What CPU Do I Have?

How do you find out which CPU you have? It's pretty easy to determine which processor you have on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Here is a guide.

The CPU (central processing unit) is one of the most vital components of every contemporary computer, if not the most vital. Whether you use a desktop PC, laptop, phone, tablet, or even a smartwatch, all of these devices have some form of CPU.

If the graphics card is the brawns of a computer, the processor provides the brains to make everything work properly.

Not every CPU is built equal, meaning they handle tasks differently. Some are better for basic tasks such as word processing, while others will be suitable for gaming. This is why you might be wondering, “What is my CPU?”

To help you find the answer to that question, we have prepared this guide.

Table of ContentsShow

Find Your CPU With Windows

The majority of computer owners are using a Windows operating system, specifically Windows 10, so we will start there.

Using System Settings

Before you download a bunch of programs trying to figure out what kind of processor you have in your computer, there is a simple way to do it using Windows’ built-in settings.

Open the Start Menu and click on Preferences (cogwheel icon). From here, head into System.

Windows 10 Settings window
Settings window in Windows 10.

This will give you access to various settings. We’re looking for the About tab. To reach that tab, scroll down the left navigation menu to the bottom, and you should find it.

With the About tab selected, you will see your device’s specifications on your monitor. If you look next to “Processor”, you should be able to see exactly which CPU you have.

In our sample, it is an Intel portable chip. Specifically, an Intel i5-10210U @ 1.60 GHz, with a boost clock of up to 2.11 GHz.

Windows 10 About settings
About settings in Windows 10.

Unfortunately, from this window, you won’t be able to see any more information regarding your CPU.

Device Manager

If you’re looking for another way to find info on your CPU or you aren’t running Windows 10, you can use Device Manager. This applet has been available for many generations, so whether you are on Windows XP or even Windows 11, you will be able to use it.

The easiest method to find this is by utilizing Windows Search. Launch the Start Menu and seek “Device Manager.”

Instead, you can reach it through Control Panel, which you can also locate using the search feature in Windows.

In Control Panel, open Hardware and Sound, and then, under Devices and Printers, look for Device Manager.

Here, you should see several categories/types of devices, one of which should be the Processor. By expanding this category, the name of your CPU will be revealed. This will also tell you exactly how many cores and threads it has, but how?

After extending it, you might observe that your processor’s name is repeated several times. The amount of times it is repeated is exactly how many cores or threads you possess.

Intel i5 with 4 cores and 8 threads
Intel i5 with 4 cores and 8 threads.

Each of these methods is a reliable way to check precisely which processor you have on your Windows computer.

However, there is still one more built-in method that is superior to both of them: Task Manager.

Using Task Manager

The Task Manager is a significant built-in tool for all Windows systems. You can utilize it to monitor programs and processes on your computer, as well as track performance.

To do that, you will first need to open Task Manager. The quickest way is with the Ctrl + Shift + Escape shortcut or Ctrl + Alt + Delete.

Open the window and choose More Details located at the lower left side, and then click on the Performance tab.

You will see details regarding your GPU, Memory, Wi-Fi, SSD/HDD, and CPU. Currently, you desire information regarding your CPU, so choose that.

Task Manager More Details Performance

As visible in the image above, you will see various information. At the top, there is the name of the processor, a graph showing utilization percentage, the number of cores and threads (logical processors), virtualization, and other useful details.

Third-Party Software                               

If you want to make the information regarding your CPU even more accessible, you can download one of the many third-party programs that facilitate this.

A few popular ones are CPU-Z, HWMonitor, and HWinfo. HWinfo gives the most details, but it’s also complex. So, we’ll concentrate on CPU-Z as it’s simple to download and utilize.

To start, get acquire CPU-Z. You have the option to get the installation file, or you can acquire it as a .zip for a simpler installation. We suggest choosing the setup version to ensure functionality.

Download website for CPU Z
Download website for CPU-Z.

Follow the installation steps and open the application.

CPU Z showing processor specs
CPU-Z showing detailed specifications for the processor.

When you begin the program, you should be on the CPU section, where you will find different details about your processor.

This will contain the name, make, model, TDP, structure, socket, cache, clock speeds, and many other details.

Find Your CPU With macOS

Compared to Windows, finding the specs of your Mac is a bit more complicated. With this guide, you will learn which CPU you have in no time.

To access this information, you will need to start the Mac’s Terminal. You can do that by going to the Finder and then into Application. From there, you should be able to find the terminal.

After launching the terminal, utilize this directive:

sysctl -a | grep brand

When you submit this command, the terminal should output the exact name of your CPU. However, you will only see the name and no other information.

Unfortunately, there presently isn’t any third-party software that will provide additional information for your Mac.

However, there are some websites available that have gathered all of the information about specific Mac models and their processors.

To get detailed specifications, you can search for your processor’s name that you got from the terminal on EveryMac. This website has a library of all Mac Models. After searching for your CPU name, you will be able to find the exact model of your Mac.

You will then be able to see your CPU’s boost frequency, display, RAM, iGPU/dGPU, I/O, and much more.

specs from EveryMac.com
Specifications provided by EveryMac.com.

Find Your CPU With Linux

Obtaining information regarding your CPU on Linux is far more straightforward than on MacOS, and you can also see a lot more specifications.

If you are on Linux, simply hit Ctrl+Alt+T (shortcut for terminal) and enter this instruction:

$ cat /proc/cpuinfo 

This should immediately give you a list of specifications and information such as the number of cores, cache size, model name, etc.

Terminal listing CPU info
Terminal listing CPU info.

You may also utilize the instruction:

$ lscpu

This will display you even more details, such as maximum, minimum, and current frequency.

Third-Party Software

If you want to fetch the CPU information easily, without having to find and type in these commands every time, some third-party programs will do it for you.

These might not be as intuitive or user-friendly as the ones for Windows, but they are still good enough.

One option is CPU-X. It is completely open-source and designed specifically for Linux/GNU. It is also used as a monitoring application.

SidebarDiagnostics is another solid option and a bit more intuitive. It is a simple sidebar that can show you diagnostics regarding your hardware. It can monitor everything from your drives, GPUs, RAM, and, most importantly, your CPU.

We have talked about the best ways to locate a computer’s CPU for popular operating systems. We hope this article met your expectations and gave helpful details.

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Branko Gapo

Keeping up with the incredibly fast evolution of computer technology is almost impossible. That's why Branko will be using his knowledge on this matter to share news and information on all the latest essential technological innovations and advancements related to CPUs.