Megahertz' indicates millions of cycles per second. For computer processors, megahertz refers to the clock speed of the processor. Clock speed is the measure of the number of cycles, or electronic pulses, that a computer can perform in one second. This is not equal to the number of instructions the processor can perform per second, however. To execute an instruction, a computer requires a certain number of electronic pulses, which varies depending on the model of the processor. Hence, a 500 MHz processor that requires 100 pulses to perform an instruction is capable of executing five million instructions per second. A faster computer needs fewer pulses to complete an instruction, which is why a Pentium processor running at 100 MHz is faster than a 486 processor running at the same clock speed. Basically, the more megahertz the processor has, the more instructions it can accomplish per second, and the faster it can run games, applications, and spreadsheets. Additionally, megahertz is also used to indicate the speed of the computer's other internal components, such as the data bus, which transports information between the processor and other hardware devices. Besides megahertz, computer speed is also determined by such factors as RAM, or Random Access Memory, and the access speed of the hard drive. For more information, consult a computer professional.
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