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What units are used to measure CPU speed?

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Quick Answer

CPU speed is measured in megahertz and gigahertz. One gigahertz is 1,000 megahertz, so a CPU with a speed of 3.2 gigahertz is equivalent to 3,200 megahertz.

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Full Answer

CPU speed is measured against the number of cycles per second it can perform. One hertz is equivalent to one cycle per second, and 1 megahertz is 1 million hertz. This means that 1 megahertz represents 1 million cycles per second. A CPU with a speed of 1 gigahertz can perform 1 thousand million cycles per second. The first microprocessors capable of performing at this speed were revealed to the public in the early 2000s. Moore’s law states that flagship CPU speeds double every 18 months.

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