Bandwidth and latency - Tech Learning

Bandwidth and latency

Question: What is the difference between bandwidth and latency, and how can you tell how fast a computer really is when looking at these numbers? The IT Guy says: Bandwidth of a computer is generally understood to be the processing speed of the machine, which factors in different aspects of the computer’s
Author:
Publish date:

Question: What is the difference between bandwidth and latency, and how can you tell how fast a computer really is when looking at these numbers?

The IT Guy says:
Bandwidth of a computer is generally understood to be the processing speed of the machine, which factors in different aspects of the computer’s architecture and components. In order to process a request, program code must be translated from the RAM memory to the CPU via the system bus. Latency is defined as the delay or amount of time it takes for the computer’s memory to respond to a request originating from the CPU. The bandwidth numbers that are generally touted by computer sales folks are typically theoretical maximum values that are rarely or ever achieved in actual practice.

To compare “Apples to Apples†(no pun intended) when it comes to computer performance, you can look at benchmark testing that utilizes identical software programs to perform identical computing tasks. One website that provides these types of comparisons is Mac vs. PC System Shootouts.

For more detail on the nuances of bandwidth and latency, refer to Jon "Hannibal" Stokes’ article “Understanding Bandwidth and Latencyâ€.

Next Tip: Resetting At-Ease Administrator Password

Featured

Related

Image placeholder title

Infrastructure, Bandwidth and Access

The challenges facing CIOs, ITdirectors, and others responsiblefor planning and maintainingdistrict infrastructure continueto grow under pressure from avariety of factors.

Image placeholder title

Infrastructure, Bandwidth and Access

The challenges facing CIOs, IT directors, and others responsible for planning and maintaining district infrastructure continue to grow under pressure from a variety of factors.

NJ district boosts bandwidth, learning

School districts throughout New Jersey continue to turn to fiber to cut voice and data costs and remove the bandwidth boundaries that have traditionally stifled connected learning opportunities.

Large Texas district looks to wireless for bandwidth, speed

  The second largest school district in the San Antonio area, North East Independent School District (NEISD) has more than 70 schools and magnet programs, with an expected fall 2010 enrollment of 66,000 students. The district offers a web-based curriculum and provides students with technology resources to conduct research, complete assignments and communicate with others to complement their learning experience.