A graphics card or an algebraic co-processor is a specialized computing unit.

A conventional CPU, which understands a lot more instructions, is a flexible computing unit.

I'm not happy with using flexible in the second sentence.

What are other possibilities?


1 Answer 1


General (“Not limited in use or application; applicable to the whole or every member of a class or category”) is suitable, as in “A conventional CPU is a general [or general purpose] computing unit.”

Note that having “a lot more instructions” is not what makes a processing unit general-purpose; for example, RISC (reduced instruction set computing) processors may have a sharply limited set of instructions but are still general purpose, while a CISC GPU can have quite a few more different instructions but be capable only of specialized processing. (Of course, there are also numerous GPU's that are GPGPUs, capable of general purpose computing.) Thus, the original statement about specialized vs general processors is overly simplistic.

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