Updated at: 18-04-2022 - By: Leo Hall

When purchasing a CPU, whether for gaming or everyday tasks, there are many things to keep in mind.

In addition, processor speed, sometimes known as clock speed, is one of these. As far as computer speed and performance are concerned, this is one of the most significant metrics to keep in mind while comparing CPUs.

We’ll go into great depth about processor speed in this article to help you better understand how it affects overall computer performance.

What Is A CPU And What Does It Do?

To make things easier for you, we’ll go through the essentials first before diving into processor speed.

This component of a computer is sometimes referred to as its “brain,” as it is in charge of understanding and carrying out instructions received from software and input devices like a keyboard and mouse.

An example of how it works is shown here: The CPU reads your mouse input and then performs a series of instructions to show you the Start menu on your display when you click on the Windows logo on the taskbar.

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In spite of its importance, a CPU is only one aspect of a bigger system that requires additional components. On the motherboard, a dedicated socket holds a small piece of hardware that connects to the random-access memory (RAM), graphics processing unit (GPU), storage, and other hardware.

Contrary to popular belief, the CPU is a vital part of any computer system. A PC would not be able to function without it.


Individual processing units in the CPU are called cores (sometimes known as cores or processors). At least one core is required for a CPU to function properly.

There was only one core in older CPUs. Quad-core and hexa-core processors are now commonplace in consumer PCs.

In order to speed up computers, multi-core technology was invented. Manufacturers of CPUs have introduced many cores to obtain faster processing instead of constantly boosting the performance of their processors

There is a direct correlation between the number of processor cores and overall performance.

You can run numerous processes at the same time on a computer with multiple cores, allowing you to execute multiple activities at the same time on your PC. In CPU-intensive applications like video editing, a single core can function alone or in conjunction with other cores to tackle many tasks at once.

Many factors affect a computer’s overall speed, including the number of processing cores.

But what exactly is the speed of a processor? You’ll learn more about it in the upcoming section.

What Is Processor Speed?

The number of cycles per second a CPU can read, interpret, and execute instructions is known as processor speed, which is also known as clock speed or clock rate. There are hertz (Hz) units used to express the frequency, with one hertz corresponding to one cycle per second.

When it comes to current CPUs, the speed of the processor is often measured in gigahertz (GHz). 3.6 GHz is the speed at which a CPU can perform 3.6 billion cycles per second.

Cycles can be viewed as random events. More instructions can be executed per second at a greater processor speed, which means that the computer can process more quickly.

However, keep in mind that CPU speed is not a measure of how quickly the CPU communicates with other system components to execute tasks.

In general, a computer processor with a high processor speed allows for faster computing, with more cycles per second to execute instructions. However, it isn’t an absolute measure of success.

Choosing a CPU purely on the basis of its clock speed isn’t an option whether looking for a gaming laptop or designing a custom PC from the ground up.

In addition to processing speed, the number of cores and CPU architecture must also be taken into account, with the latter being the most critical.

More instructions may be executed per cycle by the faster (2.6 GHz) CPU due to its greater architecture and efficiency. If you wish to compare the speeds of different CPUs, be sure they are all from the same manufacturer and generation.

Real-world benchmarks from reliable and impartial websites are the best way of getting a true impression of CPU performance. It’s the same when comparing different CPUs.


There are a variety of techniques to speed up your computer. Overclocking the CPU is one of the cheapest and most accessible options.

When you overclock your processor, you are programming it to run at a higher speed than the manufacturer originally intended. To put it another way, you’re exceeding the CPU’s capacity.

Overclocking is possible on some processors, but not all. The possibility of voiding your warranty and damaging your CPU’s performance is also a consideration.

Don’t play around with overclocking your CPU unless you know exactly what you’re doing and are prepared for the consequences.

How Important Is Processor Speed?

The total speed and performance of a computer is greatly influenced by the processor’s speed. After all, the speed at which an application can execute instructions on a processor is dictated by its frequency.

However, it’s less critical now than it was when CPUs only had a single core. You can’t make a purchase decision based solely on the processor’s speed. Equally crucial are the number of cores as well as the computer’s architecture.

Depending on what you intend to do on your computer, the importance of CPU speed can vary. There are some programs that benefit more from having a higher number of CPU cores than others.

However, processor speed is only relevant when comparing CPUs from the same family, as was previously stated. When you’re looking for the greatest CPUs and comparing different models from various manufacturers, keep this in mind.

Closing Remarks

It is our goal that this essay has clarified the meaning and significance of processor speed.

It’s important to remember that there are a number of other aspects that contribute to computer performance. CPUs aren’t only about the speed of the processor.

It’s true that a CPU with a high clock speed usually means faster computing. In some cases, a CPU with a lower clock speed but more cores may be better for your needs. What works for someone else may not be right for you.

Need for speed

Gaming processors

Since its inception, gaming has evolved into a more intricate art form that seems to be improving by the day. To stay up with all of these new capabilities and immersive experiences, you need a CPU that can keep up. Most games require between one and four cores, while some demand considerably more. When it comes to cores, a quad-core processor is safe.

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In games like World of Warcraft, new gaming abilities and game landscapes demand more powerful computing power. When playing a CPU-intensive game, you can take advantage of multi-core technology to enhance the game’s graphics, music, and gameplay.

While a single-core CPU is excellent at performing one work at a time, it may have an impact on performance and usefulness when gaming. The more cores you have, the better your gaming experience will be.

This chip, the Intel Core i7-8750H found in HP’s OMEN 15-inch gaming laptop, is a good option for gamers who want to keep their gaming experience as authentic as possible. Its six cores allow it to display the game landscape and adapt to gameplay tactics with unprecedented agility.

Gaming requires a decent single-thread performance, and a clock speed of between 3 and 4 GHz is generally considered a good one. Basically, this means that your CPU is very good at completing individual tasks.

A single-core processor is not the same as this. The more cores your CPU has, the better it will be able to handle numerous jobs at once, whereas optimal single threading allows it to handle each one in isolation and very efficiently.

Taking you to a new world and allowing you to discover new vistas are the primary goals of video games. Make sure that you don’t let a lack of processing power to ruin your fantasy world.

Everyday use processors

For general-purpose computing, a dual-core CPU is ideal. It has the ability to perform multiple tasks at once, reducing the amount of time spent waiting for programs to open or changes to occur. No matter what you’re working on, a quad-core CPU can help you be more productive and provide you with more consistency for a better computing experience.

If you’re more of a creative type who does video editing or runs complex applications on a daily basis, you may want to consider getting a computer with more processor cores and a higher clock speed so that your applications can run smoothly. With a 6 core CPU, the HP ZBook 15-inch mobile workstation is built for creative professionals that do a lot of hard editing and design work.

If you only sometimes stream video or check email on your computer, your clock speed isn’t as critical as you might believe. With a dual-core processor, the HP 14z laptop may be ideal for everyday use. This model is capable of handling a wide range of jobs and comes in a conventional, user-friendly package.

High-performance computing processors

Extremely complicated and data-intensive applications are part of what is referred to as “high-performance computing.” Engineers, scientists, and those in the armed forces and other government agencies are frequent high-performance users.

These users frequently switch between several programs and frequently retrieve and input data into computer systems. If you’re doing this kind of processing, you’ll need a more powerful processor and faster clock speed.

Immersive computing and Virtual Reality (VR) processors

High-quality visuals, audio, and navigational elements are essential to augmented and virtual reality games. Multi-core processors with high clock rates are required for experiencing a new reality.

Choose a computer that’s right for you

Whether you’re a gamer or not, and whether you use your computer on a regular basis or not, most people can describe their typical computer usage habits. Choosing a processor is made simpler if you are aware of your personal processing tendencies.

To run several programs at once or to play complex games, you’ll need a processor with at least four cores. A dual-core CPU is a good option if you only require a computer to perform simple tasks quickly.

To perform CPU-intensive tasks, such as video editing and gaming, you’ll need an operating system clock speed of at least 3.0 Ghz.

When shopping for a computer, don’t focus just on the CPU’s number of cores or performance. It’s also a good idea to consider how a computer will fit into your daily routine. HP® has a wide range of laptops and desktops to meet your computing requirements.

Processor cores versus clock speed

Despite their disparate tasks, processor cores and clock speeds are striving toward the same goal. Many computer experts argue about which feature you should prioritize when shopping for a new computer, but the truth is that your computer’s performance is dependent on all of these components working together smoothly.

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In order to determine what each accomplishes and what processor speed you require based on your intended use of your computer, it is helpful to understand the differences between the two. Processor core and clock speed requirements alter if you intend to use your computer for video editing rather than just normal programs and browsing the internet. If you’re looking to compare computers, you’ll want to keep an eye out for these figures.


What is a PC processor and what does it do?

All of your computer’s installed applications and programs use the CPU, which is a piece of hardware within your computer. When you use a computer, you interact with the output that is produced by the CPU, which interprets the program’s instructions.

In order for your computer to perform the activities you require when you open an application or make a modification to a file, it needs a processor. Your computing experience can be greatly impacted by how swiftly or how slowly it processes data.

Your computer’s processor cores and clock rates dictate how much information can be received at a time, and how rapidly that information can be processed on your computer. Your computer’s processing speed is determined by the speed at which its cores and clock speed work together.

What is a processor core?

The central processing unit (CPU) of a computer has many smaller processing units called processor cores (CPU). As the clock speed increases, the processor core receives instructions from a single computing activity and processes this information to store it in the Random Access Memory (RAM) (RAM). When you request it, permanent data is stored to your computer’s hard disk.

Multiple processor cores are now standard on the vast majority of computers, allowing them to do multiple tasks at once. It is possible to run various programs simultaneously, such as editing a document, watching a video, and opening a new application, thanks to multiple processing core units.

For complicated video games or programs, having a CPU that can keep up with information such as audio and video stream is crucial.. When it comes to multitasking, CPU cores are becoming increasingly significant to computer users.

What is clock speed?

How rapidly a CPU can retrieve and understand instructions is determined by its processor clock speed. Your computer will be able to do more tasks at a faster rate as a result of this.

A faster clock speed is indicated by a greater number of gigahertz (GHz). As increasing the clock speed of CPUs grew more difficult, multi-core processors were created to help them run faster.

When your CPU runs at a faster rate, you’ll notice fewer hiccups and be able to interact with your favorite programs and applications more quickly.

How do I choose between more processor cores or a higher clock speed?

Clock speed and the number of CPU cores are both critical components for a computer’s operation, as we’ve already discussed. Multi-core processors and super-fast clock speeds seem great, but what do they mean for your computer’s performance?

Your computer will load and interact with an application much more swiftly if it has a high clock speed but only one or two cores. This means that, on the other hand, you can run more applications at once, but they may all operate a little slower because your computer has more CPU cores but slower clock speeds.

Think about your own lifestyle when comparing computers. Processing power and cores are not the same for everyone. In a moment, we’ll talk about the differences between personal computers used for work and gaming. For laptops and desktops, we’ll first discuss what these terms represent in terms of their capabilities.

What is a good processor speed for a laptop versus desktop?

Unlike desktop computers, laptop CPUs are not interchangeable. Read on for significant contrasts to consider before making any purchasing choices if you’re wondering what a suitable CPU speed is for a laptop or desktop, or simply which model will work best for you.

CPUs can also have an impact on the hardware of a computer, so keep this in mind if you need a laptop’s portability or a dual-display desktop’s robustness.


Laptop processors, on the whole, are less powerful and flexible than desktop counterparts. You can’t go wrong with a laptop if you’re looking for mobility, but if you require a super-fast CPU or a high clock speed, you might want to consider a desktop computer.

However, thanks to multi-core processor technology and hyper-threading, laptops are now able to compete with desktop computers. Dual-core CPUs are the norm in laptops, and they’re more than adequate for the vast majority of users. Some laptops have quad-core processors, which can increase the computing power of your computer.


Desktop computers have more powerful hardware than laptops, allowing them to generate more electricity and run at higher rates. Desktop computers often have better cooling systems because they have more room in the chassis than laptops. This allows the processor to keep working hard without overheating.

A laptop’s CPU is built into the motherboard, making it impossible to remove a desktop’s CPU from the motherboard. This means that a desktop PC’s CPU may be upgraded or replaced more easily than a laptop’s. You shouldn’t have to fiddle with your CPU if you pick the proper processor speed for you.


How fast should a computer’s CPU be? From 3.5 to 4.2 GHz would be the range. Decent computer processor speed allows you to enjoy a good computer experience and simultaneously handle various tasks. Please leave a remark if you believe in a different definition of computer processor speed.