CPU Vs Core Vs Socket – Here is What You Know

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Computers have gone through a continuing process of development since its invention. With the invention of semiconductors, the computers have gone through a massive development. Check out CPU Vs Core Vs Socket.

Semiconductors were the raw material and the developers had to mould it in different forms and this is an era of solid state components. In a solid state component, there is hardly any moving material and they provide far better performance than their previous versions.

Scientists are developing new technologies and advanced features every day. In the preliminary stage of the computer, transistors were used in it. Later with the development of CPU, processor, core, cache memory, were became a major concern.

In this article, we will talk about the CPU, the core and the socket of a computer and will also try to find the differences and similarities among them.

Central Processing Unit


Central Processing Unit or CPU is considered as the main working or processing unit of a system.

It is the unit where various operations took place. It is widely known as the brain of the computer.

Components of CPU

A CPU is an assembled unit which contains registers, ALU, FPU, control unit, cache memory, front side bus, etc.

Arithmetic Logic Unit

In a computer, ALU is the part where various types of arithmetic calculations, all types of comparison took place.

ALU performs subtraction, addition, division, multiplication, and various logic gates like AND, NOT, OR, etc.

In this digital circuit, various logical and arithmetic exercises take place. The fundamental building block of the CPU is the arithmetic logic unit.

In a CPU multiple ALUs may present. Operands are the data that the arithmetic logic unit received from the input devices.

Based on the instructions, it performs single or multiple operations and provides the perfect result to the users through various output devices.


Floating point unit is a unit which helps the arithmetic logic unit in performing various operations.

The main objective of the floating point unit is to carry out various operations which are in floating point numbers.

Floating point unit is very efficient in calculating square root, cubic root, huge multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, and is spatially able to handle larger decimal numbers.

Floating point unit is also able to perform various basic level trigonometric equations. It is the execution unit, present within the central processing unit. Floating point unit is able to handle various complicated decimal numbers faster than the arithmetic logic unit.


Registers are basically a computer memory which is very fast to load. This memory is used to store various instructions.

For the execution of the imported data or instructions, registers are the very first component to process the data.

Register memories are reserved for specific purposes. This memory stores various statuses that are very useful to the central processing unit for processing the inputted instructions.

Control Unit

A control unit is the part of a CPU where the execution of the inputted data occurs.

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It is the part which decides how to process the inputted instructions, type of the data and where the data should be moved to be processed.

After processing the inputted data, the computer sends the result to the control unit and then it is its duty to provide the result to the user through various output devices.

So we can conclude that the control unit is the major decision maker in a computer.

Cache Memory

It is a memory where data is stored temporarily for faster processing.

For a specific algorithm, cache memory stores the selected information which helps the CPU to run or process that data, very quickly.

Cache memory serves the PC to enhance its ability and speed; which indirectly affects on the performance of the CPU.

Cache memory is always ready to serve as an assistant to the CPU. The smaller, faster memory is present at a very close to the core of the processor.

It stores the data of such applications which are frequently opened by the users.

Front Side Bus (FSB)

This gateway works as a mediator between the motherboard and other internal components of a computer.

FSB contains AGP cards, the chipset of the system, PCI devices, and other components.

As it connects the processor to the other peripherals, it is widely known as the System Bus of a computer.

The ratio between processor speed and FSB speed is good to be smaller in order to get more efficient performance.

If the respective ratio is high then it will take more time to process data.

If the speed FSB is fast, then the overall performance of the PC can be boosted.

Working Procedure of the Central Processing Unit

As we mentioned earlier CPU is considered as the brain of the system.

A computer is made to perform various tasks which are previously programmed into it.

A set of instructions is called a program. Check out differences between laptop and desktop processor.

Control processing unit is the part of a computer where various input data or instructions are executed by various programs which are preloaded in the computer.

Linking Between Various Components of a Computer

A CPU is designed in a perfect order by placing various logical gates. Logical circuits or logical gates play a major role in processing data.

After receiving the inputted data logical gates process it further and direct the CPU, to perform various operations.

In this process FPU, ALU, registers, control units, all of them play their specific role.

The arithmetic logic unit runs all the arithmetical and logical operations.

The floating point unit helps the CPU to tackle large decimal numbers and the registers memory helps the unit in sorting various types of data.

The control unit coordinates the whole process and it actually controls or operates the whole execution process.

Front side bus helps the data to travel among various components and it helps the processed result to reach the control unit.

The cache memory, the fastest memory in the CPU works as a buffer in this whole process and it stores all the important instructions for faster processing in future.

After the execution of this interlinked process, the control unit sends the result of the inputted data to the user through various output devices.

Execution of a Program

A computer is a machine which is programmable and it executes the programs in a perfect order or in a perfect circle.

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A computer runs a program by the Fetch-Execute cycle.


The CPU fetches various instructions from the storage of the computer; especially from the RAM.


A computer can only understand binary codes. After fetching the data, the computer decodes them in binary codes. Then it is moved to execute the instruction given by the user to the computer.


After understanding the binary codes the central processing unit executes the program or executes the instructions through various logical gates. The Central Processing Unit runs specific action depending upon the inputted data.


After executing the proper action the result is sent to the RAM again and then the control unit decides whether it should be stored to the hard disks or not.

In order to run or execute any operation a computer randomly repeats this cycle in the sequence, for plenty of times. The CPU repeats the cycle as many times it is needed to reach the proper result of the imputed instructions.

What is Clock Speed?

At the time of its invention, computers were too large in size.

At that era, computers ran on transistors and to build better computers the scientist used to increase the numbers of the transistors which ultimately increased the overall size of the computer.

After this time, computers began to get smaller in size and faster in performance. The developers observe that by increasing the clock speed of the CPU the processing speed of the computer increased.

Periodic electronic pulses are very high in a computer. This periodic electronic pulse is known as the clock speed of a computer.

Issues with the Increasing Demand for Speed

As computers were getting advanced, its size was getting reduced and performance started to get enhanced.

As size was a major concern at that developing era, developers faced a major problem.

It was not possible to manufacture smaller, powerful components. On the other hand, the users were demanding more powerful compact computers.

So, the engineer started to attach multiple CPUs in parallel to offer more powerful performance.

At that time, the users require both of the CPUs to run any application on the computer.

In this process, FSB creates a major problem. Both the CPUs were interlinked by FSB and the speed of the FSB was much slower.

This indirectly affects the performance of the computer. So, multiple CPUs were not able to cope with the increasing demand on the speed of the computers.

Origin of Core

Processor core

The developers were searching for a compact device which will be able to enhance the processing speed of the computer.

So they developed a chip which was as powerful as multiple CPUs. By commonly using FSB, mounting, power consumption and heat sink they duplicate all the other parts.

These duplicate parts are also known as the cores of the CPU. That is why it is said that more cores make a PC more powerful.

To enhance the power of the CPU that developers started to multiple the number of cores.

In such a way the CPU gets more power and speed. One can easily observe that a CPU with more cores can provide faster processing speed.

Each core has its separate ALU, registers, cache memory, control unit, FPS, etc.

With the introduction of hyper threading, Intel was the first company to introduce multi-core processors.

CPU Vs Core

  • CPU and Core both are the two crucial parts of a computer. Let us find out some differences between them.
  • A CPU is an assembled unit of a computer; whereas core is a part of a CPU.
  • If a single core is present in a computer then the core can be called the CPU of the PC.
  • To enhance the power of the CPU number of cores should be enhanced.
  • Core is not a logical processor; it has its separate physical existence.
  • Each of the single cores has all the components that a CPU comes with.
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CPU Socket

cpu socket

A CPU socket is a part of the motherboard which is used to mount the processor on the motherboard.

Processors are placed on the motherboard with the help of a socket. Every motherboard comes with a single CPU socket which is used to mount a single processor.

The socket connects the processor with the other peripherals with the help of the Data Bus connectivity, and it also supplies electricity to the processor and makes it activated.

One has to be very cautious while mounting the processor in the sockets. He should try not to damage the pins of the sockets while replacing the processor.

It is to be noted that one socket is capable of mounting only one processor.

The processor may have many numbers of cores and the user has to choose it depending upon the capability of the motherboard used in the respective computer.

Every motherboard has a certain limitation of the processor’s range.

A below qualified or high qualified processor will not be supported by the specific motherboard.

Types of the socket in a motherboard may differ. A motherboard supports a specific model of the socket on it.

The user has to choose the processor depending upon the capability of the socket.

CPU Sockets in the Servers

Most of the motherboard comes with only one socket; but, there are some exceptional cases.

Motherboards which are used in various servers come with multiple sockets for the processor.

Server computers have to be more powerful to manage the huge amount of data present at the server.

Servers have to be high-performing machines and they are larger than normal computers.

The motherboard of a server computer is specially designed and they come with two slots for the processor.

So, two CPU sockets may present in that type of motherboard. Both the sockets are interlinked.

Larger servers need more power. So, they can use two motherboards. Each of them can be equipped with two CPU slots.

So depending upon the workload the configuration of a server computer can be decided.


CPU Vs Core Vs Socket

Through this brief discussion, we can conclude that CPU, core and socket are interlinked to each other.

The heart of the computer is the CPU or processor of it. We collectively called various CPU components as core.

A processor may have a single core or multi-core. Multi-core processors are more powerful than a single core.

Socket is a component that is present on the motherboard of a computer. Socket is used to mount the processor on the PC.

A socket is capable of mounting only one processor. Each of them has a specific duty in a computer.

About Dominic Cooper

Dominic CooperDominic Cooper, a TTU graduate is a computer hardware expert. His only passion is to find out the nitty gritty of all computers. He loves to cook when he is not busy with writing, computer testing and research. He is not very fond of social media. Follow Him at Linkedin