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How to Check the Cpu Speed

Patrick, a computer technician, is a dedicated writer who wishes to make the world better by informing individuals who seek more knowledge.

How to Determine the Speed of your Microprocessor

There are a few things that you need to check when buying a computer. This is because you want to get the best deal.

If you are to buy a computer whether new or old, it is important to check the following factors:

  1. Processor (CPU) speed.
  2. Amount of memory (RAM).
  3. Hard disk size.
  4. Graphics Card.
  5. Computer Software.
  6. Anti-Virus Software

The other things you can consider are; warranty, brand, size, peripherals, price, and usability.

Intel Core 2 Duo Processor

An Intel Core 2 Duo Processor

An Intel Core 2 Duo Processor

Microprocessor Speed

The processor speed is one of the most important features you should check. This is because it determines the rate at which your computer will execute program instructions.

The faster the processor speed the faster your computer will be. Slower computers will always tend to hang constantly while faster ones will work smoothly.

Slow computers also take much time to respond to a command. Most often you might find yourself waiting for it to finish processing even simple operations.

The best processor is gauged by the number of cores it has and the speed of these cores.

Older processors used to have single cores as opposed to multiple cores of modern processors.

The cores act as multipliers hence the more cores a processor has, the faster it will be. The multiple cores are used for multitasking purpose when you have several programs running at the same time.

So to determine the processor speed there are numerous ways you can use to check the speed of your computer’s processor.

These are just some of the ways you can use:

How to Determine the Speed of Microprocessor

1. When your computer is booting (starting), if it is a clone most of them will indicate the processor speed and memory size plus other details.

The boot process is usually very fast; therefore, you may have little or no time to read all that is on the screen during the boot process.

Press the pause key on your keyboard so that you can be able to pause the boot process screen allowing you to read all the text.

Also, many motherboard and computer manufacturers will have a BIOS screen as the computer boots up showing the company or motherboard logo. At this time, press the ESC key to display the text behind the logo.

CMOS Setup Program

For branded computers, you have to go to the CMOS setup program.

To go to CMOS settings, power on your computer and observe the screen keenly, you will be told which key to press to enter CMOS settings e.g. F1, F2, DEL, F10, ESC.

Scroll to Continue

Once you are there, you should be able to see the processor speed. There is also a lot of information about your computer and its devices that you will see in the CMOS setup program.

Most of this information is detailed.

The CMOS Setup Program

The Setup Program Where You Can Check CPU Speed

The Setup Program Where You Can Check CPU Speed

View System Information

2. You can allow your computer to boot then right click on my computer icon and select properties. You will be able to see your processor speed.

Alternatively, you can click on start, click on my computer and then on the top left-hand corner of the window that will open, select “view system information”.

  • Windows 7, Vista, XP - Right-click on Computer/My Computer in the Start menu and select "Properties". In Windows XP, you may need to click the "General" tab after selecting "Properties".
  • Windows 8 - Right-click on the Start button and select "System".
  • All Versions - Press ⊞ Win+Pause.

System Properties

Another way of checking processor speed using the system properties

Another way of checking processor speed using the system properties

Using the Dxdiag Command

3. Another way is that while your computer is on, you can also go to Start, click on Run and then type this command DXDIAG.

This will bring up the direct x diagnostic tool which will allow you to determine your processor speed.

DirectX Diagnostic Tool

Using the DXDIAG tool

Using the DXDIAG tool

Software for Checking CPU Speed

4. You can also download software that will enable you to check your processor speed.

You can try programs like;

  • CPU-Z
  • CPU UserBenchmark

Physical check

5. Lastly, you can also remove your processor and check on top of the chip physically, you will be able to see the processor ratings; however, care should be taken not to destroy your computer processor.

So if you are a newbie, you should not go for this method.

For Linux Users

In a Linux OS, you can use one of the following commands to view information about the processor in the computer.

$ cat /proc/cpuinfo

$ less /proc/cpuinfo

$ more /proc/cpuinfo

Processor speed for today’s processors is measured in GHz. So expect to see something like this 2.8 GHz, 3.0 GHz among others.

How to Check The Processor Speed

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Patrick Kamau


Patrick Kamau (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on February 23, 2011:

Thanks Peter for taking your time. Be sure to get more information from my hubs.

peter on February 23, 2011:

that's good information

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