The simplest one-step option is the popular, free program called WCPUID that is available for download here. (It's the third download on the page) Information WCPUID gives you about your CPU includes: Vendor ID;
Family ID;
Model ID;
Brand ID;
Clock Frequency (speed)
A few other Web-based utilities -- Belarc and PC Pitstop -- provide the same information and go even further by providing you with information on your drives, controllers, memory modules, and even installed software. The added benefit of using services like PC Pitstop is that you can choose to save diagnostic information about your PC from time to time to get suggestions on how to improve your performance if it is not optimal. How do they do it? There are two primary ways utilities query your CPU to get the information. The first method is asking the BIOS what frequency the CPU is set at. Most of today's modern BIOS's will include information on your internal and external clock speed. The second and more precise method is to send the CPU a set of instructions and time how long it takes to complete the loop. As for identifying the type of CPU itself, every CPU has an ID or technical code released by the manufacturer. This information is collected and included as reference for programs that query the CPU. These services process the information and tell you specifics. When testing out a new or used PC, these utilities can help you ensure you know what you're getting.
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