Computer Processor

In this article we will talk about the processors used in computers, but it is good to clarify that are also present in other electronic devices, including your phone, and in many others electronic devices used currently. The processor, or CPU, as it is called, is the most important component of the system, responsible for processing all the information. Basically, it is the “brain” of the computer.

Virtually everything passes through their circuits, since this chip is responsible for executing all instructions requested by the user or the system. The faster your processor, the faster will be executed instructions.

Computer Processor

The processor is the component where it is used the latest technology. The largest producers of processors in the world, are large companies with technology to manufacture competitive computer processors: Intel (which dominates the market), AMD, Via and IBM, which makes processors for other companies like Transmeta.

Some of the newer models, and having the most advanced technology currently are the Intel Core Sandy Bridge processors, in their variables i3, i5 and i7, and the AMD models Fusion and FX, which can include up to 8 cores.

Computer Processor

Processors mentioned above cover virtually all desktop computing needs, while for portable devices such as cell phones and tablets, large companies make ARM, Atom, Tegra2 and Snapdragon processors.

The processor is the most complex, and often most expensive, component, however the CPU cannot do anything alone. Like all brain, needs a body, which is formed by the other computer components, including memory, hard disk, video card and network monitor, keyboard and mouse, among others.

Computer Processor

Why fans are used?

Generally, the processors, because of their structure and speed, generates too much heat, and to avoid the overheating, coolers are used, also called fans.

In today’s computers the processor cooling is done through a heat sink made of aluminum or copper, with a small fan on and an air duct that push hot air out of cabinet.

About the process of cooling a PC on the Internet we have much info available, which can be useful to evacuate any doubt.

How to understand the nomenclature of processors

The two largest manufacturers of processors are Intel and AMD. Each of these companies adopted a specific nomenclature to grant consumer information from the processor name. Apparently the nomenclature of these processors is somewhat unclear, but with a little care we can identify many of its features.

Computer Processor

Let’s start by Intel nomenclature

In the case of the prestigious Intel, all the Quad Core processors, (which has 4 cores) begins with the letter Q, Quad. For example: Q9550, Q8400s, Q9300.

All Dual Core processors (that has 2 cores) begins with the letter Y. For example, Y7500, Y6750, Y4700.

Computer Processor

The nomenclature of the powerful Intel Core iX is hierarchically divided as follows:

  • Core i7 Processors high-performance (and high cost)
  • Core i5 Processors intermediate performance
  • Core i3 Processors basic performance

Nomenclature of Intel processors iX

If it is a Atom processor type, it means it was developed and manufactured for use in low performance devices such as netbooks or EeePCs.

If it is a Xeon processor type, it means it was developed and manufactured for high-performance servers.

If the processor you’re buying is a Celeron CPU, means that this is a processor of low performance and low cost. These Celeron processors are normally part of the cheapest computers, and generally are cropped versions of powerfull CPUs.

Computer Processor

AMD nomenclature

In the case of processors made by AMD, every CPU that ends with X2, X3 and X4 has 2,3 or 4 cores respectively. For example: Athlon 64 X2 4400.

Note that in the AMD processors always find a number in front of the name of the processor, however this does not mean that the frequency or CPU clock speed, it is just the model name.

The versions that have FX name at the end of the multiplier are released, making them ideal for overclocking.

Computer Processor

Another model is called AMD Sempron processor, which is a very basic CPU, which offers little performance to be a single-core processor, which otherwise makes them very cheap. Note that none of Sempron processor is a Dual Core CPU type.

Regarding to one of the most important product lines of AMD, the so-called Phenom processors, you need to determine which there are two main processors, the Phenom and Phenom II, the latter being the most powerful, and most expensive of both.

Computer Processor

Another processor were made exclusively for notebooks is the Turion 64 CPU, which is a low-power version of the AMD Athlon 64 processor intended for this kind of devices and It was at the time an commercial response to Intel Centrino platform.

AMD also has extensive experience in developing powerful processors for servers, a clear example of this is the line of Opteron processors, which was also a response to the line of server processors Intel Xeon.

Computer Processor

Who are the best processors each manufacturer?

While buying a processor should not only analyze the clock frequency, or the energy consumption, as these numbers are only part of the specifications.

If you do not pay attention, many processors vendors will try to confuse when we offer CPUs if we are not informed. They can offer a 3.2 GHz processor asserting that it works better than a 2.6 Ghz processor, when the 2.6 GHz processor is a Dual Core, and the 3.2 Ghz processor only has a single core.

Always analyze the processor with the highest number (provided they are of the same brand) in the case of Intel and AMD’s latest (Dual, Quad and Core iX; Phenom II and Athlon II). For instance:

  • P 8400, P8500, P8600. What’s better? Which has the largest number.
  • Phenom II X4 920 and Phenom II X4 955. What is the best? The higher number.

Just be careful when compare processors of different brands.