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I currently have a computer equipped with a quad core Intel Core i5 430M / 2.26 GHz.

I noticed that the clock speed of the CPU to be higher than most of the i7 Haswell processors which are about 2GHz.

Are the newer processors better performance-wise than the older processors?
If so, why and how are newer processors with slower clock speeds better than older CPUs with a faster clock speed?

marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Breakthrough, Kevin Panko, Matthew Williams, Raystafarian Nov 12 '14 at 16:26

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  • There is much more to consider than just the GHZ number for CPU speed. Also quad cores have been out for quite some time now so its not that surprising to find one from 5 years ago. I don't consider a 5 year old computer to be that old.. – Eric F Nov 11 '14 at 18:39
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Why does it has a better CPU in terms of GHz in contrast with the CPU today?

You are only looking at the GHz which is clock rate of the CPU. Which equates to how fast can a CPU take input and then process it as output. So yes, your older PC, with an older CPU has a higher clock rate than newer CPUs. But newer CPUs can simply do much, much more in the context of each clock rate.

Meaning, looking at a CPU as cars that can do—let’s say—10 back & forth trips a day. Your old jalopy can do 10 trips a day but can only carry so much in it. But a more modern car would have more space—and even a larger trunk—it can carry lots more. So each car can do 10 trips a day, but one of them can do more in a trip window (i.e.: clock speed) than another.

Part of the larger problem has been the marketing focus of CPU manufacturers which has obsessively focused on GHz as opposed to any other metric. Which leads to lots of confusion since GHz is only one discreet dimension of a larger process in terms of system speed.

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    So I guess the best way to test out if a CPU can handle a certain task is to try the the task on a computer with such a CPU? – user11355 Nov 11 '14 at 19:13
  • @Doeser The best thing to do is run benchmarking tools to get a number off of one system compared to another. But GHz alone is meaningless. It always has been. For example, a Pentium CPU running at 2.0GHz is not going to be the same a Celeron CPU running at 2.0GHz; the Celeron would be slower because it has less onboard cache. – JakeGould Nov 11 '14 at 19:17

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