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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:

  • The arithmetic logic unit (ALU), which performs arithmetic and logical operations.

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

    More Information

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

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

    Outstanding Page 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." Updated on Aug 5, 1998

    Outstanding Page 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. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

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

    Outstanding Page 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.

      About CPUs
    Describes the design and function of the CPU.

      AMD, Cyrix, IDT and Rise Technology CPU Information
    Offers news, benchmark information, buyer advice, overclocking tips and information, humor, and FAQs for AMD, Cyrix, IDT and Rise Technology CPUs. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

      CPU and cache detection software
    This Data Depot page features their WhatCPU product, software that detects latest Intel, Cyrix, AMD, cache, plus old CPUs. In addition, there are many links to CPU manufacturers and resources. Updated on Aug 5, 1998

      CPU Central
    Contains detailed and in-depth information on all of today's current and upcoming CPUs. Updated on Jul 17, 1998

      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. Updated on Aug 1, 1998

      CPU processor market - article
    This April 1997 Byte Magazine article reviews the latest choices in CPUs from Intel, Cyrix and AMD. Updated on Aug 5, 1998

      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. Updated on Aug 1, 1998

      Lecture notes on the composition of CPU
    These are notes on the composition of CPU from a computer architecture course. Updated on Sep 23, 1997

      PC Mechanic's CPU page
    Provides a history of CPUs from 1978 through present day. Updated on Apr 18, 1998

      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.

      The Overclocking Guide
    Provides a wealth of information about overclocking. This page is hosted by Tom's Hardware Guide. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

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

      Upgrading Your CPU
    CNET article (July 1999) with a step-by-step guide to upgrading your CPU.

      Yahoo!'s CPUs and microcontrollers page
    Yahoo!'s directory of CPU and microcontroller manufacturers.


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