How do i find out what CPU i have without installing an OS or opening up my PC and physically looking at the CPU? is there any type of program i can "run from CD" on bootup that tells me info about my components?
Cpuz is a free download, and lists specs about the cpu/ram/motherboard. If you notice the slower speed of the cpu, it just means that Intel's or AMD's energy saving software is running in the background, keeping the temps and energy usage low at idle. My biostar tpower series board also comes with a utility program that tells you how much energy is being used by the board and your cpu and ram settings from the bios.
Once you decide on an operating system, you can download many utilities off the website of your board free. Your operating system will determine what program you can use; some work well with both linux or windows software. Many will allow you to set them to open at bootup when windows loads.
If you have a new system with at least one stick of ram, you should be able to set the bios to skip the board logo (such as msi brand) and show your cpu/ram specs instead. To enter the bios, (if it boots fast), have one finger on the "del" key of your keyboard as the post screen appears. This option will appear next to the "fast boot" option in your bios. Use the del key to find the settting. My new board boots so fast that I have to ready my finger on the "pause" key to see anything on the post screen.