The brain of your computer is the CPU (Central Processing Unit) or Processor. The CPU is responsible for all processing. It converts your data from 1s or 0s into human-readable format and back to 1s or 0s. Explore more amazing CPU Facts!
The CPU does not control the display and graphics processing. The GPU (Graphical Processing Unit), which can be integrated into the CPU, a part of the system board, or an add-on graphic card, handles this. The GPU is a component of every computer. Without it, you wouldn’t see anything on your screen.
About Intel Core I Series…
Due to the long production history, confusion can result in the naming convention for I Series. This can confuse lower-end computers, as they may have an Intel Core i3 CPU 2+ years ago. A higher-end computer may also have an Intel Core i3 processing unit but it may be newer. The latter is a faster processor.
In 2010, Intel introduced the “i series” CPU line. This means that an Intel Core i3 of 2010 and an Intel Core i3 of 2017 share the same name but have a huge speed difference. The number following is what counts. It should be the full Processor or CPU name. The 8th Generation is the first number after i3, and was released in late 2017. The 2010 model in my example would be the Intel Core i3-3370, while the 2017 example would be the Intel Core i3-8100. There are many other models between them and many variations of the year. See the full list of Intel CPUs and release date here:
About Intel Atom…
Intel Atom CPUs have low power and low speed. These CPUs are ideal for firewalls, IoT devices and battery-powered devices. The power consumption is lower than that of the Core i Series. The overall speed is significantly slower than the Intel Core i3. See the full list of Intel Atom CPUs and release date here:
Other Intel Processors…
Intel Pentium is designed between the Celeron i series and the Pentium. This could be considered a mid-level processor. Most older computers used the Pentium-style CPU. However, these are not as common today.
Core M, or Core Mobile – This is a step up from the Celeron or i Series. The M series’ real advantage is its low voltage, thin design, and low heat output. This makes it the ideal Processor for mobile notebooks.
Intel Celeron CPU: These CPUs are similar to the Atom, but slightly faster. They are intended for entry-level and portable devices. These processors are significantly slower than the Core I Series.
Intel Xeon – Designed for Business and Server Systems. The Xeon name is widely used in the server market like the I series. There are many iterations.
Also, read 5 Incredible Facts About Laptops
AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) is Intel’s main competitor. Both companies are respected and the main reason to choose one company over the other is the price. AMD’s new CPUs are identical to Intel’s. Previously, hyper-threading was an option only for Intel-based CPUs. They are almost identical. Both companies are leading competitors so you’ll always find an IT technician who recommends one company over the other. This is not the place to get into a debate.
AMD’s naming scheme for processors is more complicated, with the most recent Zen Core series. You can see the full list of CPUs and release date here:
There is more to this confusion. The listed speed in GHz (i.e., GHz (i.e., 3.20 GHz), does not mean that one model is faster than the other. For example, a Core i3 of the 6th Generation runs at 3 GHz while an 8th-generation Core i3 runs at 3 GHz. However, the Core i3 of the 8th Generation is 30% faster and has two more processor cores.
Hyper-threading, HT, SMT? All these terms are the same. Even though there are different ways to do it, this article will not address which approach is better. These are two processes that can be used with a single CPU Core.
Simply put, two windows could be open at once, and each window would request processing power from a single-core CPU. Hyper-threading is not required. One window can load while the other waits for the Processor’s availability. Hyper-threading, or HT, is the Intel version. Simultaneous Multi-threading (SMT) is AMD’s version. It is only available on their most recent processors (Ryzen). AMD had a few processors before that tried to replicate this, but it was not a true hyperthreading solution.
Cores? Hyper-threading is not to be confused with Cores. A CPU Core is an entirely separate CPU processor built on the same chip. A CPU can be equipped with either cores or hyper-threading. Most CPUs can run without hyper-threading enabled. Hyper-threading may be disabled in certain situations to increase performance. This is a longer story. The most recent CPUs are equipped with 2-4 cores and hyper-threading, allowing 4-8 processes to run simultaneously. The number of cores available for high-end CPUs can leap to more than 20.
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