I believe both MIPS and FLOPS are metrices for calculating processor speed. What is the difference between them? Are they in any way related or dependent on each other?

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    Unasked, but note that a CPU with more MIPS may be slower than another different CPU with less MIPS. MIPS just counts instrctions per second. Now how much useful work can be done per instruction.
    – Hennes
    Oct 16 '12 at 15:19

Study them using google and you will find out a lot from using the full forms,

MIPS=millions of instructions per second

FLOPS= floating point operations per second

mips talks about instructions which could be any type of instruction.

flops talks about a specific type of operation present in the instruction which is related to decimal numbers.

so they are not related in measuring as both use different reference points.

  • Thanks Doopy Doo! Why are FLOPS taken as a measure though? Shouldnt MIPS be more accurate in that case? Oct 25 '12 at 21:15

MIPS and FLOPS ARE metrices for calculating processor speed.

"MIPS=millions of instructions per second FLOPS= floating point operations per second"

Computer architectures have been made to "cut corners" to make them more efficient. This causes different architectures to have different run times for identical programs (a set of instructions). This makes a comparison using MIPS (relatively) meaningless over different architectures, but great to show performance upgrades in the same (or similar) ones.

FLOPS measure for a precise type of instruction. Therefore, it can be used to see which architectures are best for specific types of programs.

If, however, there wasn't a specific task in mind. MIPS could be used to find a computer architecture that is a Jack of all trades.

The intent of the comparison matters here.

So they are related only in the fact that they are metrics for calculating processor speeds. They are independent on how they operate or what they are used for.


Instruction is slightly more complicated than floating point operation, but they are in the same order of magnitude or no more than one order of magnitude difference. If we assume one instruction requires 10 floating point operation, 1 MIPS ~ 10 million FLOPS.


FLOPS and MIPS had their own good and bad.

FLOPS is widely used by people who want to simulate something. NASA uses CELL (it uses FLOPS) to simulate how does sun, planet and universe works, you might not want to use MIPS on that since it may take forever to generate the results from it. Also the high-end GPU now a days uses a FLOPS as their instruction code, since it uses geometry to generate graphics which is FLOPS is indeed a good use for GPU.

Other end is MIPS which is widely used in PC and MACS today. MIPS based processor are used because it's cheap to produce and easy to code a programs on it.

  • They're not types of processor. (Well, confusingly, MIPS is, but it's not what you're talking about, and it's not used in PCs.) They're both types of measurement. MIPS measures instructions per second. FLOPS measures floating point operations per second.
    – Isvara
    Feb 12 '15 at 14:06
  • you are confused about the abbreviations. Here MIPS stands for Million Instructions Per Second
    – mustafa
    Mar 30 '16 at 7:52

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