To be able to play and work, a laptop should have a good processor speed. Processors today come in various speeds and the decision of what is a good processor speed for a laptop depends on the tasks that one expects from the system. For instance, if you are planning to use an older version of Windows or maybe one designed for laptops, then your choices will be limited by what you would like to do with laptops. In this article we shall look at some general guidelines in determining the best processor speed for a laptop that will meet your needs.
A computer’s performance is dependent on how well it can process information quickly because in computing tasks time is directly related to computations made and feedback received in what ever task being done in the computer. Some of the things that affect how well a processor works are the type of CPU, bus speed, and also RAM capacity.
What is a processor speed for a laptop?
Processor speed can be measured in two ways; in GHz and also in RPM. Computer processors are rated for their speeds on how fast they carry out instructions (Gigahertz or GHz) or on how many core operations per second they can handle (revolutions per minute - RPM). A Core i7 2.4GHz processor is considered faster than Core i5 2.2GHz even though both may have the same GHZ rating. The number of cores used by each chip affects the ranking, with one quad-core chip being more powerful than a dual-core processor. Processors can further be differentiated based on whether they are mobile processors which run on batteries of desktop processors which need to plugged into power supply units directly to function.
Some of the important specifications that one needs to look at when looking for a laptop processor speed are, processor speed in GHz or RPM, cache size and type, cores and their clock speeds used in a device.
Processor Speed in GHz or RPM
Processors today come with different speeds which can be rated in GHZ or RPM. GHZ is a term originally created by Intel Corporation in 1983 to help measure how well processors communicate instructions to the PC. The higher the GHz rating on a chip or CPU, the faster it can process information from an input source such as data from a hard drive to identify what files are needed and where they are located when doing file searches. The same principle applies when sending back the requested file from the hard drive to the laptop screen for viewing purposes.
With reference to RPM, this is a term used by AMD and IBM in their computing devices. While Intel uses GHZ, AMD and IBM use RPM because GHZ can only measure the performance of processors that have two or four cores while RPM considers all number of cores ranging from 2 to 32. The more cores a chip has then the higher its RPM ranking will be and this will reflect on how fast it can process applications such as video or audio encoding - which require high core operations per second.
Cache Size and Type
Cache size varies with processor speed although cache sizes may not determine the exact speed of a processor but they do affect how well different components work together when running software programs. Cache is a memory found on the chip itself which stores information that it needs to quickly access in carrying out its duties. There are two types of cache - Level 1 Cache, also known as L1 cache and Level 2 Cache, also known as L2 cache.
L1 cache is faster than L2 while both are faster than RAM (Random Access Memory) but more expensive for manufacturers to install on their chips. For example, some laptop processors like the i5-560M has 3MB of L2 Cache whereas an i7-720QM has 6MB of L2 cache with one having more speed than the other when accessing certain data inputted into it for processing reasons (i5 vs i). As noted earlier, this is a very important specification to look at when buying a laptop processor because more cores will require more cache space to store data that it can later access in carrying out certain applications. Mobile processors however come installed with L3 cache which is shared by all the cores on a particular chip.
Cores and Clock Speeds Used
Manufacturers today make available different grades of laptops starting from low end, mid range and high end devices for consumers to choose from. As such, their respective processors are also made differently depending on their use or even size - 11 inches netbooks may have lower wattage processing units because they are mostly mobile devices while 17 inch PCs are usually home entertainment systems meant for heavy computing tasks which include gaming. The clock speeds represent how many instructions are carried in a second cycle. The lower the amount of instructions processed in a second, the slower the machine will be in carrying out certain tasks especially in graphics intensive activities like gaming or video editing.
A general rule to go by when buying laptop PC is that an i3 processor should not be compared with an i5 processor because they are generally different grades of processors meant for specific laptops depending on their end use. An i3 would normally perform faster than an i5 if it were used within the same price range but this may not hold true depending on what manufacturer you are buying from or how well your applications are optimized for one chip over another . It would however be advisable to follow trends when choosing chipsets by looking up specifications online.
For example, if you were to buy a laptop with an i5-480M processor installed on it then it would be better to choose one that has DDR3 RAM because DDR2 memory modules are not supported by this chip. Checking what processor is installed on your laptop before buying components or accessories for it would save you money and time in the long run.
Clock speed numbers should be taken as guidelines only because they do not tell the whole story of how fast certain processors perform when running different applications. For example, all core i7 processors have clock speeds ranging from 2.0 GHz whereas an 8 core Xeon runs at 2.4 GHz but which one performs faster depends on its cache size, cores and other specifications that manufacturers include in their laptops.
One great improvement that has been made in the laptop PC market is the use of multiple cores on a single chip to boost processing power. A core is basically an independent processor which shares some processing responsibilities with other cores within the same machine which enables it to improve its overall performance when running certain tasks at any one time. For example, Intel Core i3 processors have 2 cores while Core i5 processors have 4 cores and Core i7 chips have 4 or 8 cores depending on the model you buy so if you are doing heavy computing tasks like video editing then having more cores would be advantageous because your processor will not only switch tasks faster but also give better output at the end of the day without slowing down or crashing on you because it has too many things running on it at the same time.
How fast should your processor be to run the latest games?
One of the most important things that you should look out for when buying a laptop PC is what kind of processor it has installed on it. Manufacturers today make available different grades of laptops starting from low end, mid range and high end devices for consumers to choose from. As such, their respective processors are also made differently depending on their use or even size - 11 inches netbooks may have lower wattage processing units because they are mostly mobile devices while 17 inch PCs are usually home entertainment systems meant for heavy computing tasks which include gaming. You can check online reviews before choosing a particular laptop by its processor to see how fast its performance is in real life conditions - this would save you time and money in the long run as well as give you an idea on what kind of laptop to buy.
One measure of how fast a laptop can run certain tasks is by looking at its GHz number which represents the number of clock cycles that the processor makes in one second. This denotes how quick it processes information which basically means that more clock cycles or higher GHz numbers would mean faster performance on your machine especially if you are running graphics intensive activities like video editing, 3D modeling, playing games etc.
How does processing speed affect battery life?
Power consumption is the main factor that affects battery life on laptop computers. Battery capacity can change but wattage (or how much power is consumed by the machine) remains constant even if you are using it with the lid closed or playing games etc. It is advisable not to pick up laptops that have low speed processors because they might end up draining your battery in half the time as compared to high end machines which consume more power because of their heavy processing requirements.
For example, a 40 watt TDP Core i5 3317U processor would probably get about 4 hours of battery life while a 17 watt Xeon E3-1505M v4 chip could get 8 hours and above depending on its configuration. If were planning to buy an Intel Core i7 laptop, then get one that uses more than 45 watts of power because this gives you better battery life than the ones that use lower wattage processors.
How does processing speed affect your work?
Processing speed has a direct relationship with how fast you will be able to complete tasks on your computer hence faster processors are usually associated with higher prices when compared to their slower counterparts. This is especially so if you are using heavy applications like video editing or 3D modeling which requires tremendous amount of resources (mainly memory) in order for it to operate properly so having high end machines would be advantageous by allowing you work better and faster without worrying about crashing your system while saving time as well.
What kind of processor do you need for gaming?
High end laptops usually come with faster processors like Core i7 or Xeon E3 series which are mostly found on desktops and workstation class machines. However, you should ensure your laptop has a dedicated graphics card to be able to play the latest games because having a high powered CPU does not equate to better gaming performance unless it is paired with top notch hardware as well that includes things like an SSD drive. These days, most tablets and other lightweight devices cannot run heavy applications properly so if you want to get work done fast, then pick up those high end notebooks equipped with Heavy Multitasking CPUs .
Choosing the best processor for your needs :
Not all CPUs were made equal and having a high end laptop does not mean it is the best choice available on the market today because there’s always something better out there which can be more expensive as well. Firstly, you should check your budget and set yourself a ceiling on how much you are willing to spend on computers especially if you are looking for something that will run heavy tasks or games properly. Secondly, decide what kind of processor speed would help you get things done in less time without necessarily spending too much money - this will save you both time and effort in the long run by allowing you work better with laptops that have good processing power while maintaining optimum battery life.
Laptop shopping tips:
If you are looking to buy a new laptop, then here are few tips that will help you pick something that is right for your needs.
Pick a machine that has the right amount of power for your needs by checking benchmark results from trusted sources on the internet. Check with customer reviews in order to get a better idea about how good a certain processor is in real life situations so you can determine if it is worth spending extra cash or not.
2) Battery Life:
High end CPUs usually have better battery life so ensure you check specifications before buying any laptop because different processors come with different levels of energy efficiency and this will affect how long your machine lasts on a single charge - especially if you’re planning to use it outdoors or away from an electrical outlet for extended periods.
Most laptops used today are equipped with LED backlit screens which comes in various sizes like 13.3 inch, 14 inch, 15.6 inch and 17+ but the best choice (in terms of size) would be to go for something that is not too small or too big because having a high end CPU can only do so much if your laptop cannot accommodate your needs - thus pick wisely!
4) Graphics Card:
Ensure you check specifications to see if it has an integrated graphics card or discrete model since this will affect whether you can play games on it or not without problems. If there’s no dedicated GPU, then low end CPUs paired with mid range GPUs are usually good enough to run most applications without any hiccup so don’t worry about playing Civilization V on ultra settings - just make sure you have enough RAM memory to go with it!
5) Additional hardware:
Always check for additional hardware including SSD drive, USB 3.0 support, Blu Ray player if you are looking for something that is high speed and future proof because having a fast machine will only benefit you in the long run - just make sure it fits your budget as well.
These are some of the most important things to consider when buying a new laptop so you should reconsider your choices before making any purchase because there are many options available on the market today that can be more than enough for light gaming or even heavy multitasking needs. Just keep all these tips in mind while shopping around for laptops online so you don’t regret spending too much money on something that you don’t need.
Basic Principles for Determining Processor Speed For Laptops
One way to determine good processor speeds for laptops is by measuring CPU speed in terms of hertz, or Hz. Simply put this means the number of computations made by the CPU every second. Another method is to use an analogy where you equate your laptop’s CPU processing power with cars speeding along a road at 100km/hour (or 60mph.) Let us examine these points further:
1. CPU Processing Power Measured in Hertz
Computer processors have become increasingly faster over time because they have been given higher clock rates every few years due to the fact that producers and manufacturers of processors have been able to increase the clock rate using new technology. This means we can equate a CPU’s processing power with hertz as an equivalent to miles/hour as a representation of speed. In this analogy, each hertz represents one mile for every hour which is approximately 1.4 million computations per second or 1.4 megahertz.
In older laptops the processor speeds may range from 66Mhz to 133MHz but these days their speeds are doubled up making them 266Mhz and 400Mhz respectively. High-end laptop CPUs go as high as 2Ghz but usually top out at about 1GHz or less. This would be considered a good range for a laptop to have.
Clocks per second can also be referred to as throughput in computer science terminology.
2. Analogy for Determining Processor Speed for Laptops
Another way of determining a good processor speed for a laptop is by using the analogy of a car travelling at a certain speed. In this analogy, each hertz would represent 1km travelled in an hour which means that every 2 hertz signifies double the speed which is equal to 30 km/hr… etc, etc. Please remember that computers are not really cars and cannot practically travel about on our roads! So when we say “travels at 200Mhz”, all it means is that it calculates computations at twice the rate of 100Mhz computer - since there are two computations in each second.
For laptops it is better to be in the range of 1GHz and above because this would enable you to use older or even new versions of Windows that may or may not work on slower processors. Most laptops these days come with a dual core processor meaning two CPU’s in one CPU chip which speeds up performance considerably but there are some newer laptop models with triple core processing units making them very fast indeed! And the downside is that the prices for such laptops are out of reach for most people! So, when looking at processor speed for a laptop, just ensure that it is within 1GHz and above and you will definitely have an awesome performing system.
3. Core Speed vs Bus Speed
Some skeptics believe that Core speed is not all that important and should be ignored in favor of focusing on the laptop’s bus speed. In fact, to some, the CPU’s bus speed is more important than its core speed because it determines how fast data can be transferred from one part of the laptop to another. This is probably true but what you have to take into consideration before making your choice is whether or not you would like to use newer versions of Windows since most laptops now support only up to Windows XP which works best with 1GHz processors and above. So if you want an awesome performing system, invest in something with at least a 1GHz processor with over 500MHz bus speed. RAM capacity isn’t so much an issue as it is with other laptops under the $500 range since Windows XP has a RAM footprint of about 130MB and higher.
4. Memory Capacity and Speed
Memory capacity and speed should not be an issue at this price range for two reasons: one, almost all newer laptops support Windows XP making their memory footprint pretty small and it will only require about 128 to 256MB of RAM; second, because most run on Intel Core Duo processors which come in packages of 1GB or more - if they are the latest ones that is! Still, 512MB of RAM would do fine but wouldn’t hurt to have more. Of course, if you plan on using your laptop for very serious stuff like video editing, graphic designing or playing games then go for one with at least 1024MB of RAM.
5. Hard Drive Capacity and Speed
Hard drive capacity is another important consideration because most laptops come with just about 20GB or even less these days! This might be a real deal breaker for some people but the upside is that this will not be a problem if you intend to use your laptop as an entertainment hub by playing movies, listening to music and surfing the Internet. However, if you plan on using it for other serious stuff like storing videos, large graphics files and software downloads then I would recommend getting something as big as 160GB or more - definitely not higher than 200GB though! Also, you should make sure it’s a SATA hard drive since IDE drives are now considered obsolete. The speed factor should not be considered because even the slowest 7200 RPM SATA hard drives are just as fast as 100Mhz processors!
6. Optical Drives
Most laptops these days come with CD/DVD players which is great for watching movies, listening to music and installing software - but if you plan on taking your laptop out of the house you would prefer something smaller right? Well, in that case you have several options because there are sub-notebooks available at this price range but they will require an external DVD player or USB connector so you can watch movies since their screens are very small. So look for a model that comes with either a CD ROM drive or Combo (CD/DVD) drive;, if portability is not of the essence then get one with a DVD writer since they are cheaper and provide more storage capacity for movies, music and what-not.
7. Graphics Chipset
Graphics chipset is the last consideration but, again, not a deal breaker if you intend to use your laptop mainly for Web surfing and other similar activities - however, if you plan on using it for gaming or watching movies then I would recommend a model with a dedicated graphics chip from NVIDIA or ATI since they are much faster than regular integrated chipsets found in most laptops! And remember that the higher the number in their name indicates how fast they are going to be so go ahead and get something at least with 128MB of video memory or more.
To sum up, the what is a good processor speed for a laptop will depend on your preference and budget. If you are on a tight budget, then the best choice would be to go for any laptop that has at least 1 GHz of processing power with 512 MB or more memory. On the other hand, if you have more money to spend on it, then you can push your boundaries to about 2 GHz of processing power with 1024 MB or more memory. With that said, if you can get a laptop with 2 GHz of processing power and 2048 MB or more memory, then I recommend getting it because you will be able to use it for many years.