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Last modified: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 

Abbreviation of central processing unit, and pronounced as separate letters. The CPU is the brains of the computer. Sometimes referred to simply as the processor or central processor, the CPU is where most calculations take place. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system.

On large machines, CPUs require one or more printed circuit boards. On personal computers and small workstations, the CPU is housed in a single chip called a microprocessor.

Two typical components of a CPU are:

Also see All About Dual-Core Processors  in Webopedia's "Did You Know...?" section.

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For pages about CPU . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Building Your Own PC 
What hard-core techies and companies like Dell and Compaq have been doing for years is what any computer user can learn how to do - build a computer from scratch. Let SE take you on a stroll through the park and ease the pain of building a DIY PC.

CPU Site: Future Technology Processors 
Offers recent news items, articles, benchmark information, overclocking facts, CPU related programs, and related links.

Hardware Central 
Detailed test reports on the latest desktop and laptop computers. Plus news on trend-setting products just coming into the pipeline.

HardwareCentral's CPU page 
Provides opinions, reports, reviews and tutorials on many types of CPUs.

Microprocessor Comparison Chart 
A cut-to-the-chase guide that compares and contrasts popular processing chips.

PC system processor reference guide 
Comprehensive look at the system processor. Covers semiconductor technology, manufacturing, characteristics, power, voltage levels, cooling, packaging, sockets, external and internal architecture. Discusses performance factors. Complete look at over 20 popular processors, including the latest offerings from Intel, AMD and Cyrix.

Processor Overviews 
Outlines the basic structure of a processor and the architectures of recent designs from Intel, AMD and Cyrix. Includes graphics, diagrams and an integrated glossary. This page is from "The PC Technology Guide."

The CPU Guide 
This site hosts an extensive collection of information related to CPUs. Here, you can find the latest news, features, FAQs and benchmark information for Intel, Cyrix and AMD processors.

About CPUs
Describes the design and function of the CPU.

Contains detailed and in-depth information on all of today's current and upcoming CPUs.

CPU performance enhancing utilities
A collection of utilities designed to unlock advanced features of the Cyrix 6x86, 5x86, and Pentium Pro processors. Includes many popular programs frequently requested on USENET.

CPU processor market - article
This April 1997 Byte Magazine article reviews the latest choices in CPUs from Intel, Cyrix and AMD.

Information on overclocking CPU's
Provides PC users with overclocking FAQ's, tips, success and failure surveys, and a step-by-step how-to guide.

Processor Architecture and Operation
Provides a complete look at the way processors work. Includes sections on external processor interfaces and operations, internal processor architecture and operations, and processor performance. This page is from "The PC Guide".

Processor Physical Characteristics
Discusses the physical properties of processors. Includes information on processor manufacturing, physical chip characteristics, power and voltage, cooling and packaging, and sockets and slots.

Troubleshooting the Processor
Looks at problems related to the system processor. This page is from "The PC Guide."

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