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Inside Your Computer Part 3 – The Processor

Posted Thursday, April 29, 2004

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This week we will look at the processor. So what is the processor? Well in the simplest of terms, it’s your computers brain. The processor tells your computer what to do and when to do it, it decides which tasks are more important and prioritises them to your computers needs.

There is and has been many processors on the market, running at many different speeds. The speed is measured in Megahertz or MHz. A single MHz is a calculation of 1 million cycles per second (or computer instructions), so if you have a processor running at 2000 MHz, then your computer is running at 2000,000,000 cycles per second, which in more basic terms is the amount of instructions your computer can carry out. Another important abbreviation is Gigahertz or GHz. A single GHz or 1 GHz is the same as 1000 MHz . Sounds a bit confusing, so here is a simple conversion :

1000 MHz (Megahertz) = 1GHz (Gigahertz) = 1000,000,000 Cycles per second (or computer instructions).

Now you can see why they abbreviate it, could you imagine going to a PC store and asking for “A one thousand million cycle PC please”. A bit of a mouth full isn’t it?