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Home / Tips and Tricks / What CPU do I have and how fast is it? How to check

What CPU do I have and how fast is it? How to check



Do you know what CPU you have and how fast it works? And is it fast enough to run Windows 10 on a capable clip? We can answer the last question right away: as long as you have a PC-compatible CPU made in the past five years, there’s little reason to believe it won’t run on Windows 10. The minimum Windows 10 processor specification is only 1 GHz, after all.

However, there are some limitations for older processors and in these cases you want details about which CPU you are using. For example, 2011 Sandy Bridge processors can run earlier versions of Windows 10, but those chips have been deprecated and are not supported by newer versions of the operating system.

If you have a modern processor and are concerned about how well your PC will run, consider adding incremental upgrades such as adding more RAM or getting an SSD for primary internal storage. This will likely give your system the boost it needs, even for machines with lower CPUs.

However, if your PC needs to perform powerful tasks such as video editing or video playback then it is a good idea to get to know your CPU. You may think it̵

7;s time for a CPU upgrade

How to find your CPU data in Windows

windows10settings IDG

Windows 10’s Settings app can tell you the name and base speed of your CPU.

First, let’s start by quickly figuring out which processor you have. In Windows 10, tap the Windows key + the letter “I” on your keyboard to open the Settings app. From there you go to System> AboutScroll down to the ‘Device specifications’ heading and you will see your CPU name and base clock speed. In our example we can see that this laptop runs on a “Kaby Lake” Intel Core i3-7100U with a base speed of 2.4 GHz.

task manager IDG

The Windows 10 Task Manager displays information about an AMD Ryzen processor.

If you want a little more information, type Task management in Windows 10 search bar to launch this utility. Expand Task Manager from the home state by clicking More detailAmong the Performance tab in the new window, it shows your CPU name, base speed, number of cores and threads (logical processors) and the size of your various caches. In this example, we have a six-core Ryzen 5 2600 currently running at 2.11 GHz, with a base speed of 3.4 GHz

Both approaches to determining your processor are a good start, but here’s the problem with CPUs: those basic specs don’t tell you much about how well the processor actually works. The annoying thing about CPUs is that clock speeds (those numbers measured in gigahertz) are relative within a generation. For example, a 10-year-old dual-core 2.5GHz Sandy Bridge processor is not the same as a dual-core 2.5GHz Comet Lake processor from last year.

The same goes for a simple core count. While it’s generally more useful than looking at clock speeds, a higher number of cores still doesn’t necessarily tell you if one CPU is better than another between generations. There can be dramatic performance improvements, and – when comparing over a wide enough generation gap – a CPU with fewer cores can beat an older processor with more cores.


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