I'm just going to go straight into this one because its a log winded kind of topic, so enjoy.
You may or may not have heard of a CPU, and if you have, you may not fully know what it’s all about. It. The Central Processing Unit, or CPU for short, is pretty much the brains of the machine, whether it’s a video games console, a computer or your mobile phone. Everything you wish to do on your device like turn on the machine, or open a programme has a command sent to the CPU which then sends a command to the area of the machine, like a human brain if it’s easier for you to think of it like that.
However a CPU can’t just work by itself, it’s not able to work hard without something helping it, like humans, the more we work out, like playing a sport for example, and we get hot and can get dizzy due to the heat right? Well this is effectively the same, the CPU gets hotter the more work it has to do so it has to have both a heat sink and a fan to help cool it down whilst the CPU does the work like receiving andsending data to and from parts of the machine, such as the RAM or the Hard drive.
CPU’s are measured in a speed of GHz, which is short for the word gigahertz. The higher number for the GHz, the quicker the processing speed is, and can get more work done at once. The Xbox One, Microsoft’s console that came out in 2013 has a processor speed of 1.75 GHz, which is equal to 1.75 billion cycles the processor has to do every second!
Manufacturers of the CPU’s can make the processing power more powerful if they so wish, so how do they do this? They create multi-core CPU’s, this could range to having 2 or 3 or even 4 more cores onto the CPU for a lot more power, being able to process quicker and do more things at once, its effectively giving the CPU more brains to process and carry out commands. The overall workload of the CPU is shared between the cores to ease the use and saves it overheating quicker. One example being of how the cores are shared is that one core could be used dedicated to the physics and engine based processes, and another could be dedicated to the sounds and animations of a game for example, and this is all done by the games developers, they can pick and choose how they wish to share it out.
One of the most important thing with the CPU is the CPU cache, it’s a component with the CPU which works effectively like our memories (another reason to think of it like a brain) it’s used to reduce the average time to access memory. Like humans, if we need to write about something and we need to remember something to write, we would get it written down quicker than if we forgotten it and had to go on the internet and search for it, this is pretty much the same. If a process needs to write or read from a location in the memory, it checks the CPU cache, to see if there is a copy of the data stored for it to use, if there is a copy, the CPU would use it and it would save time, instead of having to go and search for it and complete the process that way.
Data Buses are a collection of wires which transmits data to and from areas of the computer, and is called a data bus for that reason, like real buses, except for data in a computer. There are two parts of a data bus, one being the address bus and the data bus itself. The actual data is carried thought the data bus itself and the address bus transfers the information on where the data bus is meant to be going to. Now, you may have seen on your computer whether it’s a 16-bit computer or a 32-bit computer and you may not have known what it meant. It’s the size of the data bus, its important because it determines how much data a data bus can carry in one trip. 16-bit would be 16 bits of data being carried at once by one data bus,whilst 32-bit means 32 bits can be carried at once.
Okay so like most people, you may have thought GPUs were a type of CPU? Well in most cases they are and here’s how. A Graphics Processing Unit, or GPU for short is a single chip creates and enhances lighting effects and transforms a 3D object every time a 3D scene is redrawn.
Video games graphics but a ton of stress on the CPU, the brain of the computer, and like humans, we don’t like stress and now and then like some help, and this is where the GPU comes into place. It’s built specifically for video games graphics and allowing the CPU to free up some of its processors for something else, this takes a lot of stress of the processor and is a great help to it. Without it the processor could have got really hot and not work as quick and you would intend it to do.
There are in fact different types of GPU, you could have an integrated graphics processor, which uses the memory from the main computer to run graphics, the bad side to this is that it could really slow down your processor which is never a good thing. Another form of GPU would be dedicated graphics cards.
Consoles such as the Xbox 360 and the PS3 have dedicated and specifically built GPUs for their machines for memory intensive games.
Here are some examples of GPUS, NVidia GTX 680, GTX 770, and GTX Titan.
Similar to the speed of the CPU’s being GHz, GPU’s are measured in MHz for their speed, which is short for megahertz. An example would be the GPU speed of the Xbox One being 853 MHz and comparing that to the Xbox 360, the Xbox One’s predecessor, it has 500 MHz, now you know how much faster it is, quite a lot faster.
You need to consider how much memory is available to the GPU because it will also have an effect on the performance of the game, the higher textures and details in a game, the more power the GPU needs.
Random Access Memory, also most commonly known as RAM for short, is available in the video card, this helps with better resolution settings, and smoother game performance in general. The smoother the game, the better experience you have playing it. And we all like at least over 30 FPS at least when playing a game.
You may not realise it but 3D models also have an impact on games performance, and GPU performance. There’s two types of 3D Modelling, one being a long winded name being, Non – Uniform Rational B – Spline, or a much easier term for it, NURBS. This type of modelling is used t create curves, this takes up a lot less memory from the GPU. Polygon modelling on the other hand is a lot more strenuous on the GPU due to the fact the object it’s created from a lot more smaller number of elements.
This is all CPU and GPU covered, it’s fairly simple once you understand it, it’s effectively the brain of a computer and its best friend, so yeah until next time.
Fairwinds internet travellersKristine