How To Understand The Clock Speed In A Processor

Abhishek Kumar
2 min readMay 13, 2019

Electronics and their derivatives have come a long way since they began and now you need to keep an eye on almost every single thing to ensure that you get the best one.

And as far as your smartphone is concerned, you are least likely to settle for anything less than the best performing one, unless there’s a budget crunch.

Who do you think powers the performance of a smartphone? Well, this is certainly the processor of the gadget and while you look at the processor specifications, you must have come across the term ‘clock speed’.

Let us take an example:

Realme 3 is one of the trending smartphones which contains the powerful MediaTek Helio P70 Octa Core processor which has a clock speed of 2.1GHz

Did you ever care to understand what this clock speed actually is? Let us explain this to you:

What Is Clock Speed?

Clock speed is defined as the speed at which the processor can accomplish a processing cycle. And the term Megahertz or Gigahertz written after it are the units that measure the clock speed.

While one Megahertz represents one million clock cycles per second, a Gigahertz signifies a billion cycles per second.

So this means if clocked at 2.1GHz, the primary speed of the processor 2.1 billion cycles per second. Interesting; isn’t it?

And now let us understand the relationship between cores and the clock speed.

Clock Speed & Number of Cores:

You must be hearing the term ‘core’ adjoined with a number literally every day. For instance, you would have already heard about the dual-core processor, quad-core processors, and octa-core processors etc.

How many cores do you need in your smartphone?

How do cores influence the clock speed? Do you have such questions in your mind?

Let us resolve even these for you:

A core can be defined as a single processing unit in a system and thus, multi-core processors tend to possess multiple processing units.

This means if your smartphone is octa-core, it has 8 processing units and a 2GHz processor with 8 cores will have a total clock speed of 16GHz. So does this mean your smartphone would run faster with more cores and better clock speed? Well, this too is not necessary and here it depends on the architecture of the processor.

On the bottom-line, clock speed or clock rate can be defined as the speed at which the processor executes some instruction. The CPU needs some fixed number of clock cycles for the execution of the instructions and the faster the clock in your processor, more are the instructions that CPU executes per second.



Abhishek Kumar

A Passionate Writer with love for Technology. I love discovering new gadgets and writing about smartphones. However, do not let technology take away your sleep.