What are the main components of Intel Core CPU and features explained

CPU is the main brain of a computer. It processes all raw information into meaningful data. CPU gives instructions to all the components of the system. Stay tuned in choosing the right CPU for your system.

Intel CPU
Intel CPU

What is a chipset? What is North Bridge and South Bridge?

North Bridge is closest component to the CPU. It connects CPU with its memory and graphics card. More about DRAM here and Graphics Card here. The South bridge connects with peripherals such as USB Drives, Hard Disk Drives, Network Adaptor, etc. More about SSDs here.

The layout of the motherboard has changed in these times. Earlier the north bridge and south bridge together was called Chipset. Now, there are no such north bridge and south bridge. CPU and Graphics card are directly connected with the CPU. While, Chipset only controls peripherals just like south bridge earlier.

Earlier, DMI (Direct Media Interconnect) bus connected North Bridge and South Bridge. But now, Chipset is connected with DMI.

See the diagram Old and New layout mentioned below for better understanding. FSB is front side bus.

The new layout is as follows :-

What is CPU Clock Frequency? What is Turbo Boost and Overclocking?

CPU clock frequency refers to the cycles that can executed per second. Majorly all frequency in CPU are in Gigahertz (GHz). Higher this number, faster the CPU. But also depends on other factors such as cores, cache, bus bandwidth. CPU has generally three frequency at which it operates.

Base Frequency, Turbo Frequency and Overclocking frequency. Every CPU has base clock rate at which it operates. CPU can alter their clock frequencies according to needs higher than the base frequency. This it does by multiplying the voltage of the electricity frequency.

With CPU designers, the Base Frequency is fixed. Even the Turbo Frequency is fixed but overclocking frequency can be changed as per program needs. Just need to keep in mind the TDP. Until and unless temperature is below the designed TDP, CPU can be overclocked. TDP is the thermal design power. Until this power is reached CPU will use the clock multiplier. For this liquid nitrogen coolers are used over the CPU.

What are the Cache Memory?

Cache Memory is basically a Static RAM. SRAM uses an expensive way to store data in flip flops. But it is much faster and needs less refresh. This Cache Memory acts as an interface between DRAM and CPU. It stores registry files and has fast memory.

What are types of Cache Memory in CPU?

There are basically 3-4 types of cache memory in CPU – L1, L2, L3, L4. L represents the Level. L1 and L2 cache are generally inside the core of the CPU. L3 and L4 are shared cache memory. They are arranged in increasing sizes but decreasing speed. So, L1 has the highest speed and very expensive, while L3, L4 are slow but relatively less expensive.

What are cores and threads of the CPU?

Thread is the set of instruction chain that are sent to the CPU for processing. Core is the main physical processing unit of the CPU. Each CPU may have multiple cores and multiple threads.

Each core may have one or more threads. The OS works logically with the CPU as per threads. So, if there are 1 core, 2 threads then OS takes them as 2 cores. And accordingly tasks are allocated to these two threads.

What are the CPU in Intel family?

Intel was founded in 1968, around 52 years ago. Since, then there have been many processors developed by them. At present, there are many CPu families in the market available. We have listed them below :-

Table by Visualizer

What is the market share of CPU makers?

Chart by Visualizer

Intel and AMD control the entire market of CPU processor makers worldwide. Intel holds around 70% and AMD holds around 30% of the pie.

How do we measure the CPU performance?

With CPU it is not a simple math to measure it. We can do this by comparing the professional benchmark scores. It provides easy comparison. But one benchmark is not enough. Only after seeing several benchmarks and comparing them we can select the optimum CPU.

What are the best benchmarks?

Geekbench is the most widely used benchmark. It is most widely used for Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, among others. It tests the CPU performance on single core and multiple cores.

Prime95 does the stress testing of CPU. Therefore, it can help identify issues with RAM, power delivery and other components. Though it does stress testing, the entire operation will not break the component.

PCMark does the real world testing of the CPU. So, it tests performance on real world applications. These can be MS Office, Adobe Product suite, web browser, video conferencing, document handling, photo and video editing. The result combines individual performance on essential, productivity, digital content creation.

Other benchmarks include Cinebench, PassMark, Super PI, etc.

What is the Intel CPU naming conventions?

Intel follows below naming conventions :-

i3/i5/i7 – ABCD SUFFIX

A denotes processor generation as follows :-

Table by Visualizer

B denotes Performance segment as follows :-

Table by Visualizer

C denotes SKU differentiator with higher number denotes better performance.

D denotes Extra features as below :-

Table by Visualizer


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