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Understanding what is a Computer Processor

Last time we touched briefly on RAM and thank you for the follow up questions we got from some of our readers, we hope we managed to answer all your burning questions and provided a deeper insight into the PC world. This time will look at another Component that works closely with the RAM, the Processor commonly called CPU.

A computer processor is a small chip which sits on our computers’ motherboard (this is a board like device which contains various computer components including RAM). We would like to view this “device” as the brains of the computer. This device is the reason why the computer responds in the way it is intended to when we are using it e.g. if you are working on a document and you press the letter A on your keyboard, you see A on your screen not B or Z. This processor is tasked with interpreting all the things that you want your computer to do i.e. from opening Word to playing a game.

The processor is also referred to as the CPU (Central Processing Unit) meaning an area within the computer where all the processing is down. However nowadays this is no longer correct as there are more than 1 processing units in a computer. The other is the GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) but we will do a separate article on it.

The processor is an electric circuit. In simple terms, we can say the processor is a device that requires electricity/ power to carry out its work. This is why your computer sometimes becomes hot when you are using it to run a heavy program e.g. a game. The harder the processor works “thinking and interpreting” and more energy it needs.

I am sure when it comes to processors, you have heard of many terms being thrown around. We will try to explain as simple as possible what the terms mean.

  1. Clock speed – This measure the number if calculations (process) the processor can make per second. This is usually represented by GHz (Giga Hertz per second).
  2. Core(s) -This is essentially a virtual CPU which works on processing data or instructions within the Processor
  3. Thread – This is essentially a virtual version of a Processor core, which help to make a processor’s perform more efficient


The processor mainly performs 3 main takes which are;

  1. Fetch – The processor collects information/ data from the RAM according to what program the user has opened
  2. Decode (“interpret”)– converts the information/ data retrieved into signals (Commands) which will be sent to other components of the PC.
  3. Execute – the processor sends out the signals (appropriate instruction) to a specific component in the computer/ program.







There are 4 main brands of processors on the market, but the 2 well-known brands are INTEL and AMD RYZEN. We will do a separate article on the differences between the 2 brands.

Send us a message regarding processors or follow our social media pages, Facebook and Instagram and websites for more articles

Friday, 27 May 2022
Last modified on Saturday, 04 June 2022 08:33
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