If you are looking for a new computer, it is necessary to understand the function of a CPU. Also known as the Central Processing Unit or processor, the CPU is essentially the “brain” of your computer. Without the CPU, you wouldn’t be able to play games, type research papers, or browse the Internet. Your computer would basically be a very expensive paperweight.
A Central Processing Unit (CPU).
People sometimes mistakenly believe that a computer’s case or chassis is the CPU. However, the CPU is an internal component of the computer. You cannot see from outside the system; you would have to look inside and remove the CPU heatsink and fan to get a good view.
The CPU is the “brain” of the computer.
The first CPUs were used in the early 1960s. They were designed as part of a larger computer, making them prohibitively expensive. After engineers figured out how to mass-produce the CPU, personal computers became more affordable for the average American. With the introduction of the integrated circuit in the late 1970s, it became possible for smaller CPUs to be manufactured as well. This helped transform computers from large, bulky devices that took up entire rooms into more manageable desktop and laptop models.
The CPU is placed in a pre-configured slot on the motherboard and acts as the “brain” of any computer.
Today, Intel is the most well-known manufacturer of CPUs for computers. No matter what kind of computer you have, however, your CPU works by executing a series of stored instructions known as a program. Most CPUs conform to the von Neumann architecture, which says that the CPU must fetch, decode, execute, and write back data in fairly rapid succession.
A heat sink is the part of a computer designed to move heat away from the computer’s central processing unit.
Since the CPU is one of the most important parts of a computer, it should come as no surprise that it is also the most expensive. In fact, if your computer is more than three years old and your CPU has been damaged by static electricity or some other factor, you might want to upgrade to an entirely new computer. A newer, faster CPU will often provide enough additional computing power to make the purchase a smart investment.
CPUs are sometimes called microprocessors, although these two terms are not entirely interchangeable. The microprocessor, first introduced in the 1970s, reduces the word size of a CPU from 32 bits to 4 bits in an attempt to allow the transistors of logic circuits to fit into a single part. Often, more than one microprocessor is needed to perform all the functions of a CPU. Microprocessors are also commonly used in cell phones, automobiles, and children’s electronic toys.
The computer fan can pull cool air out of the device to prevent it from overheating.