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The Computer Brain Essay

2436 words - 10 pages

Today's world relies heavily on computers, and most people know how to use a computer, whether for school, business or leisure. Most people do not understand how it works, and only ask questions when it does not work. The computer has several parts and in order to understand each part, it is easier to compare them to something everyone can understand. There are several books available for those interested in understanding the how and why a computer works. In the book, Is This Thing On, there is a comparison of the central processing unit, or CPU: "The CPU is to information on the computer what the post office is to a letter" (Stokes 15). There is also a comparison to a car, regarding the speed of the car in horsepower to the speed of the central processing unit in gigahertz (15). The faster the speed of the central processing unit in your computer, the faster the information is dispersed (15). The central processing unit of a computer is commonly referred to as "the brains of a computer" (White 9). Comparing the central processing unit to the brain, which controls everything that functions in the body, is a great way to understand the role of the central processing unit in a computer (m-w.com). This essay will explain what the central processing unit of a computer is, how it works, the different types available, the different types of cooling systems, and the future of speed technology.
Understanding why the central processing unit is so important when choosing a computer will help the user get the best out of their purchase. The definition of the central processing unit is: "the part of the computer that serves as the pathway for all information" (Stokes 382). The central processing unit is the main part of a computer, and contains "the main memory, control unit and arithmetic-logic unit" (CPU). The central processing unit is linked to input and output devices, additional accessories, and storage for memory (CPU). Information arrives in the central processing unit, and it is the responsibility of the control unit to combine and direct the information to its proper place based on the rules of operation on the computer system (CPU). The control unit relies on the main memory to understand the rules so the information can interact properly with the other computer functions at the right time and get to where the information needs to go (CPU). The input data is also obtained from the main memory and processed in the "arithmetic-logic unit" (CPU). The "arithmetic-logic unit" does what it says, it performs math functions like multiplying, dividing, adding, subtracting, reasoning, and processes the information it is receiving from the hardware or software (CPU). The central processing unit is also referred to as a "microprocessor or processor", which is a chip that computes the data "and the code (instructions)" that a computer uses (White 9). Any of these terms are used when talking about the central processing unit of a computer. The central...

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