A CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the chip responsible for actually "doing" most the instructions given to a computer.

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CPU Cores: The more the better?

I currently have a dual-core processor at work and a quad-core at home. I've noticed both PCs are pretty equal as far as launching applications/surfing the web. The difference I can see is that my ...
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5answers
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Is a higher core count or higher clock speed more beneficial to a computer's performance? [closed]

With lowering silicon costs and rising consumer needs, manufacturers seem to be pushing one of two things: clock speed and/or core count. With the way things are going, it doesn't seem that clock ...
13
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3answers
25k views

Can a 32 bit OS run in a 64 bit processor?

What's the difference between 32 bit OS and 64 bit OS? Can a 32 bit OS run in a 64 bit processor?
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7answers
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How to tell if a computer has a 64-bit CPU or OS

How you can check if your computer Has an x86 (32-bit) or x86-64 (64-bit) processor? Is running a 32 bit or 64 bit operating system?
9
votes
6answers
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How does Motherboard and CPU affect RAM choice?

I am seeking advice on which memory to use with my motherboard and CPU. Below are my components and some relevant information extracted from their official websites. NOTE: Although this is a very ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Difference Between Cores and Processors

I am confused by the difference between "Cores" and "Processors". A lot of the computers are 2-cores, 4-cores. Does this mean that they have one processor, but with 2 or 4 cores on that single ...
146
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15answers
16k views

Is the performance of a CPU affected as it ages? [closed]

This is a hypothetical question about how a CPU operates. If I purchase two identical CPUs, and use one long term (say one year), will it be identical in speed to the unused CPU? Will the number of ...
57
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6answers
11k views

How does a CPU 'know' what commands and instructions actually mean?

How does a processor 'know' what the different commands mean? I'm thinking of assembly level commands like MOV, PUSH, CALL, etc...
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4answers
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Any way to tell apart a CPU defect from a mainboard defect?

I have a fairly modern desktop computer, an AMD Athlon II X2 based silent PC, that does not work. When turned on, it will start physically (all fans are rotating, disks start up...) but not give a ...
26
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2answers
14k views

Hyper-Threading and Dual-Core, What's the Difference?

In a conversation with the network administator, I mentioned that my machine was a dual-core. He told me it was not. I brought up the task manager, went to the perfomance tab, and showed him that ...
20
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2answers
9k views

What is hyper-threading and how does it work?

I've heard the term hyper-threading thrown around a bit recently, what exactly is hyper-threading and why is it important?
12
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1answer
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High CPU usage by the “system” process

I have noticed that from some time my system is freezing and its probably caused by the high CPU usage which is caused by the system process. All applications I'm running is the Skype, TeamSpeak and ...
100
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5answers
254k views

What is the difference between an Intel i7 and a Xeon quad core processor?

I know the Xeon processors have been around for a long time and are mostly used in servers, but I am curious, why do people not use the Xeons in a high performance desktop? As far as I know about ...
33
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6answers
17k views

Is it OK to use toothpaste instead of thermal paste when fitting a CPU?

I was told many years ago to do this by someone who at the time knew more than I did. The CPU was a celeron in the Pentium 2 era. It ran cooler with the toothpaste between the chip and the heatsink ...
15
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2answers
34k views

What are threads, and what do they do in the processor?

I was looking at the stats for the Intel Pentium e5700 CPU. It has two cores and two threads. What do the threads do for the processor? Is there any relation between the number of cores and the ...
13
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8answers
5k views

Can a virus melt the CPU?

I was just wondering if a virus could melt a CPU by altering te voltage in the bios. :) (and no, I'm not planning on making that kind of a virus...)
3
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7answers
8k views

Lightweight CPU usage monitor? [closed]

I'm looking for a lightweight CPU usage monitor, something that can sit in a corner of my screen telling me how much of my CPU is getting used. Anyone know of one?
11
votes
5answers
42k views

How much memory can a 64bit machine address at a time?

If the memory is byte addressable, shouldn't it be 2^64 / (2^10 * 2^10 * 2^10) = 2^34 GB ? A general Google search says 8GB or 16GB max. How is that true? Also, how does it depend on the Operating ...
7
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8answers
1k views

Choosing Dual or Quad Core [closed]

I was reading the Jeff Atwood post on this topic and was wondering how much of that is still true today. His post is from Sept. 2007. This question stems from another question I asked recently which ...
4
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5answers
7k views

Setting a default CPU Frequency in Ubuntu?

How do I get Ubuntu to select a default cpufreq on boot? These are the frequencies my CPU has available: $ cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_available_frequencies 2300000 2200000 ...
16
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2answers
687 views

Why are newer generations of processors faster at the same clock speed?

How come, for example, a 2.66 GHz dual-core i5 will be faster than a 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo (also dual-core)? Is this because of newer instructions that can process information in less clock cycles? ...
13
votes
13answers
6k views

What are the benefits of a dual-core CPU over a quad-core in a desktop PC?

I know that in most cases when you buy a dual-core CPU for the same price you could get a quad-core, you end up getting 2 cores that are faster individually than the 4 cores individually in the ...
10
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11answers
12k views

Any way to disable specific CPU idle (Cx) states?

I just got a new Toshiba Tecra S11 notebook, which has a Core i5 520M CPU, and it appears to suffer from a well-known problem: a high pitched noise when the CPU is idle. Googling around revealed that ...
9
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6answers
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What's the main difference between Intel processor generations?

What are the main differences between each processor generation of Intel processors/chipsets? Is there a performance difference? I've already seen processors from first to sixth generation, however I ...
16
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8answers
1k views

Should I choose 32 or 64 bit for Linux?

I own a Linux workstation which currently has 4 GB of RAM and planning to go for 8 GB in the near future. CPU is a Core2Quad Q9550. Should I install a 32 or 64 bit variant of Linux?
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5answers
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How do I read Intel CPU specs?

Intel® Core™ i7-640M (2.8~3.46GHz, 35W) w/4MB Cache - 2 Cores, 4 Threads - 2.5 GT/s SO i'm buying a new laptop, which i have not done in 6 years. So i am not familiar with any of these cpu specs. It ...
9
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3answers
4k views

Whats the difference between intel Dual-Core and Core 2 Duo?

Whats the difference between the Intel Dual-Core(brand name) processor and the Core 2 Duo? It seems like clock speed is the only difference, but I want to make sure that is the case. It seems like ...
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6answers
1k views

CPU usage shoots to ~50% and stays there until suspended

This is the Windows Vista problem, seen, I think, mostly on dual processor laptops, where % CPU suddenly shoots to about 45% and stays there. Once this has happened, % CPU will never return to normal ...
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2answers
3k views

Can someone clear up the terms Core Duo CPU, Quad Core, Dual CPU, etc.?

I'll be buying a new computer in the next couple months and want to understand the dual/duo/two CPU issue: Core Duo CPU (is this one "duo" CPU or two? Quad Core (four cpus?) Dual CPU (two cpus?) 2 ...
289
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18answers
103k views

If 32-bit machines can only handle numbers up to 2^32, why can I write 1000000000000 (trillion) without my machine crashing?

32 bit computers can only store signed integers up to 232 - 1. This is why we have run out of ipv4 addresses and have entered the 64 bit era. However, the number 232 - 1 (2,147,483,647) is not as ...
210
votes
12answers
46k views

Why are we still using CPUs instead of GPUs?

It seems to me that these days lots of calculations are done on the GPU. Obviously graphics are done there, but using CUDA and the like, AI, hashing algorithms (think bitcoins) and others are also ...
62
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6answers
117k views

How can I monitor the CPU temperature under linux?

How do I monitor and display the CPU temperature using Linux?
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7answers
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Has CPU speed already broken Moore's law?

I remember sometime around 1995 having a computer with CPU speed of 75 MHz. Then a couple of years later around 1997 having one that was 211 MHz. Then a few years later around 2000 having one that ...
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3answers
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Are there solutions that can limit the CPU usage of a process?

I am using an old laptop and doing heavy processing that needs high CPU usage for a long time (~30mins - 2hours). When the process puts heavy load on CPU for a long time, CPU overheats and computer ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Does the Intel i7 offer real improvement over its predecessors? [closed]

As the questions title asks, do the new processors from Intel offer real, as in noticeable, improvement over the previous quad core ones? What does the i7 actually offer that is new or is it simply a ...
9
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2answers
2k views

What's the proper way to remove thermal paste from a CPU?

I'm replacing the heatsink on my CPU, and want to clear the current thermal paste. What should I do?
9
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3answers
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How to share CPU or RAM?

In networking we share File(Disk Driver) or Databases. But how can we share CPU or RAM over the network.
5
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3answers
1k views

Does anyone know the temperature ranges one can expect on a core2 duo

Some background. I'm having problems with my computer suddenly shutting down and then refusing to start unless I wait awhile. So I'm assuming it's a temperature problem. I installed SpedFan and it ...
6
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9answers
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How can I determine whether my processor is 32-bit or 64-bit?

How can I determine whether my processor is 32-bit or 64-bit? My processor is AMD Phenom 8450 triple-core.
6
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2answers
479 views

What steps do you take when overclocking?

When overclocking your system? what steps do you take to get a maximum but stable overclock out of your system? I've personally just slammed up the FSB speed until my system can't run Prime95 for a ...
12
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5answers
16k views

Can I remove and put back the heatsink of my processor without reapplying thermal paste

If I remove the heatsink from my processor temporarily, then later put it back without changing the heatsink or CPU, do I need to reapply thermal paste?
5
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2answers
535 views

Intel Pentium D & Intel Core 2 Duo

Are the Intel Pentium D and Intel Core 2 Duo processors the same?
5
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4answers
3k views

CPU makes an electric leak like sound

For a while my computer have been making a electric leak like sound whenever the CPU usage gets high. However, lately it started to make it more often. For example with anti-virus searches and malware ...
4
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5answers
4k views

Is the cache size or number of cores more important when weighing CPU performance?

I'm shopping for a laptop for my son to use for school, so it doesn't need to be a gaming machine. I've put together PC's from scratch before, but it's been a while. I've noticed that a number of ...
4
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4answers
305 views

Simple way to compare processors

Today, comparing processors is obviously not just looking at the frequency and the number of cores. When choosing a new PC, how do you compare processors? Is there some resource, like a site or ...
3
votes
7answers
7k views

How to fix the “Firefox using max CPU” problem?

Every now and then while browsing, my Firefox CPU usage shoots up to the max possible (that's 50% for my dual processor laptop). It remains at max usage even when I close all the tabs. In fact, the ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Multi-core CPU: can I say I have a 3x2.1GHz=6.3GHz CPU?

I have an AMD A6-3500 three-core CPU. AMD System Monitor shows each core with a maximum 2100 MHz. This also shows in AMD OverDrive. Does this processor run at the speed 3*2100 MHz? Edit Can I say ...
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5answers
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Whats the deal with these new lower clock speed CPUs on Laptops? Can they still run apps well?

I'm looking at some new laptops, and I'm seeing the AMD Neo CPUs at 1.5GHz, and some of the new Intels at 1.3-1.8GHz. The laptops they are on come well supplied in terms of RAM (up to 8GB) and Video ...
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3answers
558 views

Upgrade RAM or CPU [closed]

I have an IBM X31 with 1GB of RAM and a 1.4GHz proccessor running Windows 7 Home premium. Which would be more worthwhile to upgrade, the RAM to 2GB or the processor to a max of maybe 2GHz? Thanx in ...
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5answers
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Why is my dual-core CPU recognized as a quad-core one?

My processor is an Intel Core i3-380m. As you can see, it's 2 cores and 4 threads. Although, both Ubuntu 11.04 and Windows 7 seem to think it's a quad-core CPU: Why is this? Is it because there ...