What makes a computer fast? Here’s All you need to know

What makes a computer fast

I have great patience when dealing with people. However, I have little or none when dealing with my gadgets, especially my computer and mobile device. Of course, I won’t throw a fit at them, but I love it when my laptop responds even before giving the instructions – Kidding. But when its response is slow, I get riled. 

With the advancement in technology, progress in development, faster internet, and a wide range of productivity, we don’t need to emphasize how much we need speed these days. You see how speed is characterized as one of the essential features in online delivery, on websites, means of transportation, and above all on our computer – Time seems to be running fast these days. 

If you’ve been wondering what makes a computer fast, then get your seatbelt strapped, we are about to go for a ride to find out why. 

What makes your computer fast? 

The Processor is a part that plays a major role in the computer’s speed. Decades ago, the processing speed was about 740 kHz, and this was enough to process 92,000 instructions per second. For some, this may look like much, but these days, we have processors that can process over 100 billion instructions- are you shocked? 

So, what this indicates is, our computers have seen a dramatic improvement speed-wise. However, our processors aren’t the only thing responsible for that speed you’ve noticed in your laptop; over three things are responsible, as you will find out below. 

 1. Processor (CPU) 

Processor (CPU)

CPU is short for Central Processing Unit; most people call this the “brain of the computer” for the amount of work it puts out; this makes sense. Although it doesn’t act alone, this small chip situated in your computer’s main circuit board enables your machine to interact with all the applications and programs installed. 

Its ability to understand these applications and programs and give you the result quickly will determine to a great extent your computer speed, aka “Clock Speed.” This speed is measured in GHz/second, but the higher the GHz doesn’t decide everything. 

A 2.7GHz processor can execute up to 2.7 billion processes per second, while a 3.1GHz processor will execute about 3.1 billion processes per second. Nevertheless, this is not enough, as if your computer uses an Intel Core i5 processor at 2.7GHz, it will execute more circles than an Intel Core  i3 processor at 3.1GHz. 

This is the case because the core i5 has more cores, transistors, and other features than the latter. The CPU cache is another factor to consider, which we will discuss further. 

 2. The RAM

The RAM

This is one of the things you will often hear when people are comparing computer speed. The RAM is the computer’s short-term memory; it is an abbreviation for Random Access Memory. We multitask even on our daily activities; you could be eating and reading, walking and making a call, and doing so many other things. 

When you stop reading to take a spoon, you don’t go back to the beginning of the chapter to start all over again; we often continue from where we stopped because the info is usually fresh in our memory. This is almost similar to what the RAM does. 

The Processor processes more cycles based on its quality. However, the Ram does more based on its quantity: the more RAM, the more instructions your computer can process simultaneously. 

The more programs you open, the more RAM you will consume; opening many tabs on your browser gets resources from the RAM. Many video editors, gamers, and programmers go for computers with plenty of RAM. Adding the number of RAMs might make your computer faster, but there’s a point where it won’t make any difference since your CPU can’t make use of all. 

 3. Cache

CPU Cache

This is one silent Player that does a lot in making your computer fast. Yes, your Processor can execute billions of processes in a second; it still needs the data and information from the Hard Drive and RAM to function. These two memories are relatively slow when compared to the CPU, so to hasten things, our computers have caches to make things faster. 

As the computer’s fastest memory, the cache spreads the data between the CPU, memory, and other parts of your device. It stores data for the future; the more cache your computer has, the more effective it will operate. They come in Levels; most users settle for Level 2 or 3 to give them the speed they need. 

 4. Bus Speed 

Bus Speed

Many things come together to give your computer that speed you are enjoying; the Bus speed is another thing to note. The Bus is the circuit that is responsible for connecting various parts of the motherboard. Look at it as a road between two locations, only that it connects to many locations. 

The faster the info can travel between these components, the better; as we saw above, the CPU needs data from the Hard Drive and the RAM. The bus is responsible for sending these data to the CPU. The Bus speed is measured in megahertz MHz and is typically referred to as the front side bus (FSB). 

The FSB links the CPU with a chipset that communicates with your Processor and then controls interaction with memory known as the Northbridge. In a nutshell, the FSB is the middleman, so you need to look out for an excellent middleman (motherboard) to have that computer performance you so desire. 

 5. Hard Drive

Hard Drive

Your Hard Drive plays a significant role in your computer speed too. Now, they are predominantly two types of Hard Drive. There’s the Hard disk drive (HDD)  and the Solid-state drives (SSD). HDD hard drives have moving parts in them, which often results in slower read and write. This also depends on the HDD spec. 

On the other hand, the SSD uses flash memory without any moving part; it often makes reading and writing faster than the HDD. It is still a debate which is better, but still, both drives have their advantages.

 6. Video Card (GPU) 

Video Card (GPU)

Video card or Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is another thing to look out for when talking about our computer’s speed. It is an electronic circuit add-on that manipulates and alters memory to quicken the creation of images for your computer’s output display device (monitor). 

If you are a gamer, you should know how vital the GPU is; since games render so many images, a fast GPU is needed to make gaming seamless. The integrated video card will use your main computer’s RAM to give these images; people still purchase separate video cards that come with their RAM, which will then reduce the workload on your Processor. 

 7. Operating System

Operating System

Your operating system acts as an intermediary between the software and hardware part of your computer. Without an operating system, your computer is likely not to work. You should ensure you are using the latest operating system as they are often optimized for speed. Windows, Linux, and macOS are famous examples of operating systems. 

What makes a laptop faster RAM or Processor? 

RAM or Processor

When people ask how to determine a computer’s speed, the most prominent names we often hear are RAM and Processors. You often hear people say things like, “I have a fast computer which runs on a core i7 processor with 16gig RAM,” though they aren’t wrong to emphasize this. Let’s see what determines computer speed between these two. 

The most straightforward answer to the above question is, Both. Yes, they both need each other to give that speed you so desire. As we pointed above, RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and its main job is to store temporal information and memory. 

On the other hand, the Processor is also known as the CPU, often called the computer’s brain. It gives the instructions and processing power the computer needs. 

So, the RAM is the workbench; it holds all the information the Processor will need to work. Therefore if the RAM holds 16gig worth of information, but the Processor isn’t fast enough to process the billions of data in the RAM, we have a problem. 

The same applies; if the Processor can process billions of data and the RAM can not handle the amount of info the programs and applications send to it, the Processor is as good as nothing. 

Again, it is all about balance, and both compliment each other. 

How can you make your computer faster? 

If you are wondering how you can increase your computer speed, then this section is for you. Increasing the RAM or Processor are things you can do, but they are a ton of other things you should check out. 

  1. Delete and uninstall programs you don’t need—some of the programs in your machine run background processes, which drains your resources. Go through your device and adequately uninstall programs and applications you aren’t using again. 
  1. Prevent programs from automatically starting up when you boot your device. They are some programs that automatically come on when you boot your machine; this slows it down. Find out the culprits, and stop them. 
  1. Free up space. Your hard drive plays a significant role in computer space; having your drive at only 15% free space isn’t a good idea. You should delete or compress unwanted files. 
  1. Use the best power plan. Most computers have Power Saver, Balanced and High Performance as the different power plans. These settings often optimize your battery life by lowering your device output. Your computer speed might be affected. 
  1. Occasionally scan for viruses and malware. These menaces often contribute to making your computer slow down. You should periodically scan for them and eliminate them. 
  1. Update your Operating System. OS creators often optimize every new version of an operating system they release. These Operating Systems are often created to meet what is in demand at the moment; they fix bugs and reduce glitches. Alongside updating your operating system, you should update your programs and applications, especially those you often use. 
  1. Defrag your hard disk. 
  1. Occasionally restart or hard restart your computer. 

Conclusion 

If you were wondering what makes your computer faster, this article must have satisfied you. Your Processor is one of the prominent features that make a computer fast. Other things to consider when wondering how fast your computer is, the RAM, the Cache storage space, the Hard drive, Bus speed, Video card, and Operating system

Further, in the article, we showed you if you should look out for your Processor over the RAM when trying to increase computer speed. We then pointed out ways to make your computer fast. Thank you for stopping by, have a great day. 

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