What Is A Processor Core?
Inside your CPU are cores. Your computer couldn’t work without them! But, how does a CPU core actually work?
Every computer has a processor, whether it’s a small efficiency processor or a large performance powerhouse, or else it wouldn’t be able to function. Of course, the processor, also called the CPU or Central Processing Unit, is an important part of a functioning system, but it isn’t the only one.
Today’s processors are almost all at least dual-core, meaning that the entire processor itself contains two separate cores with which it can process information. But what are processor cores, and what exactly do they do?
What Is a Processor Core?
A processor core is a processing unit that reads instructions to perform specific actions. Instructions are chained together so that, when run in real-time, they make up your computer experience. Literally, everything you do on your computer has to be processed by your processor.
Whenever you open a folder, that requires your processor. When you type into a word document, that also requires your processor. Things like drawing the desktop environment, the windows, and game graphics are the job of your graphics card—which contains hundreds of processors to quickly work on data simultaneously. However, to some extent, they still require your processor as well.
Related: AMD or Intel? Why You Only Have Two Choices When It Comes to Processors
How Does a Processor Core Work?
The designs of processors are extremely complex and vary widely between companies and models. Processor architectures are constantly being improved to produce the most performance in the least amount of space and energy consumption.
But despite all the architectural differences, processors go through four main steps whenever they process instructions: fetch, decode, execute, and writeback.
The fetch step is what you expect it to be. Here, the processor core retrieves instructions that are waiting for it, usually from some sort of memory. This could include RAM, but the instructions are usually already waiting for the core inside the processor cache in modern processor cores.
The processor has an area called the program counter, which essentially acts as a bookmark, letting the processor know where the last instruction ended, and the next one begins.
Once it has fetched the immediate instruction, it goes on to decode it. Instructions often involve multiple areas of the processor core—such as arithmetic—and the processor core needs to figure this out.
Each part has something called an opcode which tells the processor core what should be done with the information that follows it. Once the processor core has figured this all out, the different areas of the core itself can get to work.
Related: What Is CPU Hyperthreading and How Does It Work?
The execute step is where the processor knows what it needs to do, and actually goes ahead and does it. What happens here varies depending on the area of the processor core in use and the information put in.
For example, the processor can do arithmetic inside the ALU, or Arithmetic Logic Unit. This unit can connect to different inputs and outputs to crunch numbers and get the desired result.
The final step, called writeback, simply places the result of what’s been worked on back into memory. Where exactly the output goes depends on the needs of the running application, but it often stays in processor registers for quick access as the following instructions often use it.
It’ll get taken care of from there until parts of that output need to be processed once again, which can mean that it goes into the RAM.
It’s Just One Cycle
This entire process is called an instruction cycle. These instruction cycles happen ridiculously fast, especially now that we have powerful processors with high frequencies. Additionally, an entire multi-core CPU does this on every core, so data can be crunched roughly as many times faster as your CPU has cores than if it were stuck with only one core of similar performance.
CPUs also have optimized instruction sets hardwired into the circuitry to speed up familiar instructions sent to them. A popular example is SSE.
Related: How to Check If Your CPU or GPU Is Overclocked
CPUs Keep Getting Better
Don’t forget that this is a very simple description of how a processor core works. In reality, they are far more complex and take care of more than we realize. The current trend is that processor manufacturers are trying to make their chips as efficient as possible, including shrinking the transistors. This leads to an increased transistor density and better energy consumption.
CPU Cores How Many Do I Need
Whether you want to run basic programs or you crave the most power from your new laptop or desktop PC, it’s helpful to know how many CPU cores you need before you start shopping.
These components can directly determine the type of software you can run and how many programs your PC can handle at once. Planning ahead for your computing needs can save you time, frustration, and expense down the road. However, knowing exactly how many cores are necessary for your optimal functionality can be tricky.
In this guide, we break down the number of CPU cores you may need for different computing tasks and how you can choose the best CPU for you. Keep in mind, though, that number of cores is only one aspect of shopping for the ideal CPU for your computer. Clock speed of your cores is the other thing you should keep in mind. You can read about CPU clock speed in our HP Tech Takes article here.
What are CPU cores?
The central processing unit (or CPU) is what allows your PC to perform tasks through applications and provides instructions that deliver information stored to RAM (random access memory).
CPU cores are the pathways made up of billions of microscopic transistors within a processor that help to make it work. For anyone interested in multi-tasking, you’ll need at least two cores to get the job done properly.
In 1971, when CPUs were first invented, they only had one CPU core. This was because computers typically only had to work on one task at a time. These CPUs didn’t need to launch and run the variety of applications we expect today. Over time, as computers needed to run several programs at once, it led to the introduction of more cores added to CPUs.
As of this writing, we are on generation 10 of Intel® Core™ processors, which add more power and capabilities than ever before. The more cores you have in your computer, the easier it is to work on a number of tasks at once.
How many CPU cores do I need?
Different computing tasks take different resources. The number one factor of whether programs will run smoothly is how many cores you have. If you want to run multiple apps at once or more resource-intensive programs, your device needs multiple CPU cores.
But if you plan to simply create text documents, browse the web, or complete other basic tasks, then your basic models should include two cores, which you can find in most standard-tier laptops.
In this day and age it’s tough to find a computer with one core. If you do have just one, don’t expect to be able to open more than one program at a time.
Dual-core is the sweet spot for most budget users. You can access email, create and edit documents and spreadsheets, and have music playing without overloading your system. Don’t expect to render or edit video without crashing your system, though. Also, you can probably play many games on lower settings, but if you are serious about your gaming, you will want to consider upgrading to a quad-core processor.
Quad-core CPUs allow you to render video (slowly) or play games (at lower resolutions) in addition to all your regular work or school tasks. Most gamers will be fine here as long as you are not playing the most processor-intensive games and you have a dedicated GPU.
However, if you work in video editing, graphic design and 3D rendering, sound editing, or a similar profession, you would be better served by more cores. These industries require applications that use more processing power, along with features like a dedicated GPU, increased storage space, and at least 16GB of RAM.
You can use hexa-core processors for all of the aforementioned tasks as well as more complex software such as video and audio editing. For more advanced games and programs, this is a good choice since it allows you to run multiple applications at once. Most streamers will be able to both run and stream their games with 6 cores, while those who work with other forms of media will have plenty of power to get the job done.
8 or more cores
Octa-core CPUs are great if you’re a pro gamer or an aspiring one, a video editor, or an engineer. Video gamers who play, record, and stream intensive games should opt for more cores for as much power as possible. And if you routinely use power-intensive software like VR or AutoCAD, this is your sweet spot, too.
Many computers now come with an octa-core CPU as a customization option, so if you think you are likely to transition into any of these careers, then it may be worth spending a little more to beef up your computer, either by customizing when you buy it or upgrading down the road.
Deciding on your CPU
CPU vs GPU
Both CPU (central processing unit) and GPU (graphics processing unit) need to work together for optimal performance. The CPU allows you to handle a larger array of tasks more quickly, and is better used for logic-based tasks.
In contrast, a GPU allows you to render high-resolution images and video at the quality that you need. This is particularly important when performing high-intensity visual tasks such as gaming and video rendering. You can read here for more about CPU vs GPU for gaming.
Cores vs threads
Processors use a process called simultaneous multithreading, also known as hyper-threading on Intel processors. This is the splitting of a core into several virtual threads. A core will utilize threads in order to offer more power to specific programs, and most processors can provide twice as many threads as cores. Read more about threads and hyperthreading in our HP Tech Takes article here.
Overall, cores are used to transmit information throughout your computer and allow you to make changes to files. You can speed up the processing time of your CPU by having multiple cores and tinkering with overclocking (which you can read about here). Be careful though, overclocking can void your warranty and wear out your components faster.
Also called “clock speed,” CPU speed reveals how quickly the CPU retrieves information from your RAM that your computer requires for a given task. It can also help you to see whether or not you have enough cores available on your device and where you can make improvements in terms of RAM, graphics, and other key features.
The higher your CPU speed, the more likely it is that your computer will run well across multiple applications. CPU speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz), and a CPU speed of 3.5 GHz is more than enough for most users to run your preferred software. For gaming, video editing, and other applications that need several cores, aim for a CPU speed of 3.5 GHz to 4.0 GHz for best results.
While CPU speed is important, you must also consider how it can work with your cores and how that may affect your computing experience. These two aspects of your CPU should be evaluated together to determine whether or not your computer is running at optimum speed.
Is it better to have a higher CPU speed or more cores?
Whether you choose to have a higher CPU speed or to have more cores can depend on what exactly you want from your device. A faster CPU speed typically helps you to load applications faster, while having more cores allows you to have more programs running at the same time and to switch from one program to the other with more ease.
- If you routinely load lots of software and run multiple programs at once, then you’ll want to have more cores and a lower CPU speed.
- If you want to play processor intense video games or run programs that render large amounts of information at a fast pace, then opt for a high CPU speed and fewer cores.
This will determine the type of processor you want and its generation. Keep in mind, too, that newer processors are likely to run much more efficiently than older ones. Also, freeing up some space on your hard drive can make it easier for your CPU to access information, which is better for all of your computing.
How does cost factor into your decision on number of cores?
Price is a major issue in determining how many cores you choose to have on either your laptop or desktop PC.
While it would definitely be nice to be able to have both multiple cores and a high CPU speed, it can become pretty expensive to invest in both of these features. You also need to keep in mind that desktops and laptops usually have different configurations when it comes to how many cores are available.
When in doubt, you’ll need to consider which types of applications you are running. If you have programs like video games and video editing software, then a faster clock speed is usually the right option. However, if you plan to multitask and switch between software, then multiple cores may be the better solution for you.
Laptops CPU cores vs desktops CPU cores
Laptops typically have fewer cores than desktop PCs, primarily because laptops have less power than a comparable desktop.
Since you always have incoming power when connected to an outlet, you are already at an advantage when you use a desktop. A desktop PC also has more internal space for fans or cooling liquid, which means you can run more cores at one time without worrying about overheating.
We recommend those using AutoCAD® and who are involved in graphic design or data science to check out our list of the 10 best HP workstation computers for AutoCAD, which include the HP Z4 G4 Workstation and the HP Z8 G2 Workstation. They’re designed with your profession and field in mind.
The number of cores in a computer can directly impact your gaming experience. As a result, we generally recommend desktop PCs for hardcore or professional gamers, like those in the HP OMEN series of computers. You’ll find top-tier, customizable options that can handle pretty much any major game released today.
Improving laptop power
There have been some major developments when it comes to the processing power of laptops. Many are even available with quad-core processors, which can handle several demanding applications at once. And for most users, 4 cores should be more than enough.
Laptops may not be capable of the same cooling functions and power as a desktop PC, but you also can’t beat their portability and versatility. The HP ZBook series strikes an incredible balance between portability and power, and you’ll find many of these laptops can handle most of your needed applications.
When buying a new computer, whether a desktop PC or laptop, it’s important to know the number of cores in the processor. Most users are well served with 2 or 4 cores, but video editors, engineers, data analysts, and others in similar fields will want at least 6 cores.
The good news is that HP® makes it easy to know the number of cores in your next potential purchase by providing that information clearly on the specs tab of every device.
About the Author
Daniel Horowitz is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Daniel is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine, and many other media outlets.
What are CPU cores? How many CPU cores do I need?
CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the most important part of a computer. All the calculations needed to run a particular task or application on a computer are processed by the CPU. That’s why it is also called the brain of the computer. Basically, a CPU is of the following two types:
- Single-core processor.
- Multi-core processor.
All the processors with more than one core, like dual-core, quad-core, etc., are commonly known as multi-core processors.
In this post, we will describe different types of CPU cores so that you can select the right CPU as per your requirements.
What are CPU cores?
CPU cores are the pathways that are consist of billions of microscopic transistors. These cores are located inside a CPU and help it to process data. In simple terms, we can say that CPU cores are something that helps a CPU execute a process. If a CPU has multiple cores, the computer treats each core as a separate CPU that helps it process multiple tasks at the same time.
The earlier computers were able to do only one task at a time. This is because they contained a single-core CPU. But as technology developed, the manufacturers brought us CPUs with multiple cores and today almost all computers come with multi-core CPUs.
How many CPU cores do you need?
When it comes to buying a new computer, many users do not know how many CPU cores do they actually need. A CPU core is one of the factors that determines how smooth the programs will run on a computer. If your job requires working on multiple programs at a time, you need a multiple-core CPU.
The type of software or applications you require determines the number of cores you actually need. For example, if you need a multi-core CPU only for some basic tasks, like internet surfing, creating text documents, etc. , you can go with a dual-core CPU. On the other hand, if you are a programmer or a graphics designer, you need higher core CPUs that depend on the type of application you use, such as Photoshop, AutoCAD, etc.
Now, let’s see the different types of CPU cores:
- Single-core processor or CPU with one core.
- Dual-core processor or CPU with 2 cores.
- Quad-core processor or CPU with 4 cores.
- Hexa-core processor or CPU with 6 cores.
- Octa-core processor or CPU with 8 cores.
Read: Do more CPU cores mean better performance?
1] Single-core processor
When the CPU was invented, it had only one core. This means, that the computers at that time could handle only one task at a time. Today, none of the companies are manufacturing computers with single-core CPUs.
2] Dual-core processor
Computers with dual-core CPUs are the most budget-friendly option. The computers with dual-core processors let you do multiple tasks but you cannot run heavy-duty applications. You can access your email, create spreadsheets, edit documents, listen to music, and do similar light tasks without overloading the CPU. You can also play some games on such computers but only those games that have lower graphics. If you upgrade your system from dual-core to quad-core CPU, you will have a better gaming experience.
Read: CPU Temperature Monitor and Checker software.
3] Quad-core processor
If your computer has a quad-core CPU, apart from the regular work, you can play good quality games but not the advanced ones, render videos using some basic software, etc. But if you are looking for a computer for the tasks such as video editing, 3D rendering, graphics designing, etc., the quad-core processor will not be the right choice for you. To use these applications, your computer should have a processor with at least 6 cores. Apart from the Hexa-core processor, your computer should also have at least 16 GB of RAM.
4] Hexa-core processor
Computers with hexa-core processors can run many complex programs and advanced games. In addition to this, 6 core CPU also lets you stream the video game that you are playing.
Hence, it is an ideal choice for graphics designers and video game streamers.
Read: Difference between Intel P-Cores and E-Cores explained
6] Octa-code processor
Octa-core processors are designed to handle the most complex games, applications, and software. An eight-core CPU will the best choice for you if you are a pro gamer, a video editor, or an engineer. An engineer or a programmer uses heavy-duty software. That’s why they need a high-performance computer.
Besides this, the gamers who play, record, and stream the most advanced video games should opt for octa-core or higher CPUs to avoid their system from freezing or crashing.
Read: Quick CPU lets you optimize CPU performance & Power consumption.
Should you consider only the CPU cores?
Above we have explained different types of CPU cores and which type of processor is suitable for you. But, there are some other factors too that you should consider while purchasing a computer, such as RAM, Graphics Card, CPU speed, etc.
For optimum performance, both CPU and GPU have to work parallelly. CPU processes all the arithmetic and logical calculations required to run a task, whereas, GPU renders high-quality images and videos.
What do you understand when we say computer performance? For a normal user, the term performance refers to the smooth processing of the software installed on a computer. A high-performance computer can process heavy-duty tasks without being frozen or crashed. Technically, the performance of a computer depends on the rate of data transfer between the CPU and the RAM. The faster the data is transferred, the higher is the computer performance. This is the CPU speed, a.k.a., clock speed. That’s why the processors with high clock speed are always better.
That’s it. We hope you liked the article.
Related post: Best RAM hardware modules for PC gaming.
How Many Cores? Is More Always Better?
A big hardware buzzword is multi-core, with companies like AMD and Intel releasing processors with more cores than ever. They’re exciting, particularly in the gaming world, but do you need them? We examine exactly what multi-core processors do, and if they can genuinely improve your business.
What is a multi-core processor?
A multi-core processor is a computer processor with two or more separate processing units (CPUs), called cores, each of which reads and executes program instructions, as if the computer had several processors.
In a single-core processor, the performance of the CPU is limited by the time taken to communicate with cache and RAM. Approximately 75% of CPU time is used waiting for memory access results. To improve the performance of their processors, manufacturers have been releasing more multi-core machines. A CPU that offers multiple cores may perform significantly better than a single-core CPU of the same speed.
Multiple cores allow PCs to run multiple processes at the same time with greater ease, increasing your performance when multitasking or under the demands of powerful apps and programs.
A thread is a string of data from a program that goes through a computer’s processor. Every application produces its threads. When a computer multi-tasks, because a single-core processor can manage one thread at a time, the system must move between the threads quickly to process the data.
The advantage of having several cores is that each core can handle a different data thread simultaneously, allowing for a much quicker transfer of data at any given time.
A high clock speed means faster processor. For instance, a quad-core processor may support a clock speed of 3.0GHz, while a dual-core processor may hold a clock speed of 3.5 GHz for every processor. This means that a dual-core processor can run 14% faster.
So, if you have a single-threaded program, the dual-core processor is indeed more efficient. On the flip side, if your program can use all 4 processors, then the quad-core will then be about 70% quicker than the dual-core processor.
How does it relate to business?
When multiple cores work concurrently on instructions, at a lower rate than the single-core, they achieve an immeasurable processing rate. Multi-core processors produce high-performance computing (HPC). HPC will take complex computations and break them into smaller pieces. Using software, each piece of the computation can then be solved by multiple CPU cores. Think of it as taking a supercomputer and breaking it down into smaller, more manageable building blocks that can then be used to solve complex scientific problems.
HPC can therefore enable users to manage difficult tasks at relatively lower energy, which is a significant factor in devices like laptops, mobile phones or laptop, which run on batteries. This kind of energy saving – and ultimately cost saving – is one way in which your business could benefit.
If your business deals with virtualisation, databases and the cloud then multi-core processors could also be for you.
Most computer graphic rendering software, for instance, needs a rendering engine to show what occurs in an animation. A type of artificial intelligence manages characters, simulations and events in a virtual environment. Using a single core, all of events these must work by alternating between each process. Multi-core processing is essential to get these instructions to work without jitter or extremely long process times.
This is not only the case with virtualisation. If you work with video, video encoding programs will see substantial benefits because single-frame rendering can go into individual cores and then merge into a stream via the multi-core process.
For database management, scientific analysis or anything that requires processing huge volumes of data at high speeds, HPC, enabled by multi-core processing, is also essential.
Principally, having a multi-core processor is better if the program supports it. A quad-core or dual-core processor is sufficient for a standard computer user. Many business computers now come with these as standard, even though most users and business owners will see no real benefits from using four processor cores because there isn’t enough non-specialised software to put it to use.
However, if you carry out complex tasks like a complex design rendering, scientific analysis, math programs, or desktop video editing, you can consider using higher-core-count processors.
If you want advice about your hardware and software please contact us today.
We take care of your IT, so you can focus on running your business. Whether you are looking for a comprehensive outsourced IT support service or something more flexible, CMI can help. As industry-leading specialists in network security, business continuity, hardware and software provision, cloud computing and Internet services, CMI has been helping businesses gain a competitive edge through technology for 25 years. Call today on 020 8875 7676 to learn more and sign up for a free consultation.
Core Processors Explained — Recycle Your Tec
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What is a core in a processor?
A quad-core processor is a chip with four independent units called cores that read and execute central processing unit (CPU) instructions such as add, move data, and branch. Within the chip, each core operates in conjunction with other circuits such as cache, memory management, and input/output (I/O) ports.
What’s the difference between i3 i5 and i7 processors?
For the most part, you’ll get faster CPU performance from the Core i5 parts over Core i3. Some Core i5 processors are dual-core and some are quad-core. Most of the time, a true quad-core CPU will perform better than a dual-core processor, especially on multimedia tasks like video transcoding or photo editing
The most confusing part of buying a computer is the bewildering array of CPUs (also known as processors) on offer. Which? explains what you should be looking out for and what sort of processor is best for which task. If you’re buying a computer, chances are it’ll have an Intel processor on board, although a small number come with AMD chips. In this guide, we’ll explain what different Intel processor models mean and what sort of user they’re best suited for.
Intel Atom –
Tiny tablets Atom processors heralded the arrival of ultra-thin, ultra-light laptops in the mid-2000s. These chips offered four cores for sprightly everyday computing performance. Nowadays, these chips are generally relegated to very cheap Windows tablets costing under £200. They’re not fast by any means, but they make up for their lack of oomph with impressive battery life figures and their ability to fit into very thin devices.
Intel Celeron and Pentium –
Cheap laptops and very cheap desktops Celeron and Pentium processors are at the very bottom of Intel’s range. You might be familiar with the Pentium brand, with the name being a mainstay of more powerful computers of the late 1990s. Nowadays, it sits just above Celeron in terms of performance. Newer Pentium models, such as those launched in 2017 onwards, are becoming more common on laptops costing between £250 and £300. These chips are power-efficient, meaning they’re great when you want a laptop with a long battery life. They’re perfectly usable for web browsing and basic office work. You can also find Celerons inside some very cheap desktops. These machines tend to score very poorly in our tests and negate many of the advantages you get from having bought a desktop in the first place. We don’t tend to recommend them.
Intel Core i3, i5 and i7,
More complicated than they seem This is where things start to get a little bit confusing and is where Intel’s naming convention disguises how powerful a laptop actually is. When looking at what sort of processor a computer has, be sure to check the full specification sheet to see the precise processor model. This makes a big difference to how powerful your PC will be. For example, a computer that’s labelled as having a ‘Core i5’ processor could have any number of different specifications. Taking the Core i5 example, your computer could have any of the following, and many beyond that as well: Core i5-7400, Core i5 7600K, Core i5 7300U, Core i5-7500HQ, Core i5-7400T and Core i5 7Y57. The trend applies to i3 and i7 chips, too. Note the different four-digit number and the trailing letter (or the Y in one case). It’s the trailing letter (suffix) that gives you the most information about what sort of processor you’re looking at. No suffix: This is a standard desktop processor, generally with four cores and a high clock speed for excellent everyday performance and the ability to edit videos and photos at high speed. T suffix: Found in smaller desktops and AIO PCs. These chips are functionally the same as those without a suffix and have the same number of cores, but with a slower clock speed. K suffix: The highest-performance processor you’ll find in a computer you can buy on the high street. Similar to a chip with no suffix, but generally with a higher clock speed. These chips can be ‘overclocked’ by those with technical knowledge. U suffix: ‘Ultra’ low power. These chips generally have two cores (although newer models now have four cores) and are among the slowest processors with Core i branding. These chips can often be found in cheaper AIO PCs and in many laptops. They can be suitable for photo and video editing, but tend to be a lot slower when performing tasks such as exporting files to disk. If you’re looking for a photo-editing machine, pick a Core i5 or even try to stretch to an i7. HQ suffix: Generally found in powerful laptops and normally come with four cores. Perfect for video and photo editing, but sacrifices battery life and portability. Y in the middle: Y are the lowest-power chips you can find. They aren’t really suitable for photo or video editing but will be fine for lighter tasks. The advantage of choosing one of these is very good performance for lighter tasks, coupled with a longer battery life. Laptops that use this chip tend to have fanless designs, meaning they’re totally silent and very thin.
Plus In April 2018, Intel announced Intel Core i3+, i5+ and i7+. This new naming convention shows when an Intel Optane SSD is installed in a computer. Optane works out which files and programs you use most and moves them to an ultra-fast SSD for better performance. You don’t have to manage this yourself; it’s done completely automatically and doesn’t affect where you’ll find your files on your PC. Core i9 In 2017, Intel introduced the Core i9 product lines. These are hugely expensive processors for PCs that cost in excess of £800. The company also introduced i9 chips to laptops in 2018. Again, these are reserved to powerful laptops designed for high-end work such as video editing.
ALM sell a wide range of Core wholesale laptops, ranging from i3 to i7 4th generation, so no matter what you are looking for, we can provide high end core processors at low wholesale value.
Visit there website here to check out our used laptops deals.
This blog was completed by Recycle You Tec, visit our website here.
The difference between CPU and Cores
A CPU (Central Processing Unit) or Processor is often referred to as the brain of the computer. If that is the case, the Cores would then be the left brain and the right brain (for dual-core processors) or multiple brain partitions even.
One Core can function without the other and both can function simultaneously as is normally the case. The same cannot be said of the human brain, unfortunately. As you can tell from this analogy, the Core is not the entirety of the CPU but rather simply a slice of the pizza.
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Something else to talk about is Intel’s Core naming scheme which introduced Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 and as of recently Core i9. This naming scheme replaced Intel Pentium (e.g. I, II, III and IV) and shouldn’t be confused with the actual Core which is more related to the CPU. We will get to this in a bit, or you can scroll below to read all about it if you wish.
CPU [Central Processing Unit]
The CPU is the ‘Einstein’ of your PC, that big brain. Our Einstein makes use of a system the good team here at Dignited have dubbed FEDEX – Fetch, Decode and Execute. The route FEDEX takes on Einstein’s behest starts with fetching data input. Einstein then makes light work of these instructions and decodes them before passing them along for their immediate execution. To further break this down, the CPU is composed of three core components:
- Control Unit(CU): that extracts instructions from memory which it decodes and executes.
- Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU): that handles arithmetic and logical operations.
- Processor Register – gives the ALU the needed data or operands and stores it.
Most modern CPUs are in truth microprocessors. Microprocessors are entire CPUs housed on a single Integrated Circuit (IC). Secondly, some, although not all CPUs pack an integrated GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), Imput/Output and memory controllers on board.
Once we move into smartphone and Internet of Things (IoT) territory, things get more interesting. Systems on a chip (SoC) contain a CPU, RAM, ROM, I/O (Input/Output) ports, RF (Radio Frequency), along with this and that on the Integrated Circuit which makes up a full-fledged PC.
Related: What is a SoC (System on a Chip) and how is it different from the CPU?
What is a Core?
A core is the most basic computational/processing unit of a CPU capable of executing one instruction at a time. It consists of its own Arithmetic Logic Unit, Control Unit and set of registers. Where early CPUs consisted of only a single core, current CPUs can have several cores. You should note that the CPU itself remains a single physical computational unit which rather multiple cores.
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Multi-core processors can be dual-core (2 CPUs), quad-core (4 CPUs) and so on and so forth and these execute parallel instructions at the same time given that each core is its own CPU. Hyperthreading further doubles the number of CPUs (called logical processors this time) for PCs that support it.
The core can be best described as the nervous system (the clock) or the road network of the PC with the brain (CPU) at the top. This nervous system or clock determines how fast our Einstein can ‘think’ which involves the speed at which program instructions are FEDEXed (Fetch, Decode, Execute). This clock is measured in Gigahertz, hence, for instance, a 2. 5GHz PC ‘thinks’ 2.5 billion times per second.
In order for the core to be more efficient doing its job for FEDEX, it has two means of transport AKA cache. L1 cache is akin to a bicycle which is fastest and weaves through the road network like a bread through butter. L1 cache is the closest and smallest but also the fasted. L2 cache is a delivery van which is bigger but not as fast as L1 cache. L1 and L2 cache serve the purpose of storing data to and from RAM to speed up access.
Related: Hyper-threading, Turbo boost, Overclocking: CPU basics explained
What about Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 and Core i9?
I am going to say this three times: don’t confuse this numbering scheme with an actual core as they are fundamentally two separate things. The truth of the matter is that this numbering scheme is some next level nonsense which Intel came up with. Internally, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 and Core i9 help Intel to explain how much horsepower a PC has.
Keep in mind that when you’re purchasing a PC, the devil is always in the details, as they say. You might find that a Core i3 and a Core i9 can both be a dual core or a quad core.
The pecking order is as follows: a Core i3 is reserved for budget PCs for light usage whereas Core i5 is reserved for midrange PCs. It’s a healthy balance between performance and price. A Core i7 and Core i9 are top of the range. This is the territory for professionals and enthusiasts who require tremendous performance and have the mullah to throw at it.
CPU vs Cores: Closing remarks
The difference between a CPU vs Cores is quite blurry for the uninitiated, hence the analogy galore up there. Anyway, long story short, a CPU performs basic arithmetic, logical, control and input/output operations. The core for its part does the actual legwork here, which includes fetch, decode and execute.
Multicore CPUs are definitely faster than single core CPUs. But there’s a catch. Most programs are executed by following step by step instructions on one single core. In this case, the other cores would lie idle which won’t be very helpful in terms of speed and efficiency.
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Processor (CPU) | ATLEX.Ru
Processor, aka microprocessor, aka central processing unit, aka central processing unit (CPU), aka central processing unit (CPU) — as the name implies — the main element of the hardware providing a computing device with which information is processed. It is on the technical characteristics of the processor that they pay attention when choosing a computer or server, because the higher the performance required, the more powerful the “stone” should be. Yes, this name is also used, since the processor is most often made from a silicon crystal.
Next, let’s take a closer look at what a computer processor is and what it is for.
To better understand the purpose of the processor, let’s turn to its device. Mandatory components: the processor core, consisting of an arithmetic logic unit, internal memory (registers) and fast memory (cache), as well as a bus — a control device for all operations and external components. Through the buses, information enters the CPU, which is then processed by the core.
Thus, the main functions of the processor include:
- information processing using arithmetic and logical operations;
- Controls the operation of all computer hardware.
The performance of the hardware depends on the characteristics of the processor, which will be discussed later.
TTX of the processor
Clock frequency means the number of operations per second. The execution of individual operations can take from a few fractions of a cycle to tens of cycles. It is measured in megahertz (million cycles per second) or gigahertz (billion cycles per second). The higher the clock speed, the faster the CPU processes incoming information.
Bit depth — the number of bits (bits of binary code) processed by the central processor per unit of time. Modern processors are 32- or 64-bit, that is, they process 32 or 64 bits of information per cycle. The size of the processor also affects the amount of RAM that can be installed in the computer. Only a 64-bit processor supports more than 4 GB of RAM.
The number of cores is another important characteristic of the processor. Modern CPUs can have from one to several processing cores on a single chip. Single-core processors perform several tasks not simultaneously, but sequentially, while the execution of individual operations takes a fraction of a second. A dual-core processor is capable of performing two tasks at the same time, a quad-core processor — four, etc., which allows us to rightfully call modern computers multitasking. On the one hand, the more cores a processor has, the more powerful and productive the computer becomes. But there are also nuances. So, if the program running on the computer is not optimized for multithreading, then it will be executed by only one core, not allowing you to properly feel the full power of the device.
Cache size is another parameter that affects processor performance. This is a high-speed memory inside the processor that serves as a buffer between the processor core and RAM and provides accelerated access to blocks of information being processed at the moment. Cache memory is much faster than RAM because the processor cores interact with it directly. Modern processors have several cache levels (L1, L2, L3). The first level, although insignificant in volume (only hundreds of kilobytes), is the fastest (and most expensive), since it is located on the processor chip itself and operates at its clock frequency. The second level interacts with the first — it is larger in volume, which is especially important for resource-intensive work, but has a lower speed. Many processors also have a third, «slower» but even larger level of cache memory, which is still faster than the system’s RAM.
This, of course, is not a complete list of characteristics, but it is these parameters that have the greatest impact on the performance of a computing device, something that you should pay close attention to when choosing a processor.
But besides the technical specifications, it is also important to consider where the CPU will be used. Installing a processor for a server in a regular personal computer does not make much sense — modern desktop processors are quite powerful and productive, but they are cheaper. And putting a processor for a computer in a server in order to save money, for example, is not a good idea. Why? Let’s consider further.
Reliability and 24/7 stability are required from a server, and therefore server processors are carefully tested for resistance to stressful conditions: high computing and thermal loads.
Due to reliability requirements, the processor for the server does not have the ability to overclock (increase the clock frequency), due to which there is a risk of premature CPU failure.
An important feature of the server processor is support for ECC memory (error-correcting code). Memory errors that accumulate in 24/7 servers can adversely affect stability. On-the-fly correction technology is used mainly in server, not desktop processors.
Choosing a CPU
Today’s CPU market is dominated by two major manufacturers, Intel and AMD. Intel processors are expensive, but have high quality and performance. The server line is represented by Xeon processors. Intel processors implement Hyper Threading (HT) technology. The idea is that two virtual computing threads are sent to each core and due to this, the processor performance increases.
Technologically, AMD processors lag behind Intel, but are much cheaper. AMD CPUs often have a video core built into them. For servers, a series of Opteron processors is offered.
ATLEX.Ru offers for rent in Russia or Europe dedicated servers with Intel Xeon Quad Core processors. We hope that after this material you will easily understand the parameters of the processors and choose the best server for your tasks.
Processor and its components — online student guide
Description and purpose of processors
Design of the processor
Principles of operation of the processor
Characteristics of the processor
Types of processors
Description and purpose of processors
The main component of any computer system is the central processor. The CPU is involved in performing calculations and coordinating the work of other computer components. The processor has software and hardware «mechanisms» of interaction. The speed and performance of the computer depends on the performance of the processor.
Most often, the CPU is simply called the processor, such names as stone, percent, crystal, etc. are also common. All modern CPU models correspond to the characteristics of microprocessors, which they are.
Microprocessors are complex electronic devices that are small in size and consist of several blocks. The main component of the CPU is a crystalline silicon wafer with an integrated circuit located on it. On an area of just a few square meters. mm, several billion transistors are soldered, connected by the smallest gold contacts.
To protect the crystal, it is placed in a sealed hard plastic or ceramic case. The lower part of the case has contact outputs for connecting the crystal to the motherboard microcircuits. The main task of the CPU is the automated execution of program instructions.
The processor unit includes the following components:
- ALU – arithmetic logic unit that performs the bulk of mathematical and logical operations;
- Address and data buses;
- Control device — coordinates and coordinates the work of devices interconnected with the CPU;
- Registers ALU — temporary storage of performance data;
- Cache and program counters — storage of working data required to quickly launch frequently used applications. Unlike operational memory, cache memory processes information much faster.
Principles of operation of the processor
The operation of the CPU is controlled by software (driver) registered in the computer’s memory. To store the main (executive) components of the program, RAM is used, the settings and adjustments are registered in the BIOS integrated into the motherboard. The command is sent to the ALU, after which the responses are recorded in the register. The written command during operation forms subordinate commands, registered by a counter, the value of which increases until a new command is initiated.
The command is formed by the operational records to be executed, the data addresses and the result. Addresses are used to move data to non-command registers, which are also necessary for intermediate recording of the result. After writing to the register, the result is reflected in the command.
One of the most important parameters of a CPU is its clock frequency, which determines its performance. In one cycle, many operations can be performed, per second, a modern processor is capable of performing several billion cycles, depending on the frequency. Clock frequency is expressed in GHz (GHz). 1 gigahertz is equal to a billion clock cycles, which means that a 3.4 GHz CPU performs 3.4 million clock cycles per second. Additional ways to increase CPU performance are to increase the number of cores or implement hyper-trading technology — which creates virtual cores.
The CPU communicates with other computer components through contact lines, address, control, and data bus. The data and address buses, which have a certain bit width multiple of eight, are of the greatest importance. The bit depth indicator affects the amount of information transmitted per second, that is, it determines the degree of performance. The higher the bit depth, the faster the information is transmitted and processed. In addition, the bit depth index affects the maximum amount of installed RAM.
Modern technologies provide for working with a large amount of information, so several bits are transmitted in 1 cycle and the indicator increases depending on the bus width. The bus bandwidth can be calculated by multiplying the number of bits transmitted per second by the bus frequency. So, with a bus frequency of 100 MHz, it is possible to transfer 2 bits per 1 cycle, which indicates a throughput of 200 Mbps.
Modern PCs have throughput rates measured in tens of gigabits. In addition to the bus, an important parameter of the CPU is the cache memory, or rather its size. This department is responsible for the non-stop processing of information coming from the RAM (random access memory). The cache is a kind of buffer that has a higher performance than RAM.
If it is necessary to sequentially process several disparate data, they come to the cache memory one by one from the operational memory. The possibility of data buffering made it possible to significantly speed up the computer’s performance and minimize the so-called freezes.
The cache is subdivided into three levels, which differ in speed, localization, volume and size:
- L1 — maximum performance, located on the core chip, has a minimum volume;
- L2 — average speed, installed next to the core, can be up to several megabytes in size;
- L3 — has more memory than the L2 cache, lower performance, located next to the core.
The total amount of memory determines the performance of the PC as a whole.
Technological features and limitations allow the CPU to interact only with a certain type of memory. Also, each processor has its own socket (socket) with a certain number of pins. There are no universal sockets, only a certain model of processor can be installed on each motherboard.
Types of processors
Currently, microprocessors for home PCs are produced by Intel and AMD. The very first processor released by Intel Corp. had the symbol 8086, where the last three digits indicate the number of contacts and the appropriate socket. The first generation of CPUs, called x86, had a narrow line and a simple gradation: from 8086 to 80386. Companies such as IBM, Cyrix and Texas Instr. are also engaged in the release of processors, but they are more focused on the corporate and industrial segment.
New processors are often labeled x2, x3, etc., indicating the number of physical cores on a chip. Thus, the Phenom X3 8600 processor model, released in early 2010 by AMD, runs on three physical cores with the same clock speed. Among modern Intel processors, there is a noticeable gradation by generation, for example, the I3 2120 is the second generation processor of the “i” line. Modern processors may have an integrated video chip on the chip, the performance of which depends on the specific model.
The CPU is matched to the motherboard socket, system bus frequency, and compatible RAM. The new processors are highly automated intelligent systems that not only have automatic thermal shutdown, but also work with switching power consumption modes.
There are multiprocessor systems, characterized by the simultaneous operation of several processors installed on one motherboard.
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In this article, you will learn about the CPU, ALU and clock speed.
In the human body, the brain is responsible for all the functioning of the organs. It gives electrical impulses — commands, thanks to which the organs work correctly. A similar function in the computer is performed by central processor . It is also called CPU . Decoding CPU — Central Processing Unit (central processing unit).
What it looks like and where is the CPU
The processor itself looks like a small square-shaped plate a couple of millimeters thick. Most often it is covered with a metal cover. On the reverse side there are many contacts — legs .
What does it mean CPU on the processor
All parts of the computer are attached to the motherboard. It ties the entire system together. The motherboard has a socket for the CPU — socket . It works as an adapter between motherboard pins and processor pins:
Purpose and characteristics of the processor
What functions does the central processing unit (CPU) perform
- perform arithmetic and logical operations with received data,
- transfer of data processing results to external devices,
- creation of signals for the operation of internal elements and external devices,
- storage of the results of operations performed, transmitted signals and other data.
The main functions of the central processing unit are carried out by its various elements.
The main component of the processor is core . It goes through all stages of data processing. The core itself consists of two components:
- Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) . It performs all arithmetic and logical operations.
- Control unit (CU) coordinates the interaction of various parts of the computer. It generates and sends signals to all blocks of the machine, which describe the algorithm of actions.
Processor memory is needed to store short-term information. It consists of:
- Register . They store intermediate results and current commands. The ALU can only do one operation at a time. Imagine that the device needs to solve an example: (1+1) x (2-2). It is solved in 3 steps: addition, subtraction, multiplication. The ALU cannot do this calculation in one operation. It will first perform the addition and store the result in a register. Next, do the subtraction. For multiplication, the ALU will ask the result of the previous operation from the register and finish solving the example.
- Cache memory , which is needed to speed up the execution of frequent commands. The entire list of commands is stored in RAM, so the kernel constantly accesses it for information. Frequent commands and data are stored in cache memory so as not to wait for a response from the operational one. This greatly speeds up the processor.
The interface system is needed to communicate with other computer devices. It includes:
- I/O ports that allow other devices to be connected to the CPU,
- buses are channels for data transfer between all CPU components.
Important CPU Specifications
The first important factor in CPU performance is the number of cores . One core can only perform one task. If the processor is single-core, then each task will be executed sequentially. Thus, a dual-core can perform two tasks in parallel, a tri-core can perform three, and so on. The more cores, the higher the performance of the device.
Clock frequency is the number of operations performed per second. It is measured in gigahertz (GHz — billion cycles per second). The higher the clock speed, the faster the machine runs.
When choosing a CPU, you should be guided by the purposes for which the computer will be used. The performance of other components of the PC depends on the power of the central processor. If you work with documents most of the time, then you don’t need a powerful quad-core processor. He just can’t show his full potential. And the price for such a car will be high. And if you are going to play modern computer games and plan to install a powerful video card, then the processor should be taken with a high clock speed, with four or more cores. A modern video card will not be able to show its capabilities if it is controlled by a weak CPU.
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What is a processor in a computer and why is it needed
The processor is the main part of any computer device. But many users have a very poor understanding of what a processor is in a computer and what function it performs. Although in the modern world this is important information, knowing which you can avoid many serious misconceptions. If you want to know more about the chip that powers your computer, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you will learn what a processor is for and how it affects the performance of the entire device.
What is the central processing unit
In this case, we are talking about the central processing unit. After all, there are others in the computer, for example, a video processor.
The central processing unit is the main part of the computer, which is an electronic unit or integrated circuit. It executes machine instructions, or program code, and is the basis of the device’s hardware.
Simply put, it is the heart and brain of the computer. It is thanks to him that everything else works, he processes data flows and controls the work of all parts of the overall system.
Physically viewed, the processor is a small, thin, square board. It has a small size and is covered with a metal lid on top.
The bottom part of the chip is occupied by contacts through which the chipset interacts with the rest of the system. By opening the cover of the system unit of your computer, you can easily find the processor, unless it is covered by the cooling system.
Until the CPU gives the appropriate command, the computer will not be able to perform even the simplest operation, such as adding two numbers. Whatever you want to do on your PC, any action involves a call to the processor. That is why it is such an important component of the computer.
Modern central processing units can not only cope with their main tasks, but can also partially replace a video card. New chips are produced with a separate place for performing the functions of a video controller.
This video controller performs all the basic necessary actions that are needed from a video card. In this case, the RAM is used as video memory. But do not be mistaken that a powerful modern processor can completely replace a video card.
Even the middle class video cards leave the video controller of processors far behind. So, the option of a computer without a video card is only suitable for office devices that do not involve performing any complex tasks related to graphics.
In such cases, there are real savings to be made. After all, you can just have a processor chipset with a good video controller and not spend money on a video card.
How the processor works
What is a processor sort of figured out. But how does it work? It’s a long and complicated process, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy enough. The principle of operation of the central processor can be considered in stages.
First, the program is loaded into RAM, from which it draws all the necessary information and a set of commands that must be executed by the processor control unit. Then all this data enters the buffer memory, the so-called processor cache.
Information comes out of the buffer, which is divided into two types: instructions and values. Both those and those fall into the registers. Registers are memory cells built into the chipset. They also come in two forms, depending on the type of information they receive: instruction registers and data registers.
One of the components of the CPU is the arithmetic logic unit. It deals with the performance of information transformations using arithmetic and logical calculations.
This is where the data from the registers goes. After that, the arithmetic-logical unit reads the received data and executes the commands that are necessary to process the resulting numbers.
Here again we are in for a split. The final results are divided into completed and unfinished. They go back to the registers, and the finished ones go to the buffer memory.
The processor cache consists of two main levels: upper and lower. The most recent commands and data are sent to the upper cache, while those not in use go to the lower one.
That is, all the information on the third level is transferred to the second, from which, in turn, the data goes to the first. And unnecessary data, on the contrary, is sent to the lower level.
After the computational cycle ends, its results are again written to the computer’s RAM. This is to ensure that the CPU cache is freed and available for new operations.
But sometimes there are situations when the buffer memory is completely full, and there is no room for new operations. In this case, data that is not currently in use goes to RAM or to the lower level of processor memory.
Types of processors
Having understood the principle of the CPU, it’s time to compare its different types. There are many types of processor. There are both weak single-core models and powerful devices with multiple cores. There are those that are designed exclusively for office work, and there are those that are necessary for the most modern games.
At the moment there are two main creators of processors — AMD and Intel. It is they who produce the most relevant and sought-after chips. You need to understand that the difference between the chips of these two companies is not in the number of cores or overall performance, but in architecture.
That is, the products of these two companies are based on different principles. And each creator has his own unique type of processor, which has a different structure from the competitor.
It should be noted that both options have their strengths and weaknesses. For example, Intel is distinguished by such plus :
- Less power consumption;
- Most hardware creators are oriented specifically towards interaction with Intel processors;
- Better performance in games;
- Intel is easier to interact with the computer’s RAM;
- Operations implemented with only one program are faster on Intel.
At the same time, there are also some disadvantages :
- As a rule, the cost of Intel chipsets is more expensive than the AMD analog;
- When working with several heavy programs, performance drops;
- Graphics cores are weaker than those of the competitor.
AMD has the following benefits of :
- Much better value for money;
- Able to ensure the reliable operation of the entire system;
- There is an opportunity to overclock the processor, increasing its power by 10-20%;
- More powerful integrated graphics cores.
However, AMD is inferior in the following parameters:
- Interaction with RAM is worse;
- The processor consumes more power;
- The frequency of work on the second and third levels of the buffer memory is lower;
- Game performance is slower.
Although there are pros and cons, companies continue to release better processors. You just have to choose which one is best for you. After all, it is impossible to say unequivocally that one company is better than another.
So, we have already figured out that one of the main characteristics of the processor is its developer. But there are a number of parameters that you need to pay even more attention to when buying.
Let’s not go far from the brand, and mention that there are different series of chips. Each manufacturer produces its own lines in different price categories, created for different tasks. Another related parameter is the CPU architecture. In fact, these are its internal organs, on which the entire operation of the chip depends.
Not the most obvious, but very important parameter is the socket. The fact is that on the processor itself, the socket must match the corresponding socket on the motherboard.
Otherwise, you will not be able to combine these two essential components of any computer. So, when assembling a system unit, you either need to buy a motherboard and look for a chipset for it, or vice versa.
Now it’s time to figure out what characteristics of the processor affect its performance. Without a doubt, the main one is the clock frequency. This is the amount of operations that can be performed in a certain unit of time.
This indicator is measured in megahertz. So what does the clock frequency of the chip affect? Since it indicates the number of operations for a certain time, it is not difficult to guess that the speed of the device depends on it.
Another important indicator is the amount of buffer memory. As mentioned earlier, it is upper and lower. It also affects processor performance.
A CPU can have one or more cores. Multi-core models are more expensive. But what does the number of cores affect? This characteristic determines the power of the device. The more cores, the more powerful the device.
The central processor plays not only one of the most important, but one might even say the main role in the operation of a computer. It is from him that the performance of the entire device will depend, as well as the tasks for which it is generally possible to use it.
But this does not mean that it is necessary to buy the most powerful processor for an average computer. Choose the best model that will meet your requirements.
Concept of computer processor (CPU), architecture, characteristics and principle of operation
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Processor for a computer (CPU)
Processor (microprocessor, CPU, central processing unit, colloquial — stone, percent, etc. ) — one might say, the heart of a computer, the brain, its main part. It processes information, executes all user commands and controls other devices of the system unit. The power of the processor determines how fast the computer will run.
The processor is mounted on the motherboard and placed in a special socket called the CPU socket. There are many types of sockets, in each of them you can install a «stone» only of its own specific type. Installation in the motherboard socket must be done very carefully, otherwise the contacts can be damaged and the “perc” will be damaged.
CPU overheat protection
During computer operation (especially in modern games or when running resource-intensive programs), the processor becomes very hot. In order for it not to fail due to banal overheating, a cooling system is attached to it. It consists of a heatsink and a fan (cooler) to dissipate heat.
The top of the processor is a metal cover designed to dissipate heat. For maximum heat dissipation, the heatsink of the cooling system should fit as closely as possible to the CPU. This is achieved by using thermal paste — a special paste with high thermal conductivity. Without a good cooling system, the processor will heat up quickly.
Modern computers have special protection against overheating. When the critical temperature is reached, the computer will turn off and, until the processor cools down, it will not turn on again. The cooling system can be inefficient if the cooler is clogged with dust, so it is recommended to clean the system unit from dust and dirt every 2-3 months. Our emergency computer help will help you with this.
Major CPU manufacturers
For many years now, two processor companies have dominated and competed on the market. These companies are called Intel and AMD. There are other manufacturers, but their market share is too small. Intel and AMD are in a constant struggle for leadership in the production of ever more powerful and productive CPUs. This rivalry is an important factor that favorably affects the development of the industry and the reduction in the cost of devices.
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The processor is a silicon semiconductor crystal grown under special conditions and using a special technology. Outwardly, it looks like a small board (approximately 5×5 cm in size) with a large number of contacts on one side and a metal cover on the other.
Inside is a very complex structure that includes hundreds of millions of transistors. They are engaged in data processing and perform arithmetic calculations, which are based on mathematical operations with numbers. It is in them that the transformation of all incoming information takes place.
Thus, the processor consists of cells that process information, which are called registers. They analyze and process all data, i.e. The CPU reads the instruction sequence contained in the registers and executes those instructions. This sequence of commands is called a program.
Consider the basic concepts of the architecture of the processor and the principle of its operation
1. It may seem surprising, but the main material from which processors are made is sand, but, to be more precise, silicon. It is purified using a special technology and a single crystal is made in the form of a cylinder, which is then cut across, obtaining plates in the form of pancakes, the thickness of which is only about 1 mm. Then, using photolithography technology, special semiconductor structures are created in “pancakes”, which will be used in future “stones”
In photolithography technology, boron ions are accelerated to tremendous speed (a high-voltage accelerator is used for this) and passed through a system of mirrors and high-precision lenses. Due to this, boron ions interspersed in silicon wafers create a structure of many transistors.
Today, this production technology makes it possible to manufacture transistors with a size of less than 32 nanometers (you can compare — the thickness of an ordinary human hair is 50,000 nm). It is logical that the thinner the process technology, the more transistors will fit in one processor, respectively, the more powerful and energy efficient it will be.
Process of photolithography in the production of processors
2. In the course of its development, semiconductor structures are constantly evolving. Therefore, the principles of constructing processors, the number of elements included in their composition, how their interaction is organized, are constantly changing. Thus, CPUs with the same basic principles of structure are usually called processors of the same architecture. And these principles themselves are called processor architecture (or microarchitecture).
Despite this, within the same architecture, some processors can differ quite a lot from each other — the system bus frequencies, the manufacturing process, the structure and size of the internal memory, etc.
3. In no case should you judge a microprocessor only by such an indicator as the frequency of the clock signal, which is measured in megahertz or gigahertz. Sometimes a “perc” with a lower clock speed can be more productive. Very important are indicators such as: the number of cycles that are needed to execute the command, the number of commands that it can execute simultaneously, etc.
Evaluation of processor capabilities (characteristics)
In everyday life, when evaluating the capabilities of the processor, you need to pay attention to the following indicators (as a rule, they are indicated on the device packaging or in the price list or store catalog):
- number of cores. Multi-core CPUs contain 2, 4, etc. on one chip (in one package). computing cores. Increasing the number of cores is one of the most effective ways to significantly increase the power of processors. But it must be taken into account that programs that do not support multi-core (as a rule, these are old programs) will not work faster on multi-core processors, because. cannot use more than one core;
- cache size. Cache is a very fast internal memory of the processor, which is used by it as a kind of buffer in case it is necessary to compensate for «interruptions» while working with RAM. It is logical that the more cache, the better.
- number of threads — system throughput. The number of threads often does not match the number of cores. For example, the quad-core Intel Core i7 runs in 8 threads and outperforms many six-core processors in its performance;
- clock frequency — a value that shows how many operations (cycles) per unit of time the processor can perform. It is logical that the higher the frequency, the more operations it can perform, i.e. the more productive it is.
- is the bus speed by which the CPU is connected to the system controller on the motherboard.
- technical process — the smaller it is, the less energy the processor consumes and, therefore, it heats up less.
When choosing a processor, of course, it is necessary to take into account the tasks that are planned to be solved using a computer. If you need a new computer to surf the Internet, watch movies and listen to music, then a dual-core processor will suffice. But if you plan to work with video editing, three-dimensional graphics, processing large amounts of data, then in this case it is better to buy at least a quad-core one.
If you are going to «upgrade» your computer or replace a processor that has failed, then you need to pay close attention to the existing configuration of the computer and especially the motherboard socket. If you have a low-power video card or little RAM, then even by purchasing a new powerful “stone”, you are unlikely to get a significant increase in computer performance, because. it affects absolutely all components of the computer.
If you have difficulty choosing a processor, you can’t decide which one will best suit your needs, then you can always contact Compolife computer service for help. Our experts will help with the selection and replacement of any processor, regardless of the manufacturer and its power. In addition, we can order the installation of a new «processor» in the system unit.
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CPU and GPU: what’s the difference?
The structure of any server is in many ways similar to the system computer unit. Inside the case is placed the motherboard, on which the components are installed. The main function is performed by the CPU — the central processing unit, which is responsible for processing all the data. But recently, servers with a GPU are in demand — a graphic processor that is capable of not only simultaneously working with a large amount of data, but also processing graphic materials. And here the question is brewing: with what processor should I choose a server for certain tasks? To answer you need to figure out what their difference is.
To begin with, it should be noted that computer processors (CPU and video card) differ from server ones in architecture. Since the CPUs installed on the servers put forward special requirements for reliability, reliability and the presence of a self-correcting system. A small change in architecture, tailored for 24/7 work and high load, is the only difference between a server processor and a computer one. That is why in the technical characteristics of servers you can often find not some Intel Core i7 CPU, but, for example, Intel Xeon E5620 (4 Core, 12M Cache, 2. 40 GHz).
GPUs in servers also have a slightly different architecture, tailored for the tasks of processing large amounts of data in non-stop mode. Video cards in system units and in servers may look similar in appearance, but they differ technically. Nvidia has dedicated GPU lines for server hardware called TESLA and QUADRO. Video cards from the QUADRO series have an architecture focused on machine learning and video analytics, with no restrictions on the number of input video streams (the Geforce gaming series has a maximum of 3 streams). And the GPUs in the TESLA line support virtualization, which allows you to perform even more complex tasks. And AMD has a dedicated server solution called FirePro or Radeon & Vega.
Two technologies are used on servers to operate applications with the math module of the video card — CUDA and OpenCL.
Why servers use GPU
And now let’s move on to the direct difference in the capabilities of the CPU and GPU in servers. A few years ago, only CPUs were used in storage systems, which were responsible for processing all data, including graphics and video. Any central processor is capable of processing graphic materials, but only when it comes to simple tasks. For example, display an image on the screen or provide remote access to graphics. The first computers that could play 2D games worked on this principle, but they did not have discrete graphics cards.
Now the processing of graphic information has become in demand, which is impossible without a GPU — a graphic processor. Only thanks to the video card in the server, it is possible to work with complex arrays of data related to graphics. For example, work remotely with photo processing programs (such as Photoshop), provide cloud access to gaming, manage video from a video surveillance system (for example, use a face or license plate recognition system). In addition, GPU servers can be used for 3D modeling and programming with CUDA. And their presence in general increases the computing power due to the peculiarities of the architecture.
The difference in CPU and GPU in server hardware
On the technical side, the difference between CPU and GPU lies in the principles of streaming information processing. CPU cores execute tasks sequentially.
If priority tasks of high importance appear, they are also processed in the order of the general queue. If at some stage a failure occurs, then an error occurs and the whole process goes astray. Due to several cores, multitasking is achieved, but as before, all data is processed in a single thread on each core separately.
The GPU architecture is somewhat different. There, all tasks are performed in parallel. Due to this, high multitasking and stability are achieved. That is why for cryptocurrency mining with very large volumes of processed data, GPUs are used, and not CPUs. That’s why video cards are also called graphics accelerator.
Another difference lies in the access to the memory of each type of processor. The GPU simply doesn’t need a lot of cache to process massive amounts of data.