CPU frequency: Is 1.0 GHz too low?

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Olinguito, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Olinguito Registered Member

    Hi all. I have a question about my laptop which I hope someone can answer.

    I recently bought a new laptop, the reason being that my old one, which I had had for two years, was becoming very slow – it also had a habit of randomly freezing (usually every twenty-four hours), leaving me with no choice but to reboot by disconnecting and reattaching the battery. I suspected it was a RAM problem. It had a RAM of only 1 GB whereas a friend of mine said that what a moderately decent computer really needs nowadays is at least 4 GB of RAM.

    My new laptop has 4 GB RAM, but it doesn’t seem to be much quicker than my old one. It is slightly faster, but only very slightly. Then I thought it might be something to do with processor frequency. My old laptop had a CPU frequency of 1.67 GHz; when I looked at the specification of my new laptop, I was a bit disconcerted to find that it was even less, only 1.0 GHz!

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    At least my new laptop isn’t randomly freezing up like my old one. But I’m still wondering about the 1GHz frequency of my new laptop. Is it too low? :bugeye: These are the full specifications for my new and old laptop:

    Old (bought in September 2011): Intel® Atom™ CPU N455 @ 1.66 GHz 1.67 GHz

    New (just bought): AMD Dual-Core Processor A4-1250 (1.0 GHz)​
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  3. andy1033 Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

    Dual core with 1.0ghz should be able to run basic tasks.

    its not the 1.0ghz, it depends what sort of chip it is, and what the chip has in terms of tech.

    So your 1.0ghz dual core is better than a single core 1.0ghz from 10 years back.

    But anything less than 2.0ghz dual core will be slow on anything more than basic browsing. Atoms are ok just for browsing.

    So really you need a decent chip with 2.0ghz dual core, and your fine.

    Also 2gb ram will run win7 fine.
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  5. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    Notebooks aren't the same as Laptops, they are made to be low cost, low energy usage and unfortunately low speed compared to laptops and computers. They also tend to have a limited form of any OS and lack such things as DVD drives (which isn't necessary if you are using USB sticks or USB external drives). If you want a system that's more responsive then you'd likely start looking at Laptops or Tablet cross-breeds, these are of course more expensive but for that money you do gain greater performance.

    As Andy has mentioned the way CPU's are now if they can have multiple layers within them to act as more than one logical core (In the case of the A4-1250, while the CPU is 1Ghz, it has two logical cores that can both run at that speed. Multiple cores can function better than single cores depending on the software/drivers used, old software has to be emulated into a multicore environment or made to be handled by just one core for compatibility, as there is no net gain for software that can't interact with the architecture or internal management.)

    If you felt your new system was a "Lemon" (Which it isn't necessarily, it's just a very low level notebook compared to the systems that some of us toy with), you just purchased it from a shop then you might still be within a consumer return period as you might have been mis-sold by a store junior that either didn't know what they were selling or blatantly knew, failing that you could possible resell it if you wanted to upgrade to a better system. You won't get 100% of your money back and you'd have to make sure that you completely reformatted the drive and reinstalled the OS if you've had any personal data on it. (That's why it's a good rule of thumb especially with notebooks to store your personal information on usb sticks, preferably encrypted. I say sticks as you should store the information on just one if you want to make sure you don't lose that info and never store the two or most sticks in the same place.)

    When purchasing replacement systems it's usually comprised of either doing a bit of research yourself or aiding others in aiding you to find the right tool for the job. The questions that usually get asked:
    • What did you feel was wrong with your old system?(if you had one) (It was too slow?, it froze?, It had outdated software? It couldn't run certain programs? The screen was too small? etc)
    • What do you want to be able to do with a new system? (Run a particular program? play a particular game? run more than one thing at the same time? etc)
    • How long do you want a new system to last? (1, 3 or 5 years usually, any further than that and the technology is going to be severely outdated anyway)
    • What is your budget?
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  7. CHRIS.Q Registered Senior Member

    wow , Long article
  8. Olinguito Registered Member

    Thanks andy1033 and Stryder.

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    Yeah, I normally just use the computer for browsing. I don’t usually play music or movies on my laptop – for music I just listen to the radio, and movies I can watch on my DVD player. It’s just that webpages that contain a lot of media stuff don’t seem to load as quickly as I would like them to.

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    I wasn’t mis-sold my netbook: I deliberately chose a netbook over a laptop because I wanted something I could conveniently carry with me wherever I go (laptops with DVD drives tend to be bulkier and less conveniently portable). And yeah, I admit that price consideration did affect my decision a little. So it was my fault I didn’t check the CPU specs fully in the first place.

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    Anyway, having chosen the product, it’s nice to know more about its capabilities and limitations.

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    As I said, I wanted a new computer because my old one was slow and constantly froze up. While my new one is only slightly faster, at least it’s not freezing up. (I think the freezing-up problem is due to lack of RAM; 4GB RAM should take care of it.) I’ll make do with it now, at least for the next two or three years before thinking of buying a new one.

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  9. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Plus, if you ever do need to play/ burn discs with it, you can just plug an externally powered optical disc writer into a USB port. We once had an old notebook with only a single-core processor and 1GB RAM that even ran a bloated program like NERO adequately for such. But OTOH, those were the XP/Vista-is-unpopular days. One of those "things" sold from '09- to '10 -- that was stuck with a trimmed Win7 "starter" version -- might not have sufficed. I've never used the Chrome OS that's taken over the notebook market, but I assume there's surely some external optical-disc drive / software program that would be compatible with it.
  10. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    Freezing up and drastic slowing on a system usually gets me to do a thorough malware screening.

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  11. Supertrooper Registered Member

    For me, laptop >>> notebook, always. Performance >>> portability, I do not care about having a 17 inch laptop, as long as it can run smooth and fine.

  12. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    The AMD A4 is a very capable little low-power chip, all said and done. The APU design integrates a proper graphics processor onto the CPU die- just look at the A8 and A10 models, they are quite competent! The A4 is an entry level chip. Now, admittedly, with a little tweaking you could probably boost that to 1.1 or maybe even 1.2 ghz, but for web browsing you don't need that.

    One thing to consider is your browser and how many tabs you have open. Google chrome, for example, creates a new "instance" of itself for each tab you have open, and an additional "instance" for each tab using peppaflash, Chromes built-in flash player. This isn't normally a problem, but if you have eight tabs open with two of them running flash/shockwave objects (such as games, streaming music, etc) you can quickly find your RAM being utilized in places where you don't need it to be, and will give the appearance of a system slowdown in whatever task you are actually doing at that time. Extra RAM will help somewhat with that, but something you can try is assigning those background tabs to one of your CPU cores, and the task you are actively focusing on to the other.

    Also, be wary of your anti-virus programs; Norton and McAffee, both long-time players and the "big dogs" in the industry, are incredible resource hogs and will slow almost any system way down. I recommend Avast and SpyBot as a free solution, Microsoft Security Essentials, or if you want a paid AV, Webroot.
  13. Olinguito Registered Member

    Thanks, C C, Stoniphi, Supertrooper, Kittamaru.

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    I might run a malware/virus scan on my old netbook – but as I have a new one now I might not bother for a while.

    I’ve been using Lavasoft Ad-Aware (also free). What do you think of that one?
  14. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    Ad - Aware comes with some baggage. I liked Avast (paid version) but use Norton on my desktops as I have the system resources such that it doesn't hurt performance. (this one has a fast 8 core AMD phenom, 32 Gigs of RAM, top-of-the-line Radeon graphics card and 2 - 2 terabyte HDD's, the other desktops are comparable)

    I would suggest MalWare Bytes to remove the resident malware though, once it is resident.
  15. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    Locking up or freezing can also be caused by an error on the hard drive. Go to windows explorer, and right click on your C: drive. Then select "properties" then "tools". The first option is to check for errors. Click on it. You can't run an error check while your running that drive, so it will ask you if want to schedule a disk check...say yes, and restart the computer. When the computer restarts it will run a disk check...just let it run...it may take a while.

    I use "combofix" from bleepingcomputer.com for virus/malware/adware removal. It doesn't prevent infections....it's a just a great tool to get rid of them.. It works wonders...get's rid of all the crap in your registry and any other thing that shouldn't be there....even the really nasty ones that are hard to get rid of.
  16. Olinguito Registered Member

    Done error checks many times – it still kept freezing up. :geek:

    Anyway thanks for the Adware recommendations.

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    You make me feel really jealous now. :bawl:
  17. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    Whether your new or old Laptop/Netbook, you should always keep an eye on Programs that are Running On Start-Up.
    I Posted about the "Microsoft Configuration Utility" and how to access and use it Post #19 of this Thread :


    If you decide to try " msconfig ", make sure that you enable (or leave enabled) your anti-virus/malware/firewall Programs to Run at Start-Up !!!

    You may want to do some research, but if you do use the "msconfig", it may fix the problem.
    I have seen numerous brand new (fresh-out-of-the-box!) laptops/pc's have as many as a dozen or more needless and resource hogging Programs Running on Start-Up.

    Give it a shot on your older laptop first.
  18. Huynh Phu Dat Registered Member

    The first time I use my laptop , I have the same problems .....
  19. Mathers2013 Banned Banned

    I always use a library computer for internet so I do not have that problem.
  20. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, isn't it just great how much money the Manufacturers and Retailers make by installing useless computer slowing junk on their already over-priced products - and then charging us even more for that junk that they are already paid to include???!!! - (Seavy Harcasm!)
  21. psikeyhackr Live Long and Suffer Valued Senior Member

    True, but...

    How bloated and inefficient is software going to get in the future?

    My desktop is 7 years old and it's a 2.5 GHz dual-core with 2 gig of RAM.

    I use it for test to speech a lot and I think it's slow.

    My next tablet will be 1.5 GHz quad-core. But I use a desktop and tablet not a laptop.

    The world's problem is crappy software. Who cares about efficiency any more? Hardware processing power exists to be wasted.

    But a computer can slow down because of disk fragmentation. Corruption in the Registry. Windows Sucks but it is difficult to avoid it completely. There can also be bad spots on the hard drive.

    I presume that 1 GHz dual-core had a low price. I don't think I would buy anything less than a 1.5 GHz quad-core these days.


    I would have to research and figure out exactly what I would do with the laptop but I would never give up the desktop.

  22. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    It should be noted that with various versions of windows it's possible to use "Readyboost" to increase your speeds a little. It's only really effective with systems that have low amounts of RAM (2Gb or so), it requires using USB sticks to act in place of extra RAM. (The CPU on low RAM levels can be forced to spend more time shifting data from RAM to harddrive and back, when a USB stick is used in a Readyboost situation it get's used instead of a harddrive which is faster at reading/writing data which in turn can free the CPU up to have a little more poke than it otherwise would.)

    ReadyBoost is available as standard in Vista/Win 7/win 8 (so don't download programs named it). It's possible to use up to 8 sticks (if you have enough ports) You can dedicate entire sticks or just part of them to function like this.

    While eventually a stick can wear out, they've come down alot in price, it's possible to pick a USB 3.0 8Gb stick in the UK for £4.40 (or less), probably even cheaper elsewhere. Adding or replacing RAM is approximately 10 times more expensive.

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