Example of Hardware - What is CPU for icon

Parts of a CPU – What is Important? – How to choose a CPU

Important parts of a CPU – what do you have to look out for to choose the best one for your needs? The CPU consists of which two parts? Components and their functions. Where is the CPU located? What does CPU stand for in games?

Understanding the requirements

To choose the best CPU or Core Processing unit or Processor for your setup you first have to understand what exactly would you need it for. What will be the workload?

Mainly there are 2 workloads types:

  • Single-threaded
  • Multi-threaded

Single-threaded workload involves easy tasks, such as:

  • internet browsing
  • document writing
  • music listening

In such case the more important number to pay attention to is the speed of a the core rather than number of cores available.

Multi-threaded workload involve more resource demanding tasks, such as:

  • photo editing
  • video editing
  • gaming

In case of Multi-threaded workload, the more important factor is the number of available cores

More resource demanding  jobs are usually divided between different cores, so that the whole process will be completed faster. INTEL‘s hyperthreading technology divides work inside one core into two so that the work would finish faster. 

There is however a limit. Current programs cannot use infinite number of cores. For that reason INTEL‘s usual CPU‘s are limited to 4 Cores. They tend do have hyperthreading however.


In some cases users make their Processors faster than they are by default. This is called Overclocking. When Overclocking the Processor, users rise the CPU’s clock speed. In other words the CPU clock speed will then be higher than the initial planned maximum. Although Overclocking can improve performance noticeably there are things that you have to be aware of.

For Example:

  • Only some Processors can be Overclocked
  • For easier Overclocking the Motherboard should support it
  • Higher clock speed makes the Processor work harder and grow hotter
  • There is a sensible limit up to which the Processor should be Overclocked 

CPU’s that support Overclocking

The First problem can be solved by using INTEL‘s K-series Processors (For Example i7 7700K, i7 6700K, i5 7600K and i3 7350K ). Personally for gaming i would recommend i5 7600K, as this is the best price / performance balance suitable for gaming. i3 from my Personal view is a bit too weak for proper gaming PC and i7 is a bit too expensive. In case you plan to stream and edit videos in addition to gaming, i7 would be a good choice. PS pay attention to the socket of the CPU – it HAS to MATCH the socket on your Motherboard ie (LGA1151 or LGA2066 has to match both on Motherboard and Processor)

Motherboards that support Overclocking

Motherboards that support very easy overclocking are for example most if not all the ASUS ROG series motherboards. My all time favourites. (Some examples: Asus ROG Strix X299 E Gaming Motherboard, Asus ROG Rampage VI Extreme, Asus ROG Maximus IX Hero and Asus Maximus IX Formula ). The Rampage is the high performance motherboard together with Formula. These are the most expensive ones. Strix is a bit cheaper and Personally the best option is Asus ROG Maximus IX Hero. The feature and price balance seems to be the most optimal.

Cooling for Overclocking

Better CPU cooling solves the third problem. You can go for water or air cooling. For overclocking i would recommend Corsair H series water cooling system (For Example Corsair H60, H80i, H100i and H115i).    

What is the limit to Overclocking?

The limit is usually the result of trial and error method. This means you increase the speed in small steps, monitor the Processor temp and make sure the Computer works normally. Once the Computer starts crashing etc, it is better to turn down the speed. For different CPU‘s there are different recommended maximum speeds that can be found from google.

Where is the CPU located
beginners guide to computer hardware - Diagram of Computer components

CPU or Processor is located on the Motherboard the usual location can be seen on the diagram. On current picture it is hidden underneath the Water Cooling System Water pump.

The CPU consists of which two parts?  Components of CPU and their functions

CPU consists of two parts, ALU and CU. ALU is the arithmetic logic unit, that performs logical and simple arithmetic operations. CU is the control unit that manages different components of the computer. In other words ALU and CU are the main components of Processor and their functions are to run your computer like human brain runs human body.   

What does CPU stand for in games?

That largely depends of the game. FPS games use more GPU and games that require more statistical calculations require more Processor. For example RTS and RPG games usually require CPU for all the odd etc calculations. very graphical games such as Battlefield, Forza etc, require more GPU.

CPU parameters

The main parameters that Processors has are:

  • Socket
  • Core
  • Multi-core
  • Frequency
  • L2 / L3 Cache


This shows what is the CPU socket type. Currently the most common is LGA1151 and the newest is LGA2066. In case you plan to buy a new Processor the Socket has to match with the socket on the Motherboard. PS when getting the latest LGA1151 CPU ie the 7th gen Processor and also new Motherboard, first make sure the Motherboard supports that Processor and secondly make sure that the BIOS version of the Motherboard is suitable for the CPU. If the BIOS version is out dated, you may have to update the BIOS, this however requires a CPU that already works. (worst case scenario you have to ask some it store to upgrade the BIOS for you) 


Cores show the technology version behind the CPU. The versions are named. For example at the moment the code name for the 7th gen CPU is Kaby Lake.


CPU‘s come with different amount of cores. As explained the beginning of this post, sometimes the amount of cores is important. i5 CPU‘s usually have 4 cores, as do the ordinary i7 CPU‘s. There are also some high performance CPU‘s. For Example i7 7800X has 6 cores and i7 7820 has 8 cores. They also support multi-threading, therefor OS sees as if it has 12 and 16 cores


is the speed of the Processor. In other words the speed of the core of the CPU.

L2/L3 Cache

While CPU does its calculations, it needs to temporarily store the data somewhere. For that purpose CPU has L2 and L3 Cache. The more your Computer has, the better the performance.

Which CPU to choose then?

Like I have mentioned previously. The best balance between value and performance would be i5 CPU ie i5 7600K. In case you plan to record and stream games and perhaps even edit videos etc, go for the i7 7700K. In case money is not and issue to you, the new LGA2066 socket offers a wonderful and crazy INTEL i X series CPU line. Personally I can recommend Intel i7 7800X. X being the extreme i series CPU. For Cooling Corsair H80i will do just fine. In the below example the Motherboards supports 8 slots of ram and i7 7800X supports that as well. so you can install 8x8GB of RAM. For whatever reason 😀

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03.09.2017 – EqEST

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