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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

4
votes
5answers
2k views

Can I upgrade my laptop CPU

I have Lenovo Ideapad Y510 with dual core 1.6 Ghz processor, 1GB ram, 160GB HDD. I want to upgrade my current cpu with any latest one like i3, i5 or i7 to get more speed but don't know if it is ...
3
votes
2answers
235 views

Game drops to 0 FPS and CPU Usage drops to 0%

So for about 2 weeks now I've experienced a problem while gaming. My frame rate would drop to 0 and my computer's CPU Usage would drop to 0% at the same time. This would stay this low for up to 30 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What are “hyperthreading” and “virtual cores”?

I'm new in this computer terms. So anyone can explain to me what "virtual cores" and "hyperthreading" are at greatest detail a layman can understand? People told me that virtual cores are imaginary ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How do Intel HD Graphics from 2010 processors compare to current low level graphics cards? [closed]

This question is similar to this, but here I'm asking about Intel HD Graphics integrated into 2010 processors in general and graphics integrated into Atom N550 in particular. A site with reviews ...
3
votes
1answer
182 views

Which property of CPUs is good for what?

Back in the days clock frequency used to be THE criteria to compare CPUs (or perhaps you had to take into account whether it was a DX or SX). The world was simple back then, but in these fast evolving ...
2
votes
1answer
27 views

Can SMT give worse performance than normal CPU?

Is there any chance of SMT (simultaneous multithreading) having worse performance than normal CPU? For example, is it possible for a normal CPU to run two programs one by one and have better ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Intel turbo boost - in reality

I have an Intel i7-3630QM processor in my laptop. Its speed is supposed to be from 2.4 to 3.4 GHz in turbo boost mode. In reality, will it ever run all cores on full speed (3.4GHz mentioned above) ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

What's more harmful to a CPU? High load or high temperature? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: CPU usage at 100% for several hours Is it ok to have 100% CPU usage constantly I wonder which case is more harmful: high percentage of usage (>90%) vs high temperature ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Will Ivy Bridge Xeon's be compatible with Sandy Bridge motherboards?

I'm putting together a new server. I'm looking at the Xeon E3-1270 processor. I see that the the new ivy bridge line is coming out next week. The ivy bridge version of this chip will be called Xeon ...
2
votes
2answers
814 views

CPU Core Temperature Variation

I have a brand new laptop with an i7 2630QM CPU. Core #3 (Out of 1-4) always has a temperature 3-8C cooler than the other cores under normal operation. If I put 100% load on the core then it'll go up ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Processor not running at max speed

My laptop has an Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 which should be running at 2.5GHz, however CPU-Z consistently reports my Core speed at right under 1.6Ghz (8x multiplier and ~200MHz Bus Speed). Even when I'm ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Why is my motherboard's CPU temperature inconsistent with the individual core temperatures? [duplicate]

This image demonstrates what I'm talking about: The motherboard's CPU temperature is in green. The individual cores' temperatures are in red. I've tested the temperatures in three different ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

What do I need to know before upgrading the CPU of a laptop?

I have an AMD laptop, which has AMD APU (e1-2500). I don't really like the speed of it and would love to upgrade to faster APU. There are some AMD APUs available in ebay. So the question is: What do ...
1
vote
2answers
184 views

Performance issue with my system

Recently while using my laptop (Dell XPZ15z) all of a sudden the CPU usage is spiking to 80-100% then will drop in say 5-7 sec. I am not running any application or process that requires such CPU ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Upgrade laptop CPU from i3-330M to i5-whatever

I have a VPCCW2S1E with: CPU: i3-330M cpu Intel® NM10 Express Chipset. I'd like to upgrade it with an i5. (or anything faster!) I see my socket is either a BGA1288 or PGA988 and an i5 such as ...
1
vote
1answer
576 views

Will a CPU upgrade speed up my web browsing? How to tell?

My CPU model is 2 and a half years old now, released Intel Q4'2010. How can I determine if getting a new CPU will improve how fast I surf the Internet, versus getting a better ISP subscription?
1
vote
1answer
3k views

i5-3210M to an intel i7-3610QM?

If i want to upgrade my processor in my laptop from a i5-3210M to an i7-3610QM what else, if anything would i need to change? They both have the same sockets, I"m thinking i might need to upgrade the ...
1
vote
1answer
17k views

Msconfig -> Boot.ini -> Advanced Options -> Number of Processors

Are these the number of the processors used for boot time or the cpu cores? Also, what's the default value and what would happen if I activate the max number of processors on the drop down list?
1
vote
3answers
329 views

Should I overclock a dying PC?

I have a laptop (Compaq Presario V5000). It's about 4 years old now. My dad bought it at Walmart on Black Friday for $389 (it only had 384MB of memory (now it has 2GB)). It has seen 3 Windows OS's and ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

How to Overclock a Dell Inspiron 531?

I have searched all over the web on how to overclock a Dell computer. I cant find anything about it. I am trying to overclock the CPU. My specs: Mainboard : Dell 0RY206 Chipset : nVidia 6100V ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

x86 live image on a x64 processor

I have a live image of ubuntu, and I will be using it for programming. It came with a book, and the book mentions that it has to be used on a x86 based-processor. I have an AMD64 processor, so my ...
0
votes
2answers
487 views

Hyperthreading Calculating Load [duplicate]

I have a dual core core i5 with hyperthreading. Since hyperthreading allows for unused cpu time to be used by other processes, why would this make it seem like 4 logical processors (2 per actual ...
-1
votes
2answers
18k views

Relationship between RAM & processor speed

RAM is just used for temporary storage. But since this storage is in the cpu memory (RAM) it is fast. Programs can easily read/write values into it. I've noticed more the RAM less time it takes for ...
51
votes
5answers
7k views

Are CPU clock ticks strictly periodic?

Is the frequency of a CPU a mean value of about how many clock ticks there are in a second or does it have a more strong, physical stability? In my opinion, it must be not stable nor unstable. So ...
14
votes
6answers
8k views

What are “Instructions per Cycle”?

I've been learning a little bit more about how processors work, but I haven't been able to find a straight answer about instructions per cycle. For instance, I was under the impression that a four ...
16
votes
10answers
2k views

Why aren't all CPUs 'overclocked' as a factory default? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are modern CPUs “underclocked”? When I was searching around for a desktop awhile back I came across a lot of discussions where techies talked about ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Task Manager is saying the system is running with over a thousand threads

I opened up Task Manager and looked under the "System" area and saw: Threads: 1337 Since I have a dual-core processor with hyper-threading available (meaning four threads), how is it possible to ...
10
votes
2answers
585 views

What happens when laptops reach 100% charge?

I have been reading alot of mixed views on how Lithium Ion batteries work when it comes to laptops. I have the new dell xps 15, with an intel i7 cpu, 16gb ram, and a 512gb ssd. Is it bad for the ...
33
votes
14answers
6k views

Removing the CPU while the power is on [closed]

What will happen if I remove the CPU while the power is on? Does anything happen to the computer? Has anyone tried this?
14
votes
4answers
10k views

Is there an equivalent of Memtest86 for CPUs?

I need an easy way to do system stability tests. I have come to rely on Prime95 which does a fantastic job of proving stability (or instability) very quickly; but it requires an OS installed. I would ...
12
votes
2answers
12k views

What is the difference between mobile processors and regular ones?

I am trying to get myself a custom built laptop and while I was making a choice of what goes into the laptop, the processor section had some interesting choices: Intel® Celeron® Dual Core Processor ...
7
votes
1answer
271 views

Setting CPU cores off-limits to all threads not specified (preferably in Windows 7)

I have a really specific machine configuration in the works that would really be helped out if there were any way to do this...basically what I'm looking for is the opposite of setting CPU Affinity ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is my CPU usage broken in Process Explorer?

On my system (Windows 7), it seems that Process Explorer is reporting the wrong CPU usage: When Firefox is running, I constantly get 30%+ When I kill Firefox, I still get about the same CPU usage ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

After Intel's admission, should Sandy Bridge processors be used?

I'm planning on getting a custom desktop PC assembled. I had planned on an Intel i5-2400 (Sandy bridge) processor in tandem with an Asus p8h67mle motherboard. After Intel's admission of a ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

How to slow down my CPU?

I have Vaio Z-690 laptop, and its processor speed is 2.66 GHz. I don't need too much speed, and I'm OK with 2 GHz or even less. Just for browsing websites it's enough. I want to slow down ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Quad cores have lower processor speed, are they still better?

So, I am looking at building a new laptop. Two examples of the processors I am looking at are: Intel® Core™ i7-740QM Quad Core 1.73GHz 6MB Intel® Core™ i5-520M Dual Core 2.40GHz 3MB Now I realize ...
2
votes
4answers
7k views

VirtualBox CPU usage 100% on host [closed]

I have installed VirtualBox 3.1.2 (latest) on my Windows 7 (x64). In the VirtualBox I've installed Windows 7 (x64). I have 4 GB RAM installed. The guest has been assigned a 1536 MB RAM. Sometimes the ...
16
votes
5answers
8k views

Why has the size of L1 cache not increased very much over the last 20 years?

The Intel i486 has 8 KB of L1 cache. The Intel Nehalem has 32 KB L1 instruction cache and 32 KB L1 data cache per core. The amount of L1 cache hasn't increased at nearly the rate the clockrate has ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Where are Intel Itanium chips used?

I think that all the Intel chips I've ever bought were IA-32 architecture. Are Intel Itaniums sold in desktops or laptops?
9
votes
4answers
6k views

The difference between GPU and CPU

I know what a CPU is(I think). It's the thing who's speed is measured in GigaHertz(these days). However, you hear a lot about a GPU, and letting the GPU take over, not letting the CPU but the GPU do ...
9
votes
4answers
12k views

How do I know if my linux kernel is running in 32bit or 64bit?

When I do a cat in /proc/cpuinfo it shows a line with clflushsize : 64 Does this mean my kernel is running in 64 bits?
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Zombie process using 100% CPU

A zombie process, which should not be using any resources (RAM and CPU), is hogging up an entire core on my 8-core 64-bit Ubuntu 11.10 Desktop installation. This is the output of ps -el|grep Z: F S ...
7
votes
3answers
15k views

What is the difference between CPU and Microprocessor?

What is the difference between CPU and Microprocessor?
7
votes
3answers
302 views

Single Quadcore or Dual Dualcore?

If you have to choose (everything else being equal) between one processor with four cores, and two processors with dual core, what are the points in favour of each solution?
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What determines endianness

I was wondering if endianness only depends on CPU? Does it depends on other hardware, such as memory, secondary storage device? Does it depends on OS? Why in Wikipedia, does it seem to be true? ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

How is time measured in computer systems?

Something I have been puzzled about is this: how exactly does a computer regulate and tell time? For example: if I were to write a program that did this: Do 2+2 then wait 5 seconds How does the ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I get AVX support in QEMU?

I want to play with the new AVX instructions. I saw that QEMU might have support, so I built it from Git (yesterday). I set the CPU to SandyBridge and I booted Tiny Core Linux. TCL has kernel 3.0 and ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Google Play Music lags when CPU usage is high

For some time, I've been testing with Google Play Music All Access. It works perfectly on my phone, but I have a very annoying issue on my laptop. It seems that when I'm just browsing or developing ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Underclocking without BIOS option

I have never over/under/downclocked my laptop, however it is seriously suffering from overheating. I have cleaned it out and am running the fan at full speed the whole time. I also have turned the ...
2
votes
1answer
412 views

Is performance increase through doubling available cpu cores by using a dual-cpu pc the same as using a cpu with twice as many cores?

Imagine this base configuration: 1-cpu board with a 4-core processor, performance is 100%. How different from that configuration performance-wise will be: 2-cpu board with 4-core processors 1-cpu ...