CPU stands for central processing unit, the part of a computer’s hardware that performs the instructions of programs and controls the operations of the system. Simply put, it is the brain of the computer.
The CPU is the most important part of a computer system and is where the arithmetical and logical calculations are made. If a computer has more than one CPU, it is a multiprocessor. Most modern CPUs are microprocessors, meaning they are contained on a single chip. When purchasing a computer, consumers should consider the CPU performance, or speed; the better the CPU, the faster the computer is.
How does a computer process data?
Before data is processed by a computer, it has to be fed into the computer using a keyboard, mouse or another input device. The central processing unit (CPU) analyzes the raw data and processes it into sensible information. The CPU receives instructions from the user and issues prompts accordingly. After the data is processed, it is translated to output formats that are easily understandable by the user.
The processed data is displayed on the computer for editing, viewing or playing. The computer’s CPU then receives instructions from the user to save the data securely on the hard drive. Later, the user can choose to modify, copy, move, edit or delete the data. Some of the output values that data is converted into are documents, video files and audio files.
A computer system is comprised of three main parts: hardware, software and users. All components connected to the computer via cable or wireless access point are hardware. These are primarily the tangible parts that include the CPU, monitor, keyboard and mouse. In addition, machines such as printers and scanners are considered part of the computer’s hardware. Software consists of the computer applications installed on the computer and used to execute functions. Users are the people who provide instructions to the computer.