Okay, so you're a CS graduate and you did a hardware/assembly course as part of your degree, but perhaps that was a few years ago now and you haven't really kept up with the details of processor designs since then.
In particular, you might not be aware of some key topics that developed rapidly in recent times...
pipelining (superscalar, OoO, VLIW, branch prediction, predication) multi-core & simultaneous multithreading (SMT, hyper-threading) SIMD vector instructions (MMX/SSE/AVX, AltiVec) caches and the memory hierarchy
Fear not! This article will get you up to speed fast. In no time you'll be discussing the finer points of in-order vs out-of-order, hyper-threading, multi-core and cache organization like a pro.