At the core of your computer is the microprocessor.

After a CPU is built, a 'burn in' period follows. Stress tests are run to see how much workload the CPU can handle.

The process allows chip makers to 'bin out' CPUs based on a set of predefined metrics. A small percentage (less than 5%) of CPUs from a single wafer outperform the rest. Because of their ability to handle more stress, they can be clocked higher to run more demanding programs. Those CPUs are able to demand a higher price right out of the gate.

The rest of the chips that survive the burn in (about half don't), go on into bins according to their results. Low performing chips are paired up to create dual-core CPUs.

But there's a little known to getting more performance out of CPUs that have been binned to lower speeds. It's called overclocking.

When you overclock your CPU, you get more performance from it. but overlocking a CPU causes it to run hotter than it was designed, and additional cooling is essential. It's the extra cooling that allows a CPU at a higher temperature that it was designed for.

The metrics:

Overclocking entails running programs that push a CPU to it's max potential, to the edge of failure. Special overclocking programs allow a user to manually adjust the CPU speed, to test it's limits without hopefully burning itself out first. A CPU must maintain stability under stressful conditions. The program monitors for errors, an early indication a CPU is being pushed past it's limits.

The performance of the programs you run will be directly related to your CPU. If you want to run more powerful programs, you may need to overclock your CPU. The good news is once you've overclocked it and shown it's ability to run at the faster cycles, you can begin to take on more difficult programs.

A slower CPU will still likely run the programs you need to run, albeit slower.

You can also increase your output by pairing up with a similar CPU, creating a dual-core CPU.