i7z

i7z is a wonderful tool if you are using a Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 CPU. It shows a whole bunch of information about each physical (not hyper-threaded) core of the CPU: its actual frequency, C-state and temperature. The frequency and C-state info is especially useful since these modern Intel CPUs use Speed Step, Turbo Boost and a lot of other technologies to get the maximum performance and minimum power consumption.

  • Installing is easy:
$ sudo apt install i7z
  • Usage:
$ sudo i7z

Use Ctrl + C to quit its interface.

Tried with: i7z 0.27.2 and Ubuntu 15.10

How to check features of your CPU

  • On Windows, you can check the features of your CPU using a tool like CPU-Z.

  • On the web, you can look up your CPU on Intel ARK and see its details. This is not recommended, since ARK does not show all the flags or features of a CPU.

  • On Linux, I like to look at the flags section of /proc/cpuinfo. To see what feature maps to each flag, see the arch/x86/include/asm/cpufeature.h in the Linux source code. The flags will all have a prefix of X86_FEATURE_ and the comment that follows describes the feature.

lscpu

20150223_lscpu

There are many GUI tools (like i-Nex) and commandline utilities in Linux to look up system information. To get information about the CPU, I like lscpu. The reason being that its name is the easiest among all tools to remember. It shows information about the CPU vendor, architecture and cache sizes.

If you find that this tool is not present on your system, just install the util-linux package:

$ sudo apt install util-linux

Tried with: Util-Linux 2.20.1 and Ubuntu 14.04

How to compare two CPUs or GPUs

There are now websites which offer performance comparison between any two CPUs or GPUs. The one I like is CPUBoss for CPU comparison and GPUBoss for GPU comparison. In either site, you can also find out information about an individual CPU or GPU by searching for its name in the top search box. You can also sort all the CPUs or GPUs by their performance or other metrics by using the Sort option at the top.

How to find microarchitecture of CPU

Sometimes, you might find it useful or educational to know the microarchitecture of a given CPU. That is, given the brand name of a CPU like i7-2600K, you might want to know the underlying microarchitecture of that CPU.

I found that the easiest way is to search for the CPU name at the Identify page ofย CPU World. The search returns some basic information about the CPU. But, at the bottom your CPU should be listed in the Related Pages section. Clicking on its name here shows a page with detailed information about your CPU. Here, you can find the microarchitecture, processor core and stepping information for your CPU.