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

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

Why, for example, would a 2.66 GHz dual-core Core i5 be faster than a 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo, which is also dual-core? Is this because of newer instructions that can process information in fewer clock ...
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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?
113
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5answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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?
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12answers
14k 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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
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Can 64-bit software run on 32-bit OS?

I have a 64-bit machine that has Windows 7 32-bit and Ubuntu 32-bit installed as a dual boot setup. Can I run 64-bit software on top of these 32-bit OSes, or are they a "bottleneck" limiting the true ...
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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...)
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6answers
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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 ...
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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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 ...
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7answers
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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?
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12answers
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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 ...
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13answers
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Why doesn't “add more cores” face the same physical limitations as “make the CPU faster”?

In 2014, I hear a lot of programming languages touted for their concurrency features. Concurrency is said to be crucial for performance gains. In making this statement, many people point back to a ...
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Why does my Intel i7-920 display 8 cores instead of 4 cores?

When I go to the task manager I see 8 processors but I know that I have 4. Why?
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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 ...
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8answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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13answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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What is the safe temperature range for a Core-i5 processor?

I have an HP laptop with with a Core-i5 450m processor and an ATI Radeon 5650 1GB graphics card. When I played crysis warhead on my system its temprature went up to 82° c. Is it safe to play games up ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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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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System and Interrupts causing high CPU

Under Process Explorer, I noticed that System -- and occasionally Interrupts -- are taking between 5% and 20% CPU constantly, for hours on end. This is resulting in weird video playback problems. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
302
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18answers
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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 ...
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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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x86 vs x64 - Why is 32-bit called x86? [closed]

Presumably the x86 was called so because the machines used 80386 and 80486 processors. Is that correct? Is that the right way to refer to 32-bit and 64-bit machines?
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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 ...
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5answers
5k views

Is it dangerous to run a CPU in an extremely cold environment?

We are in a fish processing unit where the temperature is constantly at -10°C (+13F). If we use a machine in here, will it be at risk of damage from the cold? Is there any considerations we need to ...
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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 ...
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Why are modern CPUs “underclocked”?

I keep reading since years about magical overclockability of modern CPUs. It is said that CPUs (with open multiplier) which are shipped to customers with (let's say) preset 3GHz, can be overclocked ...
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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.
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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 ...
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How does windows “limit” the CPU (Power Options / Battery saving)

Can anyone explain how Windows effectively limits the CPU? Last time I tried some tricks to let my laptop not overheat, so I tried limiting the CPU to 70%. As for my suprise it stopped my laptop ...