A Central Processing Unit, or CPU, is the brain of your computer. The CPU is where all the commands issued by your computer or server start; it is a central hub of the nervous system of your IT device, telling your computer what to do and when to do it.
Without the CPU, none of the components in your PC, laptop or server would be able to receive instructions, rendering your device useless. After all, a body is nothing without the brain!
The CPU follows the instructions of computer programs to instruct the other components on what is needed at any given time. Through this process, the CPU can input, store data and output results by instructing the other components connected to the system board. This is what makes your device function and execute your commands.
How does a CPU Work?
Inside a CPU is an integrated circuit, or a chip. This circuit connects millions of electrical parts that build up the hardware of the CPU. These electrical parts are connected to metal pins which transfer data in and out of the component to execute commands, retrieve data and store files as and when requested by the computer program.
Where is the CPU Located?
In most cases, the CPU is held in a socket on your motherboard. This socket offers protection to your component as CPUs are notoriously very delicate. When looking at your system board it may be difficult to spot as they sit beneath a larger component known as a heatsink which is designed to cool the CPU and prevent overheating. To access your CPU, you must first remove the heatsink and release the CPU socket. The image below shows two heatsinks sitting above two CPUs for reference.
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