# Demystifying CPU Speed; About Os and 1s

This blog post digs deeper from this one: Computer Hardware

Demystifying CPU Speed

The CPU’s operations are controlled by a very fast internal oscillator (like a clock), which generates electrical pulses (see the Figure below). The CPU sends out instructions when it receives those pulses. The CPU speed is measured by the frequency of the pulses.

For example, Intel’s Pentium-III processor runs at about 900 megahertz (MHz), which means 900 million pulses per second (Mega = million). Some AMD processors have a clock speed of about 8 gigahertz (GHz), which means 8 billion pulses per second (Giga = billion). If you traveled that fast, you could get to school instantly… and probably splat on the wall… I bet it giga hurts.

Figure: The operation of the CPU is controlled by a very fast clock.

The tiny electronic circuits inside the computer can maintain two stable states. We can call these states on and off, but we use 1 and 0 because then it’s possible to perform binary math on these states. We lovingly call these 0s and 1s binary digits.

Next, read my other blog posts that cover the topic of learning about computers:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/user_ed/archive/tags/Computers/

Have a good bye!

- Ninja Ed