1.0 Hardware

1.4 Explain the purpose and characteristics of CPUs and their features

  • Identify CPU types
  • The CompTIA A+ exam will focus primarily on processors developed by AMD and Intel. CPUs must be compatible with the motherboard.

    PGA refers to a Pin Grid Array processor with pins that are inserted into a socket. To improve thermal conductivity, the PGA uses a nickel plated copper heat slug on top of the processor. The pins on the bottom of the chip are staggered. In addition, the pins are arranged in a way that the processor can only be inserted one way into the socket.

    LGA (LAND Grid Array) refers to how the processor die is attached to the substrate. Unlike pin grid arrays, land grid array packages are designed to fit both in a socket or be soldered down using surface mount technology. In place of the pins are pads of bare gold-plated copper that touch protruding pins on the microprocessor's placeholder on the motherboard.

    • AMD

    • Intel

  • Hyper threading
  • Hyperthreading is an Intel proprietary technology that enables two streams of data to run simultaneously on each processor core. To utilize this technology, the operating system and BIOS must both be capable of supporting multiple processors.

  • Multi core
  • Contains multiple physical cores.

    • Dual core

    • Triple core

    • Quad core

  • Onchip cache
  • Lessens the need to repeatedly access DRAM, providing faster access to data.

    • L1
    • Level 1 cache feeds the CPU and provides the fastest access to the data used most often.

    • L2
    • Level 2 cache feeds the L1 cache. L2 cache is slower than L1, but it is usually larger in size.

  • Speed (real vs. actual)
  • Clock speed is rated in cycles per second and measured in hertz (Hz), 3.2 billion cycles per second = 3.2 gigahertz (GHz).

  • 32bit vs. 64 bit

    32-bit and 64-bit Explained
    Microsoft Frequently Asked Questions