A modern computer contains many hardware components that work in concert to provide capability for a computer to receive data input and output as a result. This is the basic and essential purpose of a computer. Data is inputted by a computer user, the computer processes the data in the requested way and then outputs the processed data to the computer user. The core of this process, which is generally considered to be the "brain" of a computer, is the processor itself. A computer processor is also known as a CPU (Central Processing Unit).

## Fast Calculation of Mathematical Data

The primary advantage of a computer processor is the fast calculation of mathematical data. This is one reason why computers seemingly excel beyond humans at certain tasks, such as mathematical modeling. This fast calculation of mathematical data is the basis for everything done with a computer, from video games to photo editing and much more.

## A Dynamic Circuit

A modern computer processor is basically a dynamic circuit. It contains thousands or millions of tiny switches called transistors. Other components of the processor control the configuration of these tiny switches, based on input data from a computer user or an active application. These tiny switches form complex dynamic circuits, similar to a printed circuit board (PCB) used in electronics. In this way a computer can emulate the function of other electronics.

## Basic Computer Functionality

A processor is the primary basis for a computer. The rest of a computer's hardware components are essentially built around the processor itself. Without it, everything else in the computer would be rather pointless. All of the input and output peripherals rely on the processor for the input and output of data, as it is through the processor itself that input data makes the transition to output data. The processor is where a computer actually computes.