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Processors

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Boost your computer’s performance by upgrading or adding a CPU (or central processing unit) to your system. Whether you are updating your computer or building your own PC, it is important to find the computer processor that is the best fit for your budget and your workload. Smithbuy offers a wide variety of new and refurbished processors from Intel and AMD to meet your computing needs. Choose from our selection of CPUs for mobile and desktop including i5 processors, i7 processors, and Xeon processors. 

What is a CPU?

A CPU (central processing unit), is a complete computation engine that is fabricated on a single chip. This is made into a chip, or integrated circuit. It is usually a small, thin piece of silicon where transistors are etched. There are five basic elements that are considered with CPU’s: transistors, microns, clock speed, data width, and MIPS.

Transistors: Measure by the number of transistors on a chip. These numbers have increased steadily over the years. There is a relationship with the number of transistors to MIPS.

Microns: The width of the smallest wire on the chip is measured in microns. For example, a human hair is around 100 microns thin. As the feature size on the chip decreases, the number of transistors increases.

Clock Speed: The max rate the chip can be clocked at. This depends on the manufacturing process and delays within the chip. There is a relationship between clock speed and MIPS.

Data Width: The width of the ALU (Arithmetic/Logic Unit). For example, an 8-bit ALU can add/subtract/multiply two 8-bit numbers, while 32-bit ALU can manipulate 32-bit numbers.

MIPS: Millions of instructions per second. This is a rough measure of the CPU performance. Modern CPU’s are so versatile that MIPS ratings have lost a lot of their significance.

CPU’s utilize assembly language, and an engineer can do many things to boost the speed of a processor.

A CPU operates based on instructions, and there are three basic things they can do:

  1. A CPU operates based on instructions, and there are three basic things they can do:
    1. Modern CPU’s can contain complete floating-point processors that can perform very sophisticated operations on large floating-point numbers
  2. Move data from one memory location to another
  3. Make decisions and jump to a new set of instructions based on those decisions