Central Processing Unit or CPU: What is it and what is it for? What types are there + parts?

Processors are undoubtedly one of the most important components of our computers, something to take into account when building a team. Today you will learn the essentials about the Central Processing Unit or CPU: What is it and what is it for? What types are there + parts?

The truth is that knowing each part of our computers is essential if we want to improve them or build a new one. For this reason, we also recommend informing you about what it is, what the motherboard is for and how to choose the best one , since it is another extremely important component. Without further ado read the following guide to learn more about processors.

What is a processor?

Processors are also known as Central Processing Units, which gives it its name CPU (Central Processing Unit). Processors are the components in charge of the analysis and interpretation of instructions by the software and hardware components.

With the passage of time and the constant advancement of technology, processors have evolved to the point of having extraordinary powers in very small sizes. Understanding this trend, today conventional CPUs are microprocessors, a name they receive for their small size.

The more powerful a CPU is, the faster they can interpret the instructions provided, in other words this directly affects the speed of computers. Having a balanced computer, with a suitable CPU, a GPU and other components, is essential to obtain good results.

Indeed, when building a computer with good performance it will be essential to take into account the rest of the components. For this reason we also recommend that you learn what graphic cards are and what they are for, their characteristics , an essential component and more when you play.

CPU Socket

Central Processing Unit or CPU: What is it and what is it for? What types are there + parts?

Processors are very complex, in any case it is possible to make a summary of those aspects that you should take into account to better understand their operation and guide you when buying one that suits your needs.


If we go back to the past, the processors contained only one core, in any case this has changed. Today it is very common to see multi-core processors, also known as multi-core processors.

In short, we can determine that this type of processor is in fact several processors on a single chip. Today it is possible to find processors with up to 12 cores for the consumer market. In any case, the figure for average users is between 4, 6 and 8 core processors.

Architecture size

Over time, technology has made it possible to reduce the size of CPU components. The process of manufacturing the processors is known as lithography, in the same way it is this that defines the size of the transistors, which are the internal components of the CPUs.

The reduction in size has been surprising, for example, a processor from the 70’s was about 10 µm in size, which would translate to 10,000 nm. Today there are 14 and even 7 nm processors, which allow many transistors to be integrated into a CPU, greatly increasing its processing capabilities.

Another aspect that has allowed the advancement of lithography and other technologies in processors is 64-bit technology, present in all modern processors. Still, it doesn’t hurt to know the differences between 32-bit and 64-bit PC processors .

Clock speed or frequency

Another determining factor is the CPU frequency, which we can define as the update time in which the transistors exchange electrical charges, in other words the processing speed. The higher the refresh rates, the higher the CPU performance.

In any case, it must be understood that the higher the frequency, the greater the energy consumption. This last aspect is closely related to the size of the transistors and the number of cores, since with a smaller lithography, and in the same way, fewer cores, energy consumption will be more efficient, and performance will also be more efficient.

Intel CPU

Processor types and families

With the passage of time the processor models have been changing. Currently platforms such as Intel Core2Duo, Intel Core2Quad or Athlon 64 X2 are already outdated technologies.

At least in current times, on the part of Intel we have the 10th generation i3, 5, i7, 2 i9 processors, while on the part of AMD the AM4 processors reign, cataloged in the Ryzen or the new generation Athlon.

In any case, if you want to learn more about the differences between Intel and AMD processors and which ones are better , you can read the guide provided in the previous link.

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