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What takes most time during the average work of a computer?

Is it actual calculation or maybe accessing memory, and the processor mostly is just waiting for data to come?

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closed as not a real question by Linker3000, Nifle, random Oct 20 '11 at 18:30

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What's "average work"? Some tasks could be I/O intensive. Other tasks could be compute intensive. –  sawdust Oct 9 '11 at 1:31

2 Answers 2

It's waiting to access data in memory. Accessing system memory is terribly time consuming. It's not uncommon for performance junkies to cram all their data into something that will fit in the CPU's cache.

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IO is almost always the bottleneck. Memory is several order of magnitude slower than CPU cache, and disk is another couple of orders of magnitude slower than memory. The reason an SSD makes such a massive difference is how much time your CPU spends waiting for the disk.

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+1: Ahhh, yes. I misread the title as CPU and not computer. –  surfasb Oct 9 '11 at 0:58
    
Ah, nm. The title originally said CPU and not computer. –  surfasb Oct 9 '11 at 1:01

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