The clock speed is a measurement relevant to microprocessors – each microprocessor has an internal clock that sets the speed it works at. This clock isn’t a ‘real’ clock in that it doesn’t tell time, but rather sets the working speed of the processor. This speed is then measured in gigahertz or GHz. This speed then determines how fast the computer’s circuitry takes care of the tasks it performs.
Technipages Explains Clock Speed
When it comes to clock speeds, faster is definitely better – significant increases in clock speed bring noticable improvements in speed as well. This includes being faster at high-intensity tasks such as recalculating an entire spreadsheet, but it can also affect the boot time of programs and just about everything else.
The system’s bus and memory speed also contribute to the overall performance, so if any of those three factors is subpar, so is the performance of the machine. Throughout the years, clock speeds have increased dramatically. Intel Pentium M processors – a comparatively low-spec version – only offered upwards of 800Mhz, that is to say, megahertz.
The speed measurement is expressed in cycles per second, or multitudes thereof. As technology improves, so did speeds – exponentially, actually.
The Intel Pentium 4 processor, on the other hand, offered upwards of 3.2 GHz speeds – several times what the Pentium M offers. Assuming the rest of the hard- and software supports this, a computer with a Pentium 4 will be significantly faster.
Common Uses of Clock Speed
- Clock speeds are a good indicator of performance, but not the only one, nor a conclusive indicator of how well the computer works.
- Higher clock speeds are generally indicative of faster speeds of processes operating.
- Newer microprocessors boast much higher clock speeds than previous generations did.
Common Misuses of Clock Speed
- Clock speeds are the running speeds of computers, measured against the system clock.