Signs That Your PC’s CPU is Outdated

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As the name suggests, the central processing unit (CPU), is the brain of a computer. It interprets commands, performs basic arithmetic, logic, and I/O operations, and assigns commands to other chips and components to help the computer run programs. With the CPU’s many responsibilities, your computer won’t be able to work properly if it isn’t functioning well — in fact, sometimes, the computer might end up completely unresponsive.

To prevent this from happening, you can watch out for signs that may suggest your CPU is causing problems. Below are a few of them:

System Boot-up Problems

There are a few causes that can mess up your computer’s boot sequence, which means nothing’s happening when you turn it on. Some of these include incorrectly installed hardware and a failed update. You can use Windows 10’s Startup Repair feature to fix these common issues. However, if it still doesn’t work, then you either have a CPU failure or a problem with the motherboard. To know which of these two is the culprit, you’ll need to do a closer visual inspection and/or test other components.

Computer crashes

If your computer is still lagging after you’ve cleared your browser cache, deleted programs from your computer startup process, and defragmented your hard drive, then you likely have a bad CPU. Another, more obvious sign of a bad CPU is if the computer shuts down as soon as you turn it on. The latter may be because of the sudden spike in temperature that the PC experiences once you turn it on. If you don’t have a thermal compound and cooling solution safeguarding your CPU against the high voltage, the electricity may end up frying the CPU.

Blue Screen of Death

There are many reasons for a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) — such as kernel security check failures, which are due to memory issues and outdated drivers, and DPC Watchdog errors, which are due to incompatible hardware and OS and software conflict between two programs. But if you’ve already tried solutions that would have solved different causes of BSoDs, then it’s likely that you have a CPU problem.

How to choose a CPU

You can look to get a new CPU every five to ten years, though this isn’t a hard rule. The best time to change it is when you feel like it’s holding you back, and of course, if it’s already causing your computer problems. But the CPU you choose will depend on what your activities are.

If you’re a programmer who needs the extra power, then you should look for a CPU with high power integrity. A good example of this would be the AMD Ryzen 3 3200G. These CPUs have optimized power delivery systems that allow them to provide the performance your PC needs to process multiple tasks at a time without lagging. But if you only need to do light tasks such as run Microsoft Office, then the Intel Core i5-11400 is a low-end processor that’s still great for productivity. However, this CPU is part of Intel’s new 11th gen desktop chips, also known as Rocket Lake-S, which can also offer great performance in gaming at a budget.

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