Computer Processors and a Bit About Moore's Law

A computer processor is commonly referred to as the brain of the computer.  Here is a great explanation from Computers for Beginners (although somewhat dated):


3.1.4 CPU (Processor)

The processor is the brains of the computer; it does all the calculating. Simply put, faster

is better. However, faster is generally more expensive, produces more heat and uses more

energy. Unless you plan on playing the latest games, or doing a lot of video editing, buy a

middle of the pack processor. You can save some money by going with a slower processor, or

spend a few extra for a little more speed. This book recommends that you stay away from

the very high end as you spend a lot more money for only a small increase in performance.

For instance, the highest-end processor in the Core i7 line, labeled the "Extreme Edition"

(EE), will add approximately $1,000 to the price of the chip for only about a 10% speed


There are two main CPU manufacturers, Intel and AMD. Competition keeps them fairly

evenly matched. Intel offers the high-end Core i7's and the low-end Core i3's processors while

AMD has the high-end Phenon II lines, and the mid-range and low-range 64-bit Athlon 64,

respectively. The low-end processors (i3 and Athlon 64) tend to offer 75% of the performance

of their big brothers, at about 50% of the price - although this varies between applications.


Watch this video to find out more:

In addition, we have a very interesting phenomenon in something called Moore's Law.  Read a synopsis of it here:

Moore's Law  

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