Can Your Computer Run Faster? Your CPU will determine it.



Should you upgrade your current CPU?

What is a CPU? According to Tech Terms:"CPU Stands for "Central Processing Unit." The CPU is the primary component of a computer that processes instructions. It runs the operating system and applications, constantly receiving input from the user or active software programs. It processes the data and produces output, which may stored by an application or displayed on the screen. The CPU contains at least one processor, which is the actual chip inside the CPU that performs calculations."

?CPU upgrades are a popular way to increase the speed of your personal computer. The CPU, or central processing unit, is the main chip or brain of the computer. It performs all the calculations needed to run the programs. The only exceptions might be any calculations performed by accelerator cards such as graphics cards. Upgrading the CPU might seem to be the ideal way to increase the performance of a PC. However, there are a couple things you must know before you decide on a CPU upgrade.

  1. Find out if the computer's BIOS can accept an upgraded CPU. The BIOS is the Basic Input-Output System. It controls the most basic computer functions. BIOS settings are usually accessed by pressing a special key such as F8 or F10 while the PC is booting. If the BIOS settings allow settings for a CPU with a higher speed rating than the current CPU, then an upgrade of the CPU might be feasible. If the maximum setting is already at the speed of the current chip, then an upgrade to the CPU is not possible.
  2. If a CPU upgrade is feasible for the PC, check if there is an available upgrade CPU available. You can only choose a CPU that has the speed settings shown in the BIOS. If you can locate a suitable upgrade chip, check the number of pins on the potential CPU upgrade. The CPU plugs into the motherboard via hundreds of tiny metal pins. The pin count of the CPU upgrade must match the pin hole count on the motherboard. When in doubt, ask the manufacturer of your PC about a suitable CPU upgrade path.

Some companies offer a CPU upgrade card. This is essentially a small motherboard with a faster CPU that plugs into an open expansion card slot. This type of upgraded CPU takes over most of the motherboard functions. However, the speed between the CPU's upgrade card and the rest of the computer is limited by the speed of the expansion slot. 

These card and chip upgrades can be expensive, costing up to half the cost of a basic new computer. Furthermore, a fan and heat sink might be needed to get rid of the heat of the new CPU. It might be more cost effective to simply buy a new computer. That way, you will have speedy new peripherals to complement your fast new CPU upgrades.