Specifications of CPU

This post is lesson 28 of 42 in the subject Computer Hardware

When we buy a computer or need to upgrade a computer, we are often interested in specifications of CPU. This article will introduce in detail specifications of CPU.

1. Specifications of CPU

Each processor has different specifications:

  • Type of socket
  • Processing speed
  • Size of CPU register
  • Cache
  • Bus speed
  • Instructions Set
  • Operating voltage

Processing speed of CPU

It is also called CPU clock speed. Processing speed of CPU is number of instruction executions per second, with units of Hz, MHz, GHz.

Processing speed of CPU

For example, Intel Pentium 4 CPU with a processing speed of 2.8 GHz. 2.8 GHz = 2,800,000,000 Hz, which means that in 1 second the CPU executes about 2.8 billion instructions.

Size of CPU register

We often referred to the terms 32-bit and 64-bit CPUs.

Size of CPU register 32 bit and 64 bit

Register in 32-bit CPU can store 232 memory cell addresses. Each memory cell stores 1 byte of data. Therefore, a 32-bit CPU can only access up to 4 GB on a stick of RAM.

Similarly, register in 64-bit CPU stores 264 memory addresses. The amount of data for a 64-bit CPU to process is much larger.


Cache memory is usually a few MB in size, usually 4MB, 6MB, 8MB, 16MB.

View Cache in CPU

Bus speed

It is the speed in and out between CPU pins, which is also Front Side Bus.

Bus Speed of CPU with CPU-Z

Intruction Set

Instruction set is a collection of code that the CPU can understand to execute. Instruction set is the sequence of bits 0 and 1.

The instruction set is used to control the displacement (calculation) of bits and bytes in the CPU. Common instruction sets are CISC, RISC, SIMD, MMX, MMX+, SSE, SSE5, 3Dnow.

Instruction sets of CPU

Operating voltage of CPU

It is voltage supplied to CPU. This voltage usually has a potential difference about 1.0 – 1.5V. Power-saving CPU series may have lower operating voltage.

Operating voltage of CPU

2. Technologies integrated on CPU

Hyper-Threading technology

Hyper-Threading is invented by Intel. This technology allows to execute 2 processing threads on one processor at the same time.

hyper threading technology

Multi-Core technology

Multi-Core allows processors to have multiple cores. These cores will work in parallel with each other, sharing the computing and processing work that the processor undertakes.

Two common technologies are Dual Core and Quad Core.

multi core technology

Intel Turbo Boost technology

It is an Intel technology. It helps CPU automatically increase CPU’s processing speed to the maximum to match processing requirement.

Intel Turbo Boost has 2 versions: 2.0 (released in 2011 with 2nd generation of Intel Core I – Sandy Bridge) and 3.0 (released in 2016 with 5th generation of Intel Core I – Broadwell).

Turbo boost technology

Intel HD Graphics technology

It is a technology that integrates the graphics chip in Intel’s CPU. Intel HD Graphics is firstly introduced in 2010.

intel hd graphics technology

Virtualization technology

Virtualization is the act of creating a virtual (rather than actual) version of something at the same abstraction level, including virtual computer hardware platforms, storage devices, and computer network resources.

With Intel’s CPUs called Intel Virtualization Technology, abbreviated as Intel VT, VT-x. With AMD’s CPUs called AMD Virtualization, abbreviated as AMD-V.

virtualization technology of CPU

Extended Memory 64 Technology (EM64T)

This technology enables 64-bit computing, allows CPU to access large memory (264 x 8 bit).

CPUs support EM64T technology with two forms: compatibility and 64-bit:

  • Compatibility: allow 64-bit operating systems to run 16-bit or 32-bit applications. For 32-bit programs, the CPU can access memory of 4GB, 16-bit is 1GB.
  • 64 bit: allow only 64-bit operating systems and 64-bit programs to run.
em64t technology of CPU
5/5 - (1 vote)
Previous and next lesson in subject<< Components of CPUHow to read name of Intel CPU >>
Posted by Vinh Le

Composer at ITLearningCorner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *