The CPU (central processing unit) is one of the most important, if not the most important part of every computer in today’s world. Whether it is a desktop PC, laptop, phone, tablet, or even a smartwatch. All of these devices have some type of CPU.
If the graphics card is the brawns of a computer, the processor is the brains of the whole operation.
However, not every CPU is built equal which means they handle tasks differently. Some are better for basic usage such as word processing while others are better for gaming. This is why many of us are wondering “What is my CPU?”.
To get an answer to that question, we’ve come up with this guide.
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Find Your CPU With Windows
Since most of you are probably running on a Windows operating system, specifically Windows 10, we’re going to start there.
Using System Settings
Before you start downloading a bunch of programs, trying to figure out what kind of processor you have in your computer, you should there is a way to do so with Windows’ built-in settings.
Open Start Menu and click on Settings (cogwheel icon). From there, head into System.
This will open up access to a bunch of different settings. But, we’re here for a particular set of options. We’re looking for the About tab. To get to that tab, scroll on the left navigation menu to the bottom and you should be able to see it.
With the About tab selected, you’ll see your device’s specifications right in front of you. Next to “Processor”, you should be able to see exactly which CPU you have.
Unfortunately, from here, you won’t be able to see any more information regarding your CPU.
If for some reason you’re looking for an alternative way to find info on your CPU, or, if you aren’t running Windows 10 then you can use Device Manager. This applet has been around for many generations, so whether you are on Windows XP or even Windows 11, you’ll be able to use it.
The simplest way you can access this is by using Windows Search. Just open Start Menu and search for “Device Manager”.
Alternatively, you can access it through Control Panel which can also be found by using Windows’ built-in search.
In Control Panel, open Hardware and Sound and then under Devices and Printers, look for Device Manager.
In here, you should see several categories/types of devices and one of those categories should be Processor. By expanding this category, the name of your CPU will be revealed. But, this will also tell you exactly how many cores and threads it has. How?
Well, after expanding it, you’ll see that your processor’s name will be repeated several times. How many times is repeated is exactly how many cores or threads you have.
Both of these methods mentioned above are a reliable way to check exactly 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
Task Manager is definitely one of the most important built-in features of all systems running Windows. Not only can you use it to oversee every program or process running on your computer, but you can also use it for performance monitoring.
To do that, you’ll first need to open Task Manager. The quickest way you can do that is with the Ctrl + Shift + Escape shortcut. Or Ctrl + Alt + Delete.
With it open, click on More Details at the bottom left and then select the Performance tab.
In here, there’s a bunch of information regarding your GPU, Memory, Wi-Fi, SSD/HDD, and CPU. Of course, right now, we need details regarding our CPU, so select that.
As you can see from the image above, you get access to a bunch of information. At the top, the name of the processor, a graph showing utilization percentage, number of cores and threads (logical processors), virtualization, and a bunch of other useful stuff.
If you want to make the information regarding your CPU even more accessible, you could download one of the many third-party programs that allow for that.
One of the more popular such programs is CPU-Z, HWMonitor, and HWinfo. HWinfo provides the most amount of information, but it is also the most complicated program, so we decided to focus on CPU-Z as it is easy to install and use.
First, download CPU-Z. You can either download the setup file or you can download it as a .zip for an even easier install. Although we recommend going with the setup to be sure that it works properly.
Follow through with the installation and open the application.
Right as you start the application, you should be on the CPU tab where you will see all kinds of information regarding your processor.
Name, make, model, TDP, architecture, socket, cache, clock speeds, and a lot more.
Find Your CPU With macOS
Unlike Windows, finding what kind of specs you have on your Mac is a bit more complicated, but with this guide, you’ll learn which CPU you have in no time.
To acquire this information, we’ll need to start the Mac’s Terminal. We can do that by going to the Finder and then into Application. From there, you should be able to find the terminal.
After opening the terminal, use this command:
sysctl -a | grep brand
By submitting this command, the terminal should output the exact name of your CPU. However, other than the name, you won’t get any other information.
Unfortunately, there isn’t any third-party software currently that would provide anything more for your Mac.
However, there are some websites out there that have gathered every bit of information regarding specific Mac models and their processors.
To get detailed specifications, you could search your processor’s name that you got from the terminal on EveryMac. This website has a library of all Mac Models, so after searching for your CPU name, you will be able to find the exact model of your Mac.
Then you will be able to see your CPU’s boost frequency, display, RAM, iGPU/dGPU, I/O, and a lot more.
Find Your CPU With Linux
Obtaining information regarding your CPU on Linux is much more straightforward than MacOS and also, you get a lot more specifications.
So, if you are on Linux, just hit Ctrl+Alt+T (shortcut for terminal) and type in this command:
$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
This should immediately give you a list of specifications and things such as the number of cores, cache size, model name, etc.
You can also use the command:
This is going to give you even more specifications, such as max, min, and current frequency.
If you want to fetch the CPU information easily, without having to find and type in these commands every time, some third-party programs can do just that.
Of course, they won’t 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’s also used as a monitoring application.
SidebarDiagnostics is another solid option and a bit more intuitive. It’s 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.
And with that, we have covered the best methods of finding the CPU of a computer for the most popular operating systems. We hope that this article has been what you have been looking for and you’ve found the information helpful.