Since the creation of electric computers, there has been a need for a central processing unit to control the actions and data flow in the machines. Early methods of computer processors were large and inefficient. The modern microprocessor is the most widely-used method of controlling a computer. While there are only two major companies manufacturing processors left in the industry, some engineers and technicians are working to replace the silicon-based chip with other formats.
A computer processor is the part of a computer that analyzes, controls and disperses data. Commonly referred to as the central processing unit or CPU, a computer processor acts as the brains of the computer, telling which program and application to do what at a specific time and interval. Modern computer processors operate with speeds of 2.6 to 3.66 gigahertz. The most advanced models are even faster. It takes the form of a small microchip that fits into a series of sockets in the motherboard. The more powerful the computer processor is on the computer, the faster and more efficient the machine will run.
Modern processors are designed by two distinct companies: Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). Intel processors are most commonly used in prefabricated computer systems, such as those from Dell and HP. The company focuses on two different lines of processors: the Pentium and the Celeron. Pentium processors are the larger microchip style that works on most desktop and some laptops. They can handle high-demand processing, such as that found in 3D gaming, video editing and other multimedia-intense applications. Celeron processors are more compact models with the ability to run a basic computer efficiently and cost-effectively. AMD’s line of computer processors can be found in prefabricated models, however, are most commonplace with home-built systems or specially designed machines. AMD was the first to build a 64-bit processor, capable of high-end applications use with graphic intensive operations. The previous industry standard had been 32-bit processing. Some AMD processors offer built-in virus protection.