Computer: Lesson 1 – CPUs
This week I want to talk about the most important component of a PC: the CPU.
The CPU or the Processor of a computer is the part that does all the operations that are necessary to make the computer work.
There are a lot of companies that do CPUs, but the most important are Intel, AMD and IBM.
Let`s talk a little about Intel. It is a big company with over 100,000 employees that makes CPUs on large scale. They do the best performing CPUs and also they are the most innovative company in CPUs industry. Their main line-up is made out of 3 series: i3 i5 and i7. Basically Intel makes only the CPUs for the i7 SKU but in the construction of the CPUs, some of them get some faulty components. So the best are i7 than the mid-range are the i5s and the entry level ones are i3s. The greatest value you can get is from the i5s because they have really good performance compared to their price.
On the other side there is AMD, which since 2000 was the loser in the CPU war because they stopped bringing to the table something new and basically innovate. 2012 was the worst year for them. They lost more than 1 Billion $, and since then they come to the market with their APUs. An APU is a CPU with a graphics chipset in it. If you know something about Intel i3, i5 and i7 you’ll know that they also have a graphics chipset in them. APU is just a marketing standard of AMD so that they can differentiate they superior graphics chipset powered APUs from Intel integrated graphics.
All the CPUs need a socket to sit on inside your computer so that they can communicate to the rest of the components via the motherboard. The most recent ones are: For AMD: AM3+ for their FX series and FM1 for their A(PU) series and for Intel there is the 1150 socket for all of their CPUs in the 4th generation.
The naming scheme of CPUs until now are:
For AMD: The series number followed by the number of cores followed by the performance number.
For Intel: The series name (i7, i5 or i3) than the number of the generation and then the performance number made up of 3 numbers and then there is a letter for the type (K for unlocked multiplier, U and T for ultra-low-power and low power or nothing for a normal CPU).
The CPU performance depends on the clock rate and the instruction per clock (IPC) which together are the factors for the instructions per second (IPS) that a CPU can perform.
The CPU Clock speed or Clock rate is obtained by getting the base clock and multiplying it by the clock multiplier.
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