Factors Affecting the CPU Performance - Learners Pool

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Factors Affecting the CPU Performance

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Main Factors Affecting the Performance of the CPU

The speed of the Computer always depends on the speed of the CPU (Processor). The Speed of CPU is directly link to the performance of the CPU. This is only true to a certain extent. A CPU with fast speed will not be efficient if it has only a limited data to process. To achieve maximum efficiency, the hardware (especially the hard drive and memory) that are linked to the CPU must supply data as fast as the CPU speed. Failure to do this will result in a lagging computer, regardless how fast the CPU is. There are some factors which affect the CPU performance ...

1. Registers
  • The CPU contains of small memory areas:called registers,which store data and instructions while the CPU processes them.
  • The size of the registers determines the amount of data with which the computer can work at a one time.
  • Today most PC`s have 32-bit registers,mean the CPU can process four bytes data at one time.Register sizes are rapidly growing to 64 bits.
2. RAM
  • The amount of RAM in a PC has a direct affect on the system`s speed.
  • The more RAM a PC has.the more program instructions and data can be held in memory,which is faster than storage on disk.
  • If a PC does not have enough memory to run a program,it must move data between RAM and the hard disk frequently.This process called swapping,can greatly slow a PC`s performance. 
3. The System Clock
  • The computer`s system clock sets the pace the CPU by using a vibrating quartz crystal.
  • A single "tick" of the clock is the time required to turn a transistor off and back on.This is called a clock cycle.
  • Clock cycles are measured in Hertz(Hz),a measure of cycles per second.If a computer has a clock speed of 300 MHz, then its system clock"ticks" 300 million times every seconds.
  • The faster a PCs clock runs,the more instructions the PC can execute each second.
4. The Bus
  • A bus is a path between the components of a computer.Data and instructions travel along these paths.
  • The data bus width determines how many bits can be transmitted between the CPU and other devices.
  • The address buss runs only between the CPU and RAM, and carries nothing but memory addresses for the CPU to use.
  • Peripheral devices are connected to the CPU by an expansion bus.
5. Cache Memory
  • Cache memory is high-speed memory that holds the most recent data and instructions that have been loaded by the CPU.
  • Cache is located directly on the CPU or between the CPU and RAM,making it faster than normal RAM.
  • CPU-resident cache is called Level-1 (L1)cache.External cache is called Level-2 (L2) cache.
  • The amount of cache memory has a tremendous impact on the computer`s speed.


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