Sammy asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 4 months ago

What is processor speed?

(Example 2.4Ghz) Is it the higher the better?

11 Answers

  • Jim
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    The 2.4 GHz is the clock speed.

    In most respects, the higher the number, the better. BUT there are many other things involved!!! Processor type, nanometer processing size, onboard memory, etc.  CLock speed is only 1 aspect.

    And the higher the clock speed, the more heat, so sometimes higher speed is bad.

  • 4 months ago

    it is the speed of the processor 

  • 4 months ago

    The way to think about it is that a processor is basically a series of switches. When you set the first group of switches, they set the next set of switches, and so on like dominos cascading. The frequency of the processor is really a measure of how long the domino falls or switching takes based on the crystal oscillator keeping everything in sync. In a 2.4 GHz processor, that switching time is 0.4 nanoseconds. Fast for little processors ... but not by modern electronics standards (5G components can switch at around 26 to 28 GHz and some radar systems run at 100s of GHz and higher).

    You might have heard of 'overclocking' ... if you increase the frequency of that crystal oscillator you can, in theory, speed up your processor. The problem with doing this is that the processor is pushing more current and hence heats up. Overclocking in this way requires careful tuning of the frequency and thermal management to give you that boost in performance.

  • 4 months ago

    Processor speed is the rate at which a "sequencer" crystal circuit sends out pulses.  The nature of computer circuits is that the processor sets up an operation but it can't occur until the leading edge of the sequencer clock pulse.  After that pulse, the circuits inside the computer set up the next operation but again have to wait for the pulse.  The speed of the processor depends on the speed of that crystal clock pulse unit.  All other things being equal, a higher number is better than a lower number.  However, there are exceptions when things AREN'T equal.

    For instance, a computer running at 1.8 GHz might have better throughput than a computer running at 3.2 GHz if the slower computer is running 64-bit operations and the 3.2 GHz is only running 32-bit operations.  And for the purists out there, I DID say "might."  It is also possible that for total throughput, an i7 64-bit system (which has 8 threads) running at 3.2 Ghz might run faster OVERALL than an i5 64-bit system running at 3.8 GHz - because the i5 can only handle 4 threads.

    When dealing with a single thread on any CPU, where the data size is the same and you are not trying to account for number of cores, the higher speed number is better.

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  • cosmo
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    All processors nowadays are pretty fast --- processor speeds more than 2 GHz, but less than about 4.5 GHz, because that's the speed limit of CMOS transistors.  We're not going to get faster than that for quite a while, because it requires a whole new technology.  So to get better performance from a computer, what is done routinely now is to have multiple processors on a chip --- 8, or 10, or even 16 processors on a chip, working in parallel (assuming the software permits).  Also, unloading the graphics processor task to separate graphics processors helps a lot, if you get a fancy graphics card with a lot of memory and specialized processors.  Having a lot of RAM is also important, as is a fast Solid State "disk" drive (maybe even a RAID system made of SSDs).

    So, yes, a higher processor speed is better, but having multiple processors and a good graphics card may be a more effective path to high computer power.

    Running a processor faster generates more heat, and may result in premature heat death of the processor chip.  Some "gamers" overclock their processor chips, turning up the processor speed to (hopefully) just below the speed at which it fails and not beyond the point where it fails and is damaged, sometimes they use exotic cooling systems for the chip.

  • 4 months ago

    Processors are rated in MIPS, mega-instructions per second.

    The faster the processor the better, but you will never know it unless you are running very complex programs.

    But as systems become more complex you will start to see the difference especially during startup of the system.

    More speed = more cost so do you really need a blazing fast machine? You will see it in gaming and making movies.

  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    necessary but not sufficient condition

  • 4 months ago

    The clock speed is not always a measure of the processor speed.  It dictates how many instructions can be performed in a second.  But some processors have more efficient instructions that can do more for each clock cycle.  So the effective speed of a processor is determined by throughput and by latency.  Rather than by clock speed alone.

    For example a 66MHz DX2 processor was slower on some tasks than a 40 MHz Cyrix chip.

    Better?  There are very few high speed single core processors for a good reason.  One of those is the extreme power consumption of the device.  But with parallel processing we can get faster results in a different way.  When you drive a car there are many tasks that must be done.  Steering, braking, acceleration etc.  But you don't wait for one to be done before starting the next.  They are all done at the same time.  So an application is written as multithreaded so that different things can be done simultaneously in different cores.  The result is that if 6 things must be done and they are done at the same moment then the time taken is the time of the slowest of the six things. But once a processor can complete its task it can be idled while waiting for others to finish.  Reducing power consumption and heat.

    Of course if you want the best battery life reducing the processor speed is the most effective way to achieve that.  Along with programming to avoid wasteful background tasks. 

    Basically what is BEST is determined by what task you need the device to perform.

  • Dixon
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    The clock speed (processor speed) determines how long one logical operation takes and thus how much processing it can do in a given time. If all other things are equal then higher clock speed is better, assuming the device can work correctly and doesn't overheat.

  • 4 months ago

    A computer’s processor clock speed determines how quickly the central processing unit (CPU) can retrieve and interpret instructions. This helps your computer complete more tasks by getting them done faster.

    Clock speeds are measured in gigahertz (GHz), with a higher number equating to higher clock speed. Multi-core processors were developed to help CPUs run faster as it became more difficult to increase clock speed.

    Faster clock speeds mean that you’ll see tasks ordered from your CPU completed quicker, making your experience seamless and reducing the time you wait to interface with your favorite applications and programs.

    Basically, having a high clock speed but just one or two cores means your computer will be able to load and interact with a single application quickly. Conversely, having more processor cores, but a slower clock speed means your computer can work with more applications at a time, but each may run a little slower.

    =>Buying a computer with multiple cores and a super high clock speed sounds ideal 

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