How Much Processor Speed Do I Need?
In any case, the speed of your computer’s processor matters a lot to its purpose. You may need a decent processor for gaming, programming, and daily office work. However, each of these purposes has a different definition of “fast processor”.
What is a processor?
The processor simply acts as the brain of the entire computer system, and the faster it is, the faster the instructions are executed. These instructions that the processor can execute may include saving a word document, copying a file, calculating the next frame of video to be displayed, and so on. Similarly, when a computer gamer presses the keypad, the CPU goes through numerous cycles to process the gamer’s request and execute various commands recognized by the gaming software.
The speed of the processor may depend on the following parameters:
1. Number of processor cores
2. Internal clock speed
3. Processor manufacturer
4. Cache memory size.
Think of processor speed as equivalent to Human IQ. Scientists working on cutting-edge new technologies require fairly high IQs. On the other hand, a writer like me doesn’t have to have a high IQ. Likewise, gaming, editing, designing, simulating, etc. requires a fairly fast processor. On the other hand, if you want to use your PC at home or for simple office tasks like data entry or word processing, you don’t need a high-speed processor.
How much processor speed do you need?
Here are some things you can consider to determine whether a particular processor is right for you.
1. Internal clock speed
Does someone need a processor how fast? They usually mean it in terms of clock speed. However, a higher clock speed does not always equate to better performance! You can measure the CPU’s internal clock speed in GHz. GHz refers to the number of instructions the processor can execute each time the clock ticks.
Clock speed is still a good metric for measuring a given processor, but it can be misleading. To make your life easier, consider the whole series before looking at clock speeds. Clock speed is a good way to compare processors only within a specific series like the Atom. Celeron, Pentium, Core i3, etc.
2. Number of processor cores
When choosing a core-based computer, you need to know whether you want to run multiple applications simultaneously. Cores are a way to extend the performance of a processor. You can have a single core with very high clock speeds. Alternatively, you can distribute that power between the cores.
The downside of having a powerful single core is that it runs very hot and consumes a lot of power, as well as being not too good for multitasking. Core count is a good measure of how powerful a particular processor is within its series.
As with clock speed, a higher number of cores doesn’t necessarily improve performance.
3. Do more cores mean better performance?
Think of your core as more brains. As with the human brain, having more than one human brain could mean that it can easily do more tasks at the same time.
But two brains with an IQ equal to a monkey are not the same as one brain with an IQ equal to Einstein. So more cores don’t mean a faster processor.
4. Cache memory size
Because clock speed and number of cores aren’t the decisive determinants of what’s faster? You can consider the amount of cache in a processor as a good measure of processor performance. Better high-end processors almost always have higher cache memory.
Cache memory currently has levels like L1, L2, L3, and even L4. It behaves like RAM, except that it is the fastest type of memory that the processor can access.
- L1 is the fastest, L2 is the second, and so on.
The higher the cache memory, the more frequently used instructions the processor can store right next to each core. Manufacturers have designed CPUs to include this cache memory instead of sending and receiving data to and from RAM. The cache is designed to reduce the amount of time and power the processor uses each time it accesses random access memory.
Conclusion-How much Processor Speed Do I Need?
Most PCs on the market have dual-core processors, which can meet the needs of most everyday users. On the other hand, some users use quad-core processors which can boost computer performance.
If you are a professional, you need a quad-core processor up to 4.00 GHz. If you’re a gamer, you need a 4 or 6 core processor. A good processor speed is 3.50 to 4.2 GHz, but having single-threaded performance is more important. In short, 3.5-4.2 GHz is a decent speed for your processor.