Get Extended CPU Information from the Command Line
Using sysctl we can get extended information on a Macs processor, covering everything from CPU brand and identifier, clock speed, number of cores, thread count, thermal sensor data, cache size, and some significantly more technical information.
This is a handy way to get detailed processor specs and info without turning to the system profiler in Mac OS X, as the entire task is handled from the command line.
How to Get Extended CPU Information from Command Line of Mac OS
To get started, launch the Terminal and enter the following command variation of ‘sysctl’, you’ll pipe the results into grep to clean up the output for CPU details like so:
sysctl -a | grep machdep.cpu
An example and limited sample of the output of this command may look something like the following:
$ sysctl -a | grep machdep.cpu
machdep.cpu.brand_string: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU P8600 @ 2.40GHz
machdep.cpu.feature_bits: 3219913727 67691517
machdep.cpu.extfeature_bits: 537921536 1
machdep.cpu.features: FPU VME DE PSE TSC MSR PAE MCE CX8 APIC SEP MTRR PGE MCA CMOV PAT PSE36 CLFSH DS ACPI MMX FXSR SSE SSE2 SS HTT TM PBE SSE3 DTES64 MON DSCPL VMX SMX EST TM2 SSSE3 CX16 TPR PDCM SSE4.1 XSAVE
machdep.cpu.extfeatures: SYSCALL XD EM64T LAHF
As you can see, there are extensive details about CPU information here, some of which is much more detailed than what you’d find in the system profiler of Mac OS X anyway.
The sysctl command is fairly powerful and can provide extensive technical information, we have used it before to get basic processor information, see if a Mac is 64 bit compatible, discover the precise boot, sleep, and wake times of a Mac, find CPU clock speed, and to get assorted other tidbits about Macs hardware.
Thanks for the tip nicentral