Difference between CPU and GPU

In this article, you will learn the difference between CPU and GPU. CPU is also know as central processing unit and GPU is also known as graphical processing unit. So we will discuss the main difference between a central processing unit and graphics processing unit. The main difference between them is processing of instructions capability. CPU usually execute instructions in sequential order and try to achieve parallelism through pipelining and out of order execution. But CPU can not achieve exact parallelism due to limited number of execution unit. On the other hand, GPU provides true parallelism of instructions due to having enough number of execution units or functional units. So to understand difference between CPU and GPU,  first you need to understand both terms individually. So first I will explain you about central processing unit and then I will talk about GPU. At the end of article, you will get to know about main differences between them.  you may also like to read difference between microprocessor and microcontrollerDifference between CPU and GPU

What is Central Processing Unit (CPU) ?

CPU often referred to as Central Processor Unit, is the most important and efficient part of a computer. CPU is also known as the brain of computer. Why? Because it handles even the basic tasks and instructions fed into the computing device. The instructions given to the computer are handled through the CPU along with the execution of the dataflow. CPU handles the basic tasks along with the complicated ones that are passed on to other chips that handle and execute them. The central processing unit performs most of the inner processing going on in the computer. The CPU highly depends on a chipset, a collection of chips that is situated on the motherboard. In short, we can say that CPU handles all the instructions that are given to it through either the hardware or the software of the system or the computer. A CPU is a mandatory part, so mainly every device has a CPU present in it. The devices may include desktop computers, laptops, tablet computer, smartphones etc.

A CPU has two main components associated with it.

  • An Arithmetic logic unit: An Arithmetic logic unit performs all the logical and the arithmetic operations associated with the CPU in one or another way.
  • A Control Unit: A Control unit is used to extract the instructions that are fed in the memory by the CPU. The instructions are encoded so the control unit then decodes the instructions and execute them. Arithmetic logic unit is called by the CPU whenever it is needed

What is GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) ?

GPU often referred to as Graphical Processing Unit. A processor that is used handle all of the graphical operations ongoing in a computer or a system. The GPU is often used for co-processing so that it can accelerate the CPU used in a computer for engineering Purposes. The GPU is a programmable chip designed by the developers for specialized functions related to display. A Gpu performs parallel operations in the system along with the CPU of the computer. In any type of a Computer set, a GPU is used for better graphics that a system is providing. GPU manages and accelerates the performance of videos, graphics, images. GPU supports the 2-D and the 3-D graphics that the system supports. Along with all this, a GPU also performs the complex mathematical calculations. This is done in order to free the memory used by the CPU so that it can perform other tasks efficiently and effectively.CPU and GPU

Difference between CPU and GPU

  • CPU are used to provide faster response time and GPUs are used to provide higher throughput for applications where data parallelism exists.
  • For applications some data or instruction runs on CPU and some runs on CPU. Sequential portion of program usually runs on central processing unit and parallel part of code runs on GPU.
  • CPU has a cache but GPU does not contain cache.  But it has many math units.
1CPU is referred as Central Processing Unit.GPU is referred as Graphical processing unit
2A part of computer that is used to perform the set of instructions that are mainly loaded in the computer’s memory.


GPU is designed specially to perform the instructions that are needed to render the computer’s 2-D and 3-D graphics


3Has a lower speed than the specifically Designed Graphical processing unitBasically, the GPU has a high speed if Compared to a traditional Central processing unit.
4The CPU performs the simple tasks needed by the computer so that it can work.While GPU is used to perform complex Mathematical calculations so that the images, graphics, videos and animations can be rendered


5Taking about the core, a CPU has got 4 to 8 Of the fast and flexible cores. CPU has few numbers of cores.The GPU has simple, no limitation of cores. It has thousands of cores.
6CPU is a good source through which the Processing works in a sequence, meaning that Instructions are fed one after the another.


GPU is a good source through which parallel working is done means that the tasks are performed parallelly
7Execute instruction sequentiallyExecute instructions in parallel
8The CPU can work as the brain of the Computer meaning that it can perform a Variety of set of instructionsA GPU can be known as the Brawn for the computer meaning that it can focus on all Abilities of a computer that are relating to a set of tasks.


9The central processing unit focuses on the Low latency rate provided by the computer.The Graphical Processing Unit focuses on the high throughput that is produced by the system


10Higher memory consumption.Low memory consumption
11It has applications in simple computer related tasksIt is very popular in deep learning applications.

Graphical Processing Unit are proving themselves to be better than the ordinary Central Processing Units of the system. We cannot say that the GPU’s are replacing the architecture present for a CPU. If we discuss the mater, in a nutshell, we cannot say that either the GPU is better than the CPU or the CPU is better than the GPU. Both the “Central Processing Unit” and the “Graphical Processing unit carry an equal importance. If the both are used as a combination, then the two can deliver the best of the system performance, power, quality and the price.

1 thought on “Difference between CPU and GPU”

  1. Thanks for this informative post. I was having many doubts regarding CPU and GPU but now all my doubts are cleared through this post. I appreciate your work. THANKS for this information.


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