May 28, 2024

Computer Power


Computer power is about speed, combining complexity of the tasks that a PC can perform at any one time with the rate at which it can carry them out.

Factors affecting this are:

  • The chip. Each new generation of chip has more and more transistors placed on it, allowing it to be programmed to carry out more tasks. Memory usage is improved as is the speed of its performance.
  • Clock speed. Measured in MHz, each action (or several) of the CPU occupies one cycle. Double the MHz doubles the functions performed.
  • The Word size that both the chip and the buses can accept. 32-bit word can contain double the data of a 16-bit word. It increases the speed and permits greater complexity of data manipulation.
  • RAM. Increasing this increases the amount of data that can be stored when working. This provides for the possibility of carrying out more complex tasks. It increases speed because when the available RAM is fully used the PC stores any further data temporarily on the hard drive (by a means called virtual memory). This data is slower to retrieve than having it currently available in RAM. More RAM means more speed.

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