Can A Computer Run Without A CPU? Things You Need to Know

Share on:

A computer/PC is built with so many important things. Among them, the CPU or Central Processing Unit is the most important thing. If your CPU is damaged and you are willing to run your computer, will it be possible to do?

In short, the answer is NO. Can you start a car without an engine? No, right? The same thing goes for the CPU. It’s the engine of a computer or you can name it as Brain of your computer. A computer won’t turn on without a CPU because the BIOS won’t start without a CPU.

In today’s article, we’re here to explore whether or not you will able to turn on your computer without a CPU. So, without any further ado, let’s begin.

Can A Computer Run Without A CPU

Why A Computer Can’t Run Without A CPU CPU | Is CPU Mandatory?

When you are turning on your computer, the CPU is the first component that is powered on, and afterward, the other components start working. Let’s interpret the power-up mechanism. 

To make it easy, let’s compare the CPU with a tree root. If you cut out the root, the tree will die eventually because the root is the only way for a tree to stay alive. Now, let’s see the turning-on mechanism of a computer.

When you press the power on button, first the CPU gets power, then the motherboard runs POST or “Power On Self Test” with the help of BIOS before starting up the computer. The BIOS POST process is basically done to check whether all of the components are in order or not. When it found that all thing is ok, then it proceeds with the power distribution process to all of the circuits.

However, if there is no CPU installed or the CPU is damaged, the BIOS won’t able to perform the POST successfully, because the bridge between the other components of the motherboard is damaged. CPU is responsible to communicate with all other components, no CPU means no communication and as a result, you won’t be able to start your computer.

When there is no CPU, the following things won’t happen.

  • Computer won’t be able to access any data.
  • Computer won’t be able to load any software.
  • Computer won’t be able to generate any video or audio.

That’s why the CPU is mandatory when you are going to turn on your computer.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can a Computer Boot Without a CPU?

No, a computer won’t boot without a CPU. Without a CPU, your computer can not function properly.

Can a motherboard turn on without a CPU?

Yes, the motherboard will turn on but it won’t turn on the computer. You will only hear the beeping sound from your motherboard or can see the LED flashes.

Can I update BIOS without CPU?

For traditional motherboards, with a CPU, you won’t be able to update the computer’s BIOS. But there are some rare motherboards that allow you to update the BIOS without a CPU. Some motherboards come with BIOS Flashbacks feature which allows you to update the BIOS without CPU.

What is a computer without a CPU called?

There is no computer that can work without a CPU. Some PC comes with integrated CPUs which you can’t change or take out. This kind of PC is known as an All-in-one or AIO PC, also they are known as computers without a CPU for the integrated CPU.


Lastly, for starting or using a computer you must need a CPU, either integrated or individual. A CPU is needed to help the BIOS and the other essential things in your computer to function properly. Hope all of your confusion is cleared by now. If you have any further queries, let us know in the comment box.


About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.