What is CPU (Central Processing Unit) in Computer?

CPU is the most crucial component of a computer and is referred to as the “Central Processing Unit”, and it greatly justifies its actual name and its primary purpose of operating and controlling the complete system.

Basically, the CPU of a computer is responsible for handling all of its tasks and instructions that are given in the input through hardware and ultimately processing it further on the software.

The CPU operates by taking input from the direct software and run the OS(Operating System) and other applications. The data that is given from the active software is further processed to give output.

In real terms it’s the microprocessor of the system that is called a CPU and the CPU is called the brain of the computer due to the fact that the CPU is only responsible for running and controlling the BIOS of the computer. The small chip inside the CPU is its processor which does all the calculations and computations of the system.

Now the Technical Advancement has reached that level where we can see multiple cores in a CPU processor. For example, The Ryzen 5 3600 microprocessor has a 6-Core (Hexa-core processor).

The processors (CPUs) have developed with the respective interface of the arithmetic logic unit i.e, “ALU”, “FPU”, L-1 cache, and register. It is also seen that many of the cores in the cache, which can be shared with other caches. 

In the processor, there is a component called “FSB” or frontside Bus, that works to connect the PC processor directly to the RAM and many other components like AGP chip, system chip, PCI drives, and the external peripherals. The FSB (frontside bus) presents itself as a trackway from the processor to the other components of the motherboard, that is the reason why it is called the system bus of the CPU. 

One frontside bus can easily route/transfer information between the CPU core to the system memory (RAM & ROM).

Pro tip: always remember that the terms “CPU” and “processor”, are the same thing and often used in place of each other while discussing. Some figures on the internet even mark an individual processor like a CPU. 

This verbal confusion is absolutely correct, it is more right to say every processor unit a CPU and each processor unit within the CPU is the processor core. 

Basics of CPU

Though the CPU is a primary component of a computer, still it isn’t the only solitary component of the PC. The processor chip is present in the CPU socket of the main baseboard (motherboard). The processor has many cores in it like 2 cores (Dual-Core), four cores (quad-core), six cores (Hexacore), 8 Cores (Octa-Core), etc. 

The picture shown below is of a 2-faced top & bottom image of intel’s i9-9900k processor.

Intel’s i9-9900k Processor
Image Source: Intel

The processor, while working tends to produce thermal heat, in order to control and dissipate the produced heat they are covered with heat sinks that keeps the processor neutralized, cool, and keeps it working effortlessly.  

The CPU gives instruction to different components of the motherboard, it stores the temporary data and information in the RAM memory and permanent information in the main storage drive. It has a separate interface for graphical management that is the graphics card which greatly renders the video content and 3-dimensional graphics during games and videos.

CPU Configuration

When millions and millions of micro transistors are arranged in a computerized chipset it collectively forms the CPU. The micro transistors are responsible for all the calculations and computations that run the application and programs which are stored in the system storage.

The transistors are so small that it is difficult for the manufacturers to produce them through any standard method, then the photolithography method comes into play and solves the matter in which the image projection is done on a silicon wafer that too with very high Precision inside Laboratories with the controlled procedure, even a minute dust particle on the Silicon wafer can spoil everything.

The Silicon wafers have gazed with a material called photoresistor which gets washed away after interacting with light particles and leaves behind and design of CPU, which is later doped with the copper transistors. 


This particular topic was much important to be covered in our informational post of – what is a CPU?

A processor also referred to as a “microprocessor”, is the same thing. A processor is a compact chip that is present inside the computer and many other electronic devices including smartphones, laptops & tablets, etc. 

If we look at the most basic level, the integral work of a processor is to simply receive signals/information/data through the inputs and thereby providing the respective output for the given command. 

Since it is the central mainframe processor of the computer system it is also referred to as “CPU”. The PC sets that we see these days are provided with intel or AMD microprocessor which all are constructed/fabricated on the X86 architecture. 

The cores of any processor are taken as a single chipset if you check this out using utility tools like windows task manager or the activity monitor in apple’s MAC OS, you will notice there will be independent graphs for each of the procedures next door to the CPU, there lies the GPU (graphics processing unit), this processor is given in the PC for the purpose of better rendering & displaying of graphics & videos on the screen. 

Cores in the CPU (Processor Cores)

The processor cores are independent or individual cores that are present in a CPU and help in the overall function of the CPU. In the past, the CPUs only had a single core in them but as soon as the clock speed of the processor started touching their threshold it raised the need of having multiple cores in the system. 

Manufacturers added multiple processors in a single chip where they were able to receive more performance and power delivery at an effectively lower price.

Whereas before this they used to put together multiple processors in the computer through this was effective ultimately added a certainly higher cost to the computers. Ever since the independent processor units are called “cores” instead of processors. 

During the mid-way of the 2000s, the multiprocessors were replaced by dual-core and quad-core microprocessors. Whilst only the top-end PCs used to have multiprocessors, whereas today almost every computer has a multicore processor. 

Pro tip: the word “core” is also used in the intel’s processor lineup, which was launched after the Pentium string of processors. Example; Core Duo, Core2, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 & Core i9. 

Some of the FAQs about CPU:

Q1: What is the work of a CPU?

Ans: The main and solitary function of a CPU is to interpret and elucidate the command given in the input through peripherals like keyboard, mouse, etc. The end given function is called output. 

Q2: What all components are used in a CPU?

Ans: The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is made through two sole components:

  • ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit): The ALU’s main function is to perform numerical/arithmetic operations of the system and taking logical & binary decisions.
  • CU (Control Unit): The Central Unit works to direct and administrate the input command and other microprocessor operations. 

Q3: How much time does a CPU take to transfer Data/files? 

Ans: All these devices make use of the electrical signals to transfer the information and binary data since they make use of the electrical signals the data gets. transferred with the lightning speed of approximately 299,792,458 m/s. This also depends upon the material used in the wires

Q4: Can I use a GPU instead of a CPU?

Ans: Absolutely No, though the GPUs are physically & technically the same as the CPU the GPUs can’t perform the basic input and output procedures of arithmetic operations that are much important for the overall functioning of the computer. 

Q5: Who invented the CPU?

Ans: Originally the first microprocessor was invented by a person named Ted Hoff along with his colleagues in the silicon valley startup that we today know as Intel. But, the first commercial CPU, the intel 4004 was invented by Italian physicist Federico Faggin in the year 1971. 

Q6: What RAM should I use for AMD’s Ryzen CPU?

Ans: You can’t use any RAM with your CPU or motherboard, for it you must check the compatibility and specifications of your motherboard and CPU on the specification directory of the website. Or else, you can check out our post on the Ryzen CPU where we suggest you the best motherboard for the Ryzen series of processors.

Q7: Which is the best RAM for Ryzen 3600 CPU?

Ans: The perfect speed for the AMD’s Ryzen CPU is 3600 MHz; maximum and 3000 MHz; minimum, this is the recommended speed required for any RAM to fit for the Ryzen 3600 CPU.   

Q8: Where is the Data of the CPU stored?

Ans: The CPU is the core of the computer and this core source of the computer runs and administrates all programs and commands. All the temporary commands /information are stored in RAM and the long-run or permanent information is stored in the drives like SSD or HDD.