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)

9
votes
2answers
5k views

Dropbox causes high CPU usage on Mac OS X 10.8.2 (Mountain Lion)

Dropbox will occasionally use around 100% of the CPU. Why is this happening and how do I fix it? From searching around, it seems like it's not an uncommon problem.
9
votes
3answers
12k views

CPU temperature too high but fan not running at max speed

I think I am having some problem with processor fan... it never runs on full speed event though my processor temperature is going so high. I am using HWMonitor (also speedfan) to record temperatures ...
9
votes
0answers
344 views

Why did CPU clock speeds stop increasing? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Has CPU speed already broken Moore's law? Additional Reading: Whats the deal with these new lower clock speed CPUs on Laptops? Can they still run apps well? Is a ...
8
votes
7answers
10k views

What does the percent CPU mean?

I am watching my CPU percent utilization by a process. How does a process use only 50% CPU? Doesn't a process use 100% then 0%, then 100%? Its not like every other instruction is a different program.
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I disable hyperthreading in an Intel CPU?

I have a laptop with Intel i5 M430 2.27GHz. The CPU has TWO REAL cores but it also has some kind of virtualization so Windows sees it as 4-core. In a REAL dual core CPU, a single threaded program ...
8
votes
5answers
411 views

For complicated mathematic calculations, are extra threads or high-speed disk access more important?

Next semester, I intend to start doing research in combinatorics. I have used and fallen in love with Mac computers and Wolfram Mathematica 8, and I intend to get these for use with this project and ...
8
votes
3answers
20k views

CPU temp very hot in BIOS but okay in RealTemp/Speedfan

I just built myself a new i7 2600k system with an Intel DP67BA motherboard. Booted into BIOS and was alarmed to find Processor temp reported at 75 C, and steadily rising... sat there while it rose to ...
8
votes
7answers
15k views

New I7 CPU has very low Windows Experience Index

Two new laptops that contain an INTEL CORE I7-2920XM CPU have a Windows Experience Index score of 3.8. This laptop (a brand new Dell Precision 4600) responds very slow in various Office programs. ...
8
votes
5answers
32k views

What is more important for speed: Processor Speed or RAM? [closed]

I am about to buy a desktop, I narrowed it down to two choices, both are virtually identical (even in terms of price) but one has 4 GB of RAM and a 3.7 GHZ CPU the other has 8GB of RAM and a 2.7 GHZ ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

What is a long-term strategy to deal with CPU fan dust in my home office?

There are numerous discussions of CPU overheating and how sometimes this can be corrected by removing the dust from the CPU fan. I have read many of these, but I can't find anyone expressing a long-...
8
votes
3answers
20k views

What is the difference between CPU and Microprocessor?

What is the difference between CPU and Microprocessor?
8
votes
4answers
18k views

Upgrade motherboard and CPU without reinstall

I have a home server running Ubuntu 10.04. I want to replace the motherboard and CPU without reinstalling the OS. I read a long time ago that this would sort of work on Windows XP, but with stability ...
8
votes
4answers
13k views

Error “VT-x/AMD-V hardware acceleration not available on your system” while trying to run Virtualbox

I have to run Mac OS on virtual box for a class and it keeps giving me errors stating "VT-x/AMD-V hardware acceleration not available on your system. Certain guests (e.g. OS/2 and QNX) require this ...
8
votes
3answers
869 views

What is a quantum processor?

Someone brought up a "quantum processor" or "quantum computing" the other day. What is it? How does it differ from the processors we're using?
8
votes
1answer
38k views

What does the MHz of RAM really mean?

Countless of times I've heard and read that RAM-memory can have different speeds - denoted as MHz (e.g. 1066 MHz). However, what this frequency really is has never been explained to me and I'm having ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

BIOS upgrade lowers CPU temperature

Setup I've got a system with an Asus P8Z68-V PRO motherboard and an Intel Core i7-2600K CPU running at stock speed (no overlocking) which I cool with a Noctua NH-U12P. On the heatsink I've got the ...
8
votes
1answer
17k views

Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework Settings - what exactly do they do?

Despite the fact that virtually all modern Dell laptops (and probably others) are supposed to have the Intel Dynamic Platform & Thermal Framework Driver installed, I couldn't find any end-user ...
8
votes
2answers
51k views

What's the difference between a AM3, FM1 or FM2 AMD processor?

I am thinking about upgrading my computer, and my PC store offers three different branches of AMD processors: AM3, FM1, FM2. Which technical differences do those branches have? Is FM1 obsolete (by ...
8
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
11k views

How to decrease the CPU usage when running Virtual Box?

I am facing an issue with 100% CPU usage under my system when running VirtualBox. Here are some further details: My System Information: CPU 1 name: Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU T2310 @ 1....
8
votes
1answer
27k views

What is the impact of running the CPU at 100% for long periods at a time? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it ok to have 100% CPU usage constantly I recently upgraded computers and with this upgrade I decided to try Seti@Home to run in the background. I was watching the CPU ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

The meaning of thermal throttle counters and package power limit notifications in Linux

Whenever I do some performance testing on my Linux-installed MacBook Pro, I often see the following messages in dmesg: Aug 8 09:29:31 infinity kernel: [79791.789404] CPU1: Package power limit ...
7
votes
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
17k views

How does Intel Turbo Boost work?

I just got a new Intel CPU, and the specifications say 3.5GHz but with turbo boost to 3.9GHz. What does Intel Turbo Boost do? From the description it sounds like they are saying "The road's speed ...
7
votes
3answers
15k views

What is the difference between multithreading and hyperthreading? [closed]

I've heard the terms hyper-threading and multi-threading, but what exactly is the difference between them? What kind of inlet processor uses them?
7
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
122k views

svchost.exe using lots of memory slowing my PC down [duplicate]

On my Windows 7 32-bit. svchost.exe is using lots of Memory and slowing my PC down big time. I already have auto update turned off and it is on manual mode. How can I fix this problem? Thanks
7
votes
3answers
9k views

Latency of CPU instructions on x86 and x64 processors

I'm looking for some table or something similar that could help me to calculate efficiency of assembly code. As I know bit shifting takes 1 CPU clock, but I really looking how much takes addition (...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Thinkpad shuts down after 10 minutes of heavy use

Less than two years ago, I bought a Lenovo Thinkpad R500. When using the CPU heavily, it sometimes decides to reboot (with Ubuntu briefly showing "shutdown" message). A Linux widget shows me the CPU ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

What is a processor cache?

I recently downloaded CPU-Z just to check things out, and saw a tab marked Cache on it. It shows what appears to be different memory sizes, and I have seen processors being advertised with an X sized ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How does increasing the number of transistors in a chip increase its speed

Is the only purpose of transistors in a cpu to act as the switches that define its instruction set? And if so then why does increasing the number of transistors increase its speed?
7
votes
1answer
318 views

Suspend process according to CPU temperature in Windows 8

Is there is a software or a way to suspend a process according to the CPU temperature? Sometimes when I render video the CPU temperature increases a lot, so I have to suspend the process in resource ...
7
votes
4answers
7k views

Is there a difference between AMD and Intel processors?

I am about to upgrade my dell machine and will getting a custom pc built soon. There are two options that I see in my budget for the processor: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition - Quad Core, AM2+/...
7
votes
4answers
3k 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
552 views

Wild CPU temperature fluctuations during stress test

I have upgraded my laptop CPU and gave it a stress test. The weird thing is that during the test the CPU temperature readings fluctuate wildly in a periodic manner. At idle, the CPU temperature is ~45 ...
7
votes
1answer
5k views

How to have Microsoft Virtual PC use 2 CPUs

I have XP mode running on Windows 7. How can I setup multiple CPU usage (to boost performance)?
7
votes
1answer
17k views

Differences between Intel i7 “M” and “U” series

What are differences between 4th-gen i7 M and U processors? I know about: core voltage TDP socket price But is there something more? Some differences like slower cache, reduced instruction set?
7
votes
1answer
110 views

How do general binaries take advantage from new instructionsets on new CPUs

With every release of a new processor, there are changes to the instructionset the processor supports. For example, Haswell has Advanced Vector Extensions. However, when I run a program on a PC with a ...
7
votes
1answer
565 views

Do ARM processors like cortex-a9 use microcode?

Do ARM processors (recent and old) use microcode? If so, then what for? Aren't their instructions simple enough to be executed directly without being translated into micro-ops?
7
votes
1answer
5k views

What happens when too much thermal paste is used

A client of mine brought in a computer he wanted to get cleaned up, OS reinstall, and had a video card in hand he wanted me to install... no big deal. So I open up the case and see this... Wow, ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Does the 6502 put FF in the stack pointer register as soon as it gets power for the first time?

I'm reading about the 6502 processor's instruction set from the many links at 6502.org, and one tutorial states: The stack pointer (S) points to a byte on Page 1, that is, to a byte whose address ...
7
votes
3answers
309 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?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How did the Cyrix 586 chip work in an Intel 486 computer?

When I was a kid we had a 486 DX, 33mhz machine. Pretty sweet eh? Well as it got older we tricked it out, added 8 megs of ram so we could place Space Quest 6 and an 2x External CD-Rom drive etc... I ...
7
votes
2answers
16k views

How to find a flops of a CPU?

I'm using Intel Xeon CPU x5660, 2.80GHz 2.79Ghz in a computer. I'm trying to find the FLOPS of the CPU, have searched on Internet but didn't find anything about it. Does anybody know how can I find ...
7
votes
1answer
283 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
2answers
4k views

how many amps on the PSU 12v rail is used by a motherboard and CPU?

How many amps on the 12V rail does the motherboard, CPU, and RAM use? And how to find out for specific boards? I imagine this would be a reasonably common question people have when designing a new ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Why would my CPU suddenly get much hotter than it used to? [closed]

I run an i7-2700K on a DZ68BC, which I've assembled about a year ago. I've used the stock Intel fan without additional thermal compound and it worked flawlessly ever since. I've had the Intel Desktop ...
7
votes
0answers
5k views

How I analyzed svchost high CPU utilization problem [closed]

My machine was attacked by a trojan that manifested itself as a service in the netsvcs svchost process. This process can be identified using Process Explorer as 'svchost -k netsvcs'. The symptoms I ...