What is a CPU and all components explained

What is CPU Frequency? What is Turbo and Base Frequency?

CPU frequency or clock speed refers to the number of cycles executed per second. It is the internal clock system of CPU. For us, we have 60 ticks for 1 minute, CPU has its own ticks in one second measured in Hertz. For example, 3.2 GHz is 3.2 billion cycles per second (1 KHz = 1,000 Hz, 1 MHz = 1,000 KHz and 1 GHz = 1,000 MHz). A CPU may execute one instruction or more per cycle. Higher the Hertz, higher the CPU speed.

Processor Base Frequency is for regular light operations. This can be browsing, regular office work. While, Turbo Frequency is the maximum speed of the processor for gaming and graphical work.

CPU and Components
CPU and Components

What is Cache? What are L1, L2 and L3 Cache Memory?

Nowadays, CPU works in GHz (ex. 3.2 GHz) while the RAM still operates in MHz (ex. 2666 MHz). So we have gap in the speed. Cache memory fills this gap. It runs as a memory layer between CPU and RAM. Cache is the Static RAM. It refreshes less and uses less power. RAM is Dynamic RAM. It needs constant refresh and uses more power. Cache is based on CMOS Technology and is very expensive.

There are three cache storage. L1, L2 cache lies inside the processor core. L1 storage range is less than 512 KB but is fastest. L2 cache ranges 2-8 MB but is much slower than L1. L3 cache works as shared storage for all the cores within the CPU. It is the largest but also slowest among them. Its range is 10-64 MB. Old CPUs like Celeron have only L2 cache, no L1 and L3.

What is the difference between CPU Core and Thread?

CPUs may have one Core or multiple. These cores divide the tasks among one another. We have dual core, quad core upto even 18 cores setup in single CPU.

Each Core used to perform a chain of instruction set (one thread). To better organize workload, this chain is divided into more threads. Typically 2 thread per core. It is like a ticket counter with line divided among men and women. In Intel, it is called Hyper-Threading. In AMD, it is Multi-threading.

Games are generally light threaded. So most of them will benefit from more Cores. But with more narrative based games, they also require multiple thread. Regular applications such as Youtube, Operating System, Office, benefit from multi-threading.

What is TDP?

TDP is Thermal Design Power. It is the maximum heat generated from CPU that can be absorbed by heat sink. Above this requires a cooling fan. Ex. 28 W TDP refers to 28W heat can be abosrbed. A higher TDP value means it can run heavy apps. It does not mean the power required by CPU.

What are the system requirement for Operating System (OS) and Games?

These are the recommended system requiement.


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