Even though today’s processors are extremely fast, their performance can be adversely affected by a variety of factors, including:

  • the computer speed
  • the rate at which the clock ticks
  • the size of the cache
  • the number of processor cores

Computer Speed

In the case of computer speed, one hertz equals one tick per second. The clock speed of computers is usually measured in megahertz (MHz) or gigahertz (GHz). One megahertz equals one million ticks per second, and one gigahertz equals one billion ticks per second. It affects 

Clock Tick Rate

The user can slightly accelerate the CPU clocks on occasion. Overclocking is the term used to describe this process. The greater the number of pulses per second, the greater the number of fetch-decode-execute cycles that can be performed, and the greater the number of instructions processed in a given amount of time. Overclocking can cause long-term damage to the CPU because it forces it to work harder and generates more heat than it should.

Size of Cache

In computing, the cache is a small amount of high-speed random access memory (RAM) built into the processor itself. It is used to store data and instructions that are likely to be reused by the processor for a short period. The greater the size of a processor’s cache, the less time it must spend waiting for instructions to be fetched.

Computer Cores

Cores are the number of processors that are used. A core is a processing unit contained within a central processing unit (CPU). Each core can fetch, decode, and execute its own set of instructions independently of the others.

The number of cores a CPU has indeed increased in direct proportion to the number of instructions it can process in a given amount of time. Many modern CPUs have dual (two) or quad (four) cores, which are more powerful than their predecessors. Compared to CPUs with a single core, this results in significantly greater processing power.

Visit our blog section to learn more about the factors affecting a computer’s clock cycle.