it plays a part in the typical functions of a computer. Sometimes called the brain of the computer, it is used to send commands and signals with the goal of controlling other parts of the computer. It is vital for the operation of a computer, which would be little more than an extravagant paper weight without the functions of a CPU.
What to Look for When Selecting a CPU
When buying a CPU, for gaming or otherwise, it’s important to keep in mind what you’re looking for, as well as what your budget is. As with everything else, the better the CPU, the more expensive it is.
Surprising for some people, CPUs can actually be found in other machines, such as desktops, mobiles, and servers. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll be focusing on desktop CPUs.
First things first would be to consider the amount of cores you’re looking for. Multi-core processors are extremely common nowadays as technology advances, and it really depends on what type of motherboard you’ll be slotting your CPU into when choosing one, as certain motherboard software may only be able to utilize a few of the cores your eight-core processor is packing.
Next thing to consider would be the available cache to be found on a processor. The cache is what gives your computer speed when retrieving files, and in this case it’s the larger the better.
Integrated Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) is the part of the CPU that performs graphics related calculations. Some processors don’t have integrated GPUs, and instead rely on a separate graphics card to perform as needed.
Other important things to consider would be the socket compatibility, which is quite important, as this is what enables the interface between the CPU and the motherboard. If they’re incompatible it would mean that you’ve wasted money. The frequency of the CPU and the thermal design power, which is the operating speed of your CPU and the cooling device of your CPU respectively.