Questions tagged [cpu]

The part of a computer responsible for performing computations, often referred to as a processor.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
370
votes
15answers
209k 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 ...
369
votes
19answers
211k 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 231 - 1. This is why we have run out of IPv4 addresses and have entered the 64-bit era. However, the number 231 - 1 (2,147,483,647) is not as ...
211
votes
8answers
2.3m views

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?
178
votes
15answers
41k 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 ...
163
votes
6answers
412k 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 ...
132
votes
8answers
306k views

How can I monitor the CPU temperature under linux?

How do I monitor and display the CPU temperature using Linux?
126
votes
8answers
530k views

How to tell how many CPUs (cores) you have on Windows 7

I got me a nice new laptop and I want to know a bit more about the hardware. How can I see how many CPUs my computer has in Windows 7? (Note: Clicking on Start → right clicking on Computer → ...
120
votes
7answers
19k views

How can a processor be made faster with a “software” update?

The new AMD processors Ryzen are out on the market and unfortunately they seem to lack in gaming. Intel processors are obviously still faster for gaming. People of course weren't in favour of this and ...
110
votes
13answers
21k views

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 ...
101
votes
11answers
79k views

What's the difference between mobile and desktop processors?

I just read about the new Samsung Galaxy Note Edge having a 2.7 GHz quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM. The laptop I bought last year by HP is 4 GB of RAM and 2.3 GHz quad-core and my ...
92
votes
2answers
44k views

Is there a way to identify the busy (CPU-consuming) tab in Firefox? [duplicate]

Sometimes there's a nasty, guilty, CPU-hogging tab in Firefox that's maxing one of my CPU cores and making the whole browser sluggish. I'd like to find it and close it. Sometimes I get lucky, but ...
85
votes
3answers
16k views

Chrome uses 80% CPU when I visit a specific website

Whenever I try to visit this particular website, chrome CPU usage shoots up to at least 75% and my laptop get way louder. If I close the tab everything goes back to normal. RAM usage never goes up. ...
79
votes
12answers
28k views

Why do we have CPUs with all the cores at the same speeds and not combinations of different speeds?

In general if you are buying a new computer you would determine which processor to buy by what your expected workload will be. Performance in games tends to be determined by single core speed, whereas ...
73
votes
6answers
42k 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...
69
votes
9answers
133k views

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 ...
69
votes
12answers
176k views

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 ...
66
votes
3answers
10k views

How is graphics RAM different from system RAM?

I know that a GPU and a CPU are fundamentally different things and why they both suck at doing the other's job. But what I don't get is why standard system RAM has always been a generation behind the ...
65
votes
4answers
14k views

How can my computer use 300% PC processing power?

I'm playing around with a script and well I got carried away (it's still running right now and yet my computer has not yet died). I'm running 17 iterations of the script (with the intention of ...
63
votes
9answers
17k views

Why have CPU manufacturers stopped increasing the clock speeds of their processors? [closed]

I have read that manufacturers stopped concentrating on higher clock speeds and are now working on other things to improve performance. With an old Desktop machine with Intel® Xeon® Processor E3110 ...
59
votes
8answers
80k 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 ...
58
votes
7answers
35k views

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 ...
55
votes
4answers
10k views

How is the message “Unsupported CPU installed” displayed?

I have an unsupported CPU inserted in my machine and I get this error while my PC is booting: Unsupported CPU installed. My question isn't how to fix it but rather: How is this error message ...
54
votes
14answers
19k views

Why are they putting “processors” on hard drives?

What does it mean when hard drives have a processor on the hard drive? How does it work, and what benefit does it have? I don't understand - the CPU on the computer is the processor and the hard ...
52
votes
5answers
13k views

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 are ...
52
votes
5answers
24k 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 ...
51
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
49
votes
12answers
10k views

What exactly is microcode and how does it differ from firmware?

Insofar as terminology, what exactly is "microcode" and if it can be updated, how does it differ from firmware? This question is not a duplicate of this question (as far as I can tell) which I've ...
48
votes
1answer
13k views

Meaning of Intel processor suffixes

I just bought a Core i7 second generation machine which shows the processor in the BIOS as: Intel Core i7-2620M CPU @ 2.70Ghz I have seen i7 3rd and 4th generation processors on Google but I don't ...
47
votes
4answers
171k views

How to reduce Google Chrome's CPU usage?

I have started using Google Chrome (up to date) on Windows 7 (everything up to date) on a clean install I did a few days ago and compared to Firefox I am seeing huge CPU spikes (up to 100% CPU ...
45
votes
2answers
130k views

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?
44
votes
8answers
129k views

TiWorker.exe - Very High CPU Usage

I have a laptop running Windows 8. Although it originally ran well, it started having very bad performance issues. I decided to perform some research into the topic. Opening up Task Manager, I ...
39
votes
3answers
11k views

Must a CPU have a GPU if the motherboard provides a display port (when there isn't any separate video card)?

There is such a configuration: MSI A320M PRO-M2 V2 + AMD Ryzen 5 1400 BOX and there isn't any separate video card. When the PC is switched on, the monitor shows nothing. The MSI tech support said: ...
39
votes
3answers
25k views

What is the difference between hyper-threading and multiple cores?

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 ...
38
votes
4answers
11k views

Is the CPU active in Sleep mode?

Suppose on a Windows OS, you toggle the computer to go into sleep mode and put it away. As far as I know there will no programs or processes will be running. But would the processor still be running ...
36
votes
7answers
13k views

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 ...
36
votes
4answers
8k views

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 ...
36
votes
3answers
50k views

What is a PCI-Express Lane?

I am reading an article bemoaning i7-5820K Will Only Have 28 PCI-Express Lanes compared to its sibling processors having 40 lanes. Isn't 28 lanes already too many? How many lanes would a normal home ...
36
votes
4answers
30k 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?
36
votes
1answer
134k views

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 ...
35
votes
5answers
19k views

Can Windows make use of 16+ core processors? [closed]

There's currently a number of processors on the market with 12, 14, 16, 16 32 cores (AMD Threadripper, Intel i9) and so on. Can Windows 10 even make use of this power? We know that it can support up ...
35
votes
11answers
9k views

Where does power consumption go in a computer?

Today we had a weird discussion over lunch: What exactly causes power consumption in a computer, particularly in the CPU? (ETA: For obvious reasons I don't need an explanation why a hard drive, ...
35
votes
6answers
12k views

Why can't you have both high instructions per cycle and high clock speed?

The Megahertz Myth became a promotional tactic due to differences between the PC's INTEL 8086 processor and Apple's Rockwell 6502 processor. The 8086 ran at 4.77MHz while the 6502 ran at 1MHz. ...
34
votes
14answers
11k 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?
33
votes
6answers
25k 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 ...
32
votes
6answers
115k 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 ...
32
votes
5answers
43k views

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 ...
31
votes
4answers
46k views

What is meant by the terms CPU, Core, Die and Package?

Now this might sound like too many previous questions, but I am really confused about these terms. I was trying to understand how "dual core" is different from "Core 2 Duo", and I came across some ...
31
votes
5answers
17k views

Why is Google Drive so heavy on my CPU?

As the below screenshot shows, despite the fact that Google drive doesn't appear to be doing anything (it's not syncing any data) it's using over 12% of my CPU (a core i7). The official documentation ...
30
votes
6answers
29k views

How many cores I am using on a Linux Server?

I am just wondering how I can find out in bash how many CPU cores a user is now using on a Linux Server? I am submitting a fair amount of background jobs to the server, so I'd like to write a bash ...
30
votes
7answers
3k views

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 "...