Your PC’s processor is one of the major components that define the overall performance of your system. How fast is it? How many tasks it can handle? Does it need an upgrade?
These questions can be simply answered if you know the details of your CPU.
Whether to check your hardware compatibility for an update or simply install a game compatible with your system, checking to see what CPU you have is fairly simple.
How to Tell What CPU You Have?
You can check processor details in several ways. This information will have details about the manufacturer, speed, number of cores and threads, etc. You can follow any one of these steps that we listed to find out your CPU details.
Using System Information
The system information feature in Windows displays all the details about your system, including the CPU. You can follow these steps to open the System Information.
- Press Windows + R simultaneously to open Run.
msinfo32.exewithout quotation mark and press Enter to open System Information Dialog Box.
- Click on System Summary on the left panel.
- On the right panel, you can see an item named Processor. Its corresponding Value has detail about the processor.
From Command Prompt
Another way you can get the system information is through the Command Prompt. Follow these steps to view the system summary using Command.
- Press the Windows + R key to open Run.
- Type “cmd” and press Enter to open Command Prompt.
- Now, type “systeminfo” without quotation mark and press Enter.
- The command will run for a few seconds and display details about your system in a listicle format. Here, search for Processor(s).
- Adjacent to processor, you will find the details regarding your processor.
From About Computer Options
You can also use the About PC section on Settings to know what CPU your computer uses. Excluding the processor details, you can also see the Device name, RAM installed, Operating System Type, and Windows Specification in this section.
Please follow these steps to check what CPU you have.
- Press the Windows + I key simultaneously to open Settings.
- Go to System > About.
- Here, you can see the computer’s CPU details.
Alternately, you can also follow these steps to open About settings.
- Open File Explorer.
- Right-click on This PC and select Properties
Use the Task Manager
Since the Task Manager keeps detailed information about the process running in the background, it also has information about the computer’s CPU. Along with this, it also displays CPU, memory, and disk usage.
To check CPU details about your computer, you can follow these steps.
- Press Ctrl + Alt + Esc to open Task Manager.
- Click on More Details if the Task Manager only displays a list of applications that are running.
- Click on the Performance tab.
The Performance tab displays all the information about the CPU like cores, logical processors, base speed, socket, cache. Including this, it also displays all active processes, threads, and speed.
Using Device Manager
One tricky way to get details about your CPU is through the Device Manager. Since a driver handles communication between Operating System and hardware, it also has details about the CPU driver.
Similarly, the CPU also requires a certain driver. Therefore, using the Device Manager, we can see its details.
You can follow these steps to check the CPU details from Device Manager.
- Press the Windows + X key and select Device Manager.
- Expand Processor.
- You can see several processors with the same name. Apart from your CPU model, the total number of processors listed is the total logical processor on your CPU
Remove Side Panel to Check CPU
If you are on a desktop PC, you can also remove the side panel and the CPU fan to check the CPU manufacturer. However, doing so is not recommended as many easy and reliable options are mentioned above to check the CPU details.
Understanding CPU Terminology
If you are hearing these terms for the first time, they may be unfamiliar to you. But don’t worry, it’s a very simple read. Each word and letter here has a meaning. If you start reading them separately than as a whole, you can understand them easily.
Suppose you have an Intel Core i5- 8260U Processor. Here,
- Intel core is the brand or the manufacturer’s name.
- i7 is the Brand Modifier. This can either be i3, i5, i7, or i9. Basically, the higher the i-value, the better the computer’s performance.
- 8260 means that this CPU is an 8th generation CPU. A higher generation processor means a higher logical processor and greater threads.
- The letter after this number (U) is a processor suffix. Each letter has a different meaning, such as E means Embedded, H means high performance for mobile devices, U means that the processor is mobile power efficient.
The AMD processor starts with Ryzen 3, 5, 7, or 9, representing the processor generation of CPU lineups such as Intel’s i3, i5, i7, or i9.
The number followed after Ryzen X is a 4-digit number representing the series, just like Intel’s processor.
Other Common Processor Terminologies
Regardless of the manufacturing brand, the core functionality of your processor is similar. These functionalities play a crucial role in your system’s overall workflow and efficiency.
- Cache: Cache is the memory that acts as RAM to the CPU. All the data that a CPU processes, are fetched, stored, and passed on to the CPU via cache memory.
These memories are low in capacity but have a high bus speed which makes its communication with CPU a lot smoother.
- Clock Speed: Clock speed referes to the rate at which the CPU executes its instructions. It is the number of cycles of instruction a core can process per second. These are measured in hertz.
So, if a processor has a clock speed of 3.6GHZ, it means that its rate of information processing is 3.6 billion cycles of instruction per second.
- Cores: The Core is basically a physical processor that is fit into a CPU. There can be multiple cores in a single CPU. So, if the CPU is a dual-core processor, you have two functioning processors on a single chip.
Having multiple cores means that a processor can perform a task with more efficiency.
- Threads: A thread is a set of instructions sent to the processor from an application/software. Multiple threads allow the core to seamlessly switch between tasks once completed.
Most older generation processors support one thread per core, which makes switching between processes waste a lot of the core’s performance. A newer generation processor can handle multiple threads, enabling queuing of tasks or processes.
- Logical Processor: A logical processor is basically the total number of cores times the number of threads a core can handle (typically two threads per core). The resulting value is the number of cores the OS can see and address.
For instance, if a CPU has eight cores and has multi-threading capability, the OS sees that the processor has 16 logical processors. But, a CPU that has eight cores without multi-threading means that it has eight logical processors.
I Have a 64-Bit Processor. What Does It Mean?
A 64-bit processor allows the computer to access the memory address represented by 64 bits. This value is higher than the memory that a 32-bit processor can process.
Furthermore, the maximum memory a computer can handle also depends on the OS. So, if you have a 64-bit processor, you will need a 64 bit OS to send and receive instructions seamlessly.
Is It Safe to Use Third-party App to Determine the Processor in Use?
Using a third-party is an ideal option to get the processor details as the Windows utilities are very limited to determine the processor and its architecture.
However, when downloading these applications, make sure that the website is secure and always scan the downloaded file with an anti-virus before running them.