Well, if you look in your /proc directory, that is the directory that has all your system info.
cat /proc/cpuinfo will show you your cpu info...
There are others like meminfo, interrupts, ioports and so on. That is how I check info on a system. I am sure there are programs out there you can download, just can't think of any off my head. But if your doing this to a remote machine, that is your best bet and usually you should be able to view without being root, unless the root admin blocked access.