How Can You Test the Speed of a Computer Processor?


Quick Answer

To test the speed, or benchmark as it commonly referred to, the central processing unit inside your computer, download third-party applications such as Prime95, Novabench, or 3DMark. These applications give the user real-time, accurate readings of the CPU as it is being used.

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Full Answer

Programs are able to benchmark a user's CPU in a variety of ways. Some applications give a reading by feeding the processing cores multiple complex mathematical equations to complete within a certain amount of time. Other programs have the CPU render a 3D model using either one or multiple cores inside the CPU to give the user an overall view of what his CPU can handle. Restart your computer and shut down all extraneous applications before benchmarking your CPU.

The CPU of the computer calculates inputs and runs the various programs of the computer, to measure its clock speed. CPUs tend to have at least one core processing unit. Consumer CPUs with two processing cores are referred to as dual-core CPUs, and processors with four cores are called quad-core CPUs. Higher-end, more expensive CPUs can have as many as 12 cores altogether. Even though all of the processor cores are a part of the central processing unit, the cores do not necessarily work together for faster performance.

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