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

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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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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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12answers
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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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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 ...
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4answers
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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?
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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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6answers
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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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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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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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14answers
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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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15answers
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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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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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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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2answers
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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 with 2 or 4 cores on that single processor? ...
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6answers
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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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8answers
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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
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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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3answers
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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
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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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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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1answer
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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 ...
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5answers
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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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5answers
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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 ...
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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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6answers
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How does the CPU and GPU interact in displaying computer graphics?

Here you can see a screenshot of a small C++ program called Triangle.exe with a rotating triangle based on the OpenGL API. Admittedly a very basic example but I think it's applicable to other ...
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8answers
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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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7answers
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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 ...
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8answers
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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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1answer
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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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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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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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How can I check the temperature of my CPU in Windows?

Does Windows provide a means to check my CPU temperature natively? If not, are there any software tools which can reveal this information?
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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 ...
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2answers
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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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8answers
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CPU Temperature sensor wrong?

Everest Ultimate is suddenly telling me that the CPU temperature (and core temps) for my E6850 Core 2 Duo is 72 degrees Celsius. When I stress-test the machine, the temp goes up to 91 degrees and the ...
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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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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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What happens if I use RAM of a faster speed than the CPU supports?

Looking at the Intel E3-1230v2 CPU, under Memory types it says "DDR3-1333/1600". My question is, in what way does the CPU limit the RAM speed? What would happen if I put in a DDR3-2133 RAM chip ...
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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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4answers
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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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5answers
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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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5answers
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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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6answers
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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2answers
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Upgrading laptop processor

I have a Dell Studio 17. It's a few years old, and I wanted to upgrade the processor. It currently has an Intel Core 2 Duo T5750 @ 2.00GHz My question is how can I find out which processors are ...