Lower speed = Faster chips ?
Question : Why are processor speeds getting lower?
I have a 3.0-GHz Intel Pentium D PC, but
the newer version of this system has a
2.13-GHz dual-core Intel processor. I can't even
find a 3.0- or 3.2-GHz anymore.
Answer : We tend to remember marketing messages
even when they're no longer valid. For years,
Intel promulgated the mantra that higher
clock frequencies equaled better performance.
In fact, there arc two gauges of performance:
how fast the chip runs (clock speed), and how efficient the processor is. This second factor is often
referred to as IPC (instructions per cycle). Modern
microprocessors are superscalar; they can execute
more than one instruction per clock cycle. A highly
efficient CPU may be able to execute more instructions in a given time than a less-efficient processor
running at a higher clock frequency.
AMD's Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 X2 series of
CPUs were more efficient than Intel's Pentium 4
and Pentium D processors and could run many applications faster, even though they ran at lower frequencies. Intel went back to the drawing board and
came up with the Core 2 CPU line, which is even
more efficient and actually does more work than
either the AMD CPUs or the older Intel processors,
even though the Core 2s run at lower clock speeds.
So don't worry about the seeming disparity in clock
speeds between newer CPUs and older ones. The
new ones do more work in less time.