So what is a CPU? A CPU is a chip responsible for calculations; it makes all the logical decisions: the tasks your computer does, from the most straightforward thing like opening a window to the most complicating tasks like completing a 3D animation. That is the reason why many scientists called this the brain of the PC.
The CPU executes three essential functions: Receive Input Data, Processing Data, and Provide Output Data. When you write a letter, you input some text, and each letter entered is Input Data; the processor receives the Input Data, Process it, and provides the Output. In this case, everything that you typed will appear on the screen, and everything happened in a fraction of a second.
CPU essential features
Every other processor contains several essential features:
Socket: The socket is a physical connection between the CPU and the motherboard. It is responsible for transmitting energy to the processor.
Core: The cores are responsible for the processing speed; the more cores the CPU has, the more functions it can execute simultaneously without overloading your system.
Clock: The clock is responsible for defining your processor’s frequency to execute a task. Hertz(Hz) calculates the clock; this means the number of cycles that can happen in a given amount of time; in seconds, in the PC’s case. If the processor has a 2GHz of the clock, it can have up to 2 Billion; that’s 2,000,000,000 cycles per second, so the higher the clock frequency, the lower the execution time will be.
Cache: The cache is the CPU’s auxiliary memory, where the most accessed data will be processed and then identified and stored. The CPU will access this memory and can execute the action faster because it’s more readily available. The more cache there is, the more quick storage capacity, which results in a faster speed.
AMD vs. Intel
Well, there are two leading manufacturers of CPUs out there, AMD and Intel. Before you buy the CPU, you need to look at your motherboard; each has a socket that only specific CPUs are fit for that motherboard. It would be best if you read first your motherboard compatibility. Another thing to consider is what kind of CPU do you need. Is it for a Desktop PC, Laptop, or Mobile Phone?
Types of CPUs
Desktop CPU, Mobile CPU, and Server CPU. These are the different types of CPUs out there on the market; they do the same functions, but they differ in usage and features. The Desktop CPU has the advantage of higher thermal tolerance compare with the others. Mobile CPU has a lower and slower CPU speed, mainly because it conserves battery power. The Server CPU is the most expensive because the manufacturers need to test it in harsh and stressful conditions like higher computing loads and high temperatures; it also has a unique feature called ‘failover.’; when a backup PC automatically takes over the failing PC.
Choosing the right CPU
Social groups are using CPUs, merely checking on what social group you are on for what is need for your PC.
Home Users, needs are very different than for business users and servers. For home use, processing needs are not so crucial as compared to corporate needs. The CPU has an integrated GPU on it since intensive graphic applications are not likely to be run; this will save money since the GPU is very costly. Also, look into the CPU frequency. A 1GHz or higher is enough for a home PC.
Consider the number of cores needed for office use if the programming needs are more intensive, such as graphic design (Adobe Photoshop) and programming. Check whether how many cores are required by the software will be used. I recommend a frequency of 3GHz or higher for a home office PC. Thermal Design Factor is also needed to consider since business computing is very intensive, so that the CPU may generate high heat. Be sure to check that the cooling system to prevent overheating the computer damaging the PC.
While gamers need much more powerful CPUs than business users, they still need to check how many cores they need. Extra cores may not be required, so look for the games for details on how many cores the software can utilize—a frequency of 3.8GHz or higher is the recommended frequency for game CPUs. For gamers who want to build a budget gaming PC, a lower frequency is enough. Always check the hardware specification of the games you want to play to match the CPU you will purchase. Pay attention to your CPU’s thermal design power; you need to make sure you have a cooling system that can handle the needs of your CPU to ensure the PC won’t overheat.
Servers need to process a lot of information in a short period. They have the most cores out there in the market; the more cores, the more tasks the Server can handle. Also, check if the CPU offers hyper-threading capabilities, this will deliver more processing power for Server.
Overclocking the CPU
Overclock at your own risk.
Overclocking a CPU is like upgrading the PC without buying any upgrades; it allows the CPU to increase the clock frequency. The most common way to overclocking a CPU is from the BIOS of the computer; take note that you need an unlocked CPU to do this, enter the BIOS during system startup, locate the setting called Front Side Bus(FSB) and increase the number to make your CPU faster.