What is a Processor or CPU?

CPU stands for central processing unit and is probably one of the least understood parts of a computer system. A processor is the device inside your computer, laptop or other computing device that carries out the instructions of your various programs. Basically it is the math whiz inside the unit that deciphers the mathematical code to determine what action a specific program or system is trying to perform. Over the years processor or CPU technology has advanced quickly.


Are the specifications of a processor important when choosing a computer? Yes, but with a caveat. Overall performance of a computer starts with how well it is put together in the first place and one weak performing piece can limit the performance of even the best components. For example, if you are looking for a gaming system and the only thing you look for is a super-fast processor, you could be sorely disappointed because the graphics card may not be up to par. Likewise, a fantastic gaming graphics card will not overcome a slow performing processor or lack of memory.


How is the average person to compare and contrast the many options on the market today? Start by determining your needs. In the above example, we talked about gaming, but what if you are simply needing a reliable laptop or computer for word processing and little else? There is a computer/processor combination that is perfect for this application!

Remember when choosing your computer was a simple method of price versus hard drive size? Those were the days, of slow computers and dial up internet! Today the market is saturated with huge hard drives, extreme memory capacity and a wide variety of CPU’s. This all means you will need to do your homework! Processor or CPU speed is an important factor, but make sure you learn about a system as a whole before jumping in and laying down your hard-earned money.

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