What is a Gigahertz

How often have you watched a TV commercial advancing the benefits of their computer in terms of the word Gigahertz and not fully understood the meaning of it? In this brief article we will attempt to provide you with a short introduction to that word.

As a shopper who may be on the look out for a new and more advanced personal computer, you should be aware of the term gigahertz as it applies to your potential machine. While reviewing the specification listings relating to your possible new computer you will soon notice that the word Gigahertz appears prominently on the spec sheet. This is a very important aspect relating to any computer.

Let’s first determine what a gigahertz actually is before we venture into its meaning with personal computers. Technically, one gigahertz is the equivalent of 1,000 megahertz or MHz. Going even lower on the measurement chart we could say that it is equal to 1,000,000,000 Hz. In either case the higher the rated number of gigahertz that is specified for your potential computer the better the machine will perform in terms of computing speed. This higher figure refers to the processing speed that is associated with the computer – the higher the gigahertz the faster the machine and the faster the machine the better its performance will be.

There was a period of time in the past when gigahertz was not used as the measurement associated with personal computer speeds. At that time the speed of the PC’s were measured in terms of megahertz which is really very slow by today’s standards. During the late 1990’s the speeds of the microprocessors were drastically improved moving way past the 1,000 MHz level. Since it was necessary to establish a higher level for the speed measurement the gigahertz was selected for this task. Today this is the standard by which all computer processing speeds are calculated.

The choice of selecting the GHz was also for convenience purposes as well. It is much simpler and easier to merely state that a machine has a 3.0 gigahertz speed as opposed to saying the speed was 3,000 megahertz.

Although most people may perhaps believe that the term gigahertz is merely used as a means of measuring the processor speed of personal computers it is in reality used as a form of measurement concerning speeds relating to other parts of the computer as well. As an example, this particular measurement can readily be used to relate the performance of the systems RAM and also for the backside cache. Just keep in mind that the higher the gigahertz of these various components is then the better performance that your computer will have. This boils down to the bottom line of better productivity for the end users.

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