Good day everyone, I apologise for the abrupt end to last week’s post. But as promised this week, we will be talking about processors, different types and how to care for them.
From last week’s post, we learnt that there are mainly two types of processors which are manufactured by two companies namely Intel and AMD. They come in different variations. The Intel family includes Pentium Dual Core, Core 2 Quad, Intel Pentium 2 Dual Core Processor and the likes while AMD processors include AMD Athlon, AMD Athlon 64, AMD Athlon X2, AMD Athlon Xp, AMD Duron, AMD Sempron, and so on.
This does not mean that these are the only two processors we have; for example, the new Windows 8 tablets will be running on ARM processors as Well.
The biggest flaw with Intel’s low-end offerings is that the Pentium family limits you to dual-core configurations. Our concern is that outside of a game, you are going to find situations where the two cores hurt performance in other applications while for that of AMD, because of the larger number of processor than the Intel. It tends to generate more heat which if not properly managed can damage the processor.
But Wait, What exactly is a processor and what does it do and what does it look like?
The processor is the most important part of a computer system. A large number of individuals, Novices, computer users and even some computer professionals alike, do not know this simple fact, yes most of us say it’s the central processing unit, we are quite right, but most people even get the idea of the central processing (CPU) unit all wrong. We look at the computer components and what we term as CPU is just a casing which houses or contains the processor or CPU itself along with other supporting components.
This processor or otherwise known as Brain Box is where all the calculations and works of the computer system take place. There are two components of the CPU connected by a kind of electronic roadway called a bus. We have the control unit (CU), which tells the rest of the computer how to carry out a program’s instruction and also we have the Arithmetic/logical unit, as the name implies it handles all arithmetic and logical operations and controls the speed of those operations.
Another components of a CPU that are vital to its operation are the registers, which are very small memory locations that are responsible for holding the data that is to be processed.
On very large computers, the CPU may consist of many chips mounted on a series of printed circuit boards, but on most personal computers, the CPU is housed in a single microprocessor chip that is installed on the system board in a slot or socket.
Now, the speed of the processor has a lot to do with the overall speed and efficiency of the computer system as a whole, the higher the speed, the faster the system. And as we all know (well, most of us, I think), speed is measured in hertz (Hz), you know, KHz, MHz, GHz and all that. So a system wit processor speed 2GHz is faster and more efficient than one of 1.8GHz. Though the RAM of a system also has a part to play in the efficiency and speed of the system because they work together (but hey, we r talking about the processor here so lets stay focused. Thank u. :D). Don’t worry other components will be discussed subsequently.
Care for the processor
The operation of the processor brings about a lot of heat, so the major care I would propose for the processor is to always ensure that the fan which cools the processor during its operation is always in good condition, because without this, the processor overheats, burns up and is damaged and a damaged processor as a result of burning can not be repaired. Also make sure the heat-sink which is placed very close to the processor has noting blocking it from doing the work it was made for, that’s conducting heat away from the processor.
Also most of us are fond of using our systems (in this case laptops) on beds, sofas and soft surfaces, this impairs the cooling of the processor, because the air vents are blocked hereby allowing little or less ventilation into the processor areas, also resulting in over-heating and eventual damage. So on this note, it is advisable to place your laptop on very hard and smooth surfaces, or place on external CPU cooling fans.
And here folks, marks the end of this weeks post, for more information, questions and suggestions on the processor, feel free to contact us