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Tell Me The Difference.


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#1 debbiewalker87

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 07:27 PM

I'm buying a desktop and a laptop and I wanna know the difference between 'processor speed' and 'bus speed'?
Please tell me the difference:

Desktop/laptop with the highest processor speed (3.8 GHz).
Desktop/laptop with the highest bus speed (3.6 GHz).
Desktop/laptop with the highest installed memory (4GB).

I would really appreciate your help.

(Moderator edit: added Topic Description. jgweed)

Edited by jgweed, 05 June 2008 - 10:11 AM.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 11:29 PM

Hi debbiewalker87, and welcome to BleepingComputer.

CPUs are rated in megahertz. A 1MHz CPU can operate one million CPU cycles in one second. Because of differences in efficiencies a 1MHz CPU could actually be faster than a 2MHz CPU. This speed is referred to as the clock speed. There is much more than I would attempt to cover here, so try reading this. More information on the clock speed can be read here.

By bus speed I'm guessing that you are asking about the Front Side Bus. This bus carries the information between the CPU and the Northbridge chip set. More information can be read here.

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#3 silverpl105

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 12:56 AM

Well I am confused aobut that also, gald to see this post and answer here.

#4 usasma

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 06:31 AM

Processor speed isn't a good indication of how a computer will perform since a particular processor may function differently from another one. For example, a dual core processor is generally faster than a single core despite the lower processor speed.

Having not enough memory is bad
Having enough memory is good
Having more than enough memory is wasting your money
So, it all depends on what you want to do. For example, a computer with 4 gB of memory won't necessarily run faster than one with 2 gB. But, you'll be able to store more in the memory that's there - so you'll be able to keep more stuff open without slowing down the computer. If you're just surfing the web and checking email, then 2 gB is plenty (but each program/process that you add increases the demands on the memory).

Also, at some point you'll reach the point of having a fast enough processor and enough memory and things will still seem slow. Then it's time to consider your hard drive as the "bottleneck" - and things get even more complicated after that :thumbsup:
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#5 debbiewalker87

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 08:56 PM

Hi debbiewalker87, and welcome to BleepingComputer.

CPUs are rated in megahertz. A 1MHz CPU can operate one million CPU cycles in one second. Because of differences in efficiencies a 1MHz CPU could actually be faster than a 2MHz CPU. This speed is referred to as the clock speed. There is much more than I would attempt to cover here, so try reading this. More information on the clock speed can be read here.

By bus speed I'm guessing that you are asking about the Front Side Bus. This bus carries the information between the CPU and the Northbridge chip set. More information can be read here.



Hi dc3, thank you for the info. That helps. :thumbsup:
Anyway, I want a desktop and a laptop which work really really fast no matter how many internet explorer tabs, window tabs, applications, music and videos are playing. As for a video card, I'm not into gaming though but I would appreciate the quiality of movies and pictures. What could you recommend? When I compare pcs and laptops, I narrow down by their bus speed, processor speed and installed memory but i don't know the perfect combination. AMD will work though. Could you help me?

#6 debbiewalker87

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 09:01 PM

Processor speed isn't a good indication of how a computer will perform since a particular processor may function differently from another one. For example, a dual core processor is generally faster than a single core despite the lower processor speed.

Having not enough memory is bad
Having enough memory is good
Having more than enough memory is wasting your money
So, it all depends on what you want to do. For example, a computer with 4 gB of memory won't necessarily run faster than one with 2 gB. But, you'll be able to store more in the memory that's there - so you'll be able to keep more stuff open without slowing down the computer. If you're just surfing the web and checking email, then 2 gB is plenty (but each program/process that you add increases the demands on the memory).

Also, at some point you'll reach the point of having a fast enough processor and enough memory and things will still seem slow. Then it's time to consider your hard drive as the "bottleneck" - and things get even more complicated after that :thumbsup:


Hi usasma!
More than enough memory is wasting of money? What if I have too much movies and videos? Won't it be good?
And why would it come to a point of having a fast enough processor and enough memory but things will still seem slow? Why would that happen? Could I prevent that? what's a bottleneck? Why things get more complicated? Could I still resolve the problem afterward? Need your answers. Sorry, I know nothing about computers.

Anyway, I want a desktop and a laptop which work really really fast no matter how many internet explorer tabs, window tabs, applications, music and videos are playing. As for a video card, I'm not into gaming though but I would appreciate the quiality of movies and pictures. What could you recommend? When I compare pcs and laptops, I narrow down by their bus speed, processor speed and installed memory but i don't know the perfect combination. AMD will work though. Could you help me?

#7 dc3

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 10:20 AM

One of the considerations with RAM is the type of operating system, a 32-bit Windows system will only see between 3
gb and 3.5GB of RAM, so installing 4GB that the motherboard may be able to handle would be too much, and may actually slow down the computer. A 64-bit Windows operating system will be able to us that full amount of RAM.

At this time you won't find a computer that is going to be impervious to extensive loads, they all will slow a little with each application that you add, each web page you open, movies that you watch...

As for bottlenecks, once again I'm going to defer to an article which explains this, there is a lot of information. You can read it here.

Another consideration is the speed of the hard drive, the old PATA had a transfer rate of about 100MBps, and the newer SATA drives have a transfer rate of 3Gbps. This is a big difference.

Edit: I did a little looking around and found another article which puts this information in terms that may be easier for you to understand, you can read it here, I hope this helps.

Edited by dc3, 09 June 2008 - 10:55 AM.

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#8 debbiewalker87

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 05:58 PM

One of the considerations with RAM is the type of operating system, a 32-bit Windows system will only see between 3
gb and 3.5GB of RAM, so installing 4GB that the motherboard may be able to handle would be too much, and may actually slow down the computer. A 64-bit Windows operating system will be able to us that full amount of RAM.

At this time you won't find a computer that is going to be impervious to extensive loads, they all will slow a little with each application that you add, each web page you open, movies that you watch...

As for bottlenecks, once again I'm going to defer to an article which explains this, there is a lot of information. You can read it here.

Another consideration is the speed of the hard drive, the old PATA had a transfer rate of about 100MBps, and the newer SATA drives have a transfer rate of 3Gbps. This is a big difference.

Edit: I did a little looking around and found another article which puts this information in terms that may be easier for you to understand, you can read it here, I hope this helps.


This is really cool!!!! Great help dc3! :thumbsup: very well explained. :flowers:
Thanks very much!!!! :trumpet:




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