What is a CPU and which should I Chose between Intel or Amd

AMD or Intel? It is one question that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Especially since AMD started releasing its Ryzen series.

For a long time in my life, I tried to get a concise yet understandable explanation of what a CPU does. To understand the specification when buying a computer. But it was never entirely helpful.

What is CPU?

what is CPU

The central processing unit (CPU), also called the main processor is the electronic circuitry within a computer that executes instructions that make up a computer program.

The Central Processing Unit performs all the basic arithmetic, logic, controlling, and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions in the program. 

Giving the fact that the CPU’s form, design, and implementation has dramatically changed throughout its history, nonetheless, its fundamental operation remains almost unchanged.

The principal components of a CPU include the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU), which performs all the arithmetic and logical operations. 

Processor Registers, that supply operands (what needs to be calculated) to the Arithmetic and Logical Unit, and it further stores the results of the ALU’s operations.

Lastly, the Control Unit; that orchestrates the fetching (from memory) and execution of instructions by directing the coordinated operations of the ALU, registers, and other components.

A more straightforward way to say this is a CPU takes in data, performs calculations, and returns the processed data(information).

In a nutshell, the definition of a computer is actually the definition of the CPU. 

There are two main producers of CPUs; Inter and AMD. Up until recent times, Intel has been the leading company.

But things have changed, and the playing field became equal since AMD released the Ryzen series. Both AMD and INTEL have several ranges of CPUs for the different intended use.

Intel has the Pentium and Celeron series, the core series, i.e., I3, I5, I7, I9, and the xenon series. In contrast, AMD has the Ryzen, Athlon, and the A-series, and finally, the Threadripper, which is mainly for workstation and servers. 

To make your choice easier, we will divide it into four.


    • A CPU cache is high-speed memory cash assigned to the CPU. It makes future retrieval of data faster. It works more like RAM. If functions as high-speed temporary storage. The cache is embedded into the CPU, which makes it faster. 

Core count;

    • The core is a processor back when CPU had only one core. That was what they had. A multi-core processor basically multiple processors packs into one dial. And the more cores you have, the better your PC will be at multitasking.

It is not possible to talk about Central Processing Unit cores without threads. Hyper-threading and multi-threading is the technology that Inter and AMD user to allow a single physical core to function as two logical cores.

If the spreadsheet shows that the CPU has 16/12, it means that this CPU has six physical cores and 12 logical cores or threads as they are usually called. This technology doubles the Central Processing Unit’s core count by allowing each CPU to perform two tasks simultaneously.


Core speed;

  • This is a spec that shows how many instructions a CPU can perform per second. This is usually measured in hertz (Hz). 1 (Hz) refers to 1 circle per second. If a CPU had 4(GHz), it means it processes 4 billion instructions per second.

Overall compatibility;

  • Socket; the socket is the interface that the CPU uses to connect to the motherboard. The different socket has a different configuration, and can even differ in size. Before buying a CPU, ensure that the CPU re compatible.

Otherwise, you won’t be able to fit it to the motherboard physically. Just for the sake of clarity, the socket type does not affect performance in any way. It is just a thing of compatibility. 


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