Feeds

Research reveals mislaid microprocessor megahertz

The more CPUs speed up, the more they slow down

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

April Fool It's no wonder we need to upgrade our computers on a regular basis. Not only are chip companies regularly releasing ever-faster microprocessors, but new research has revealed that modern CPUs actually lose megahertz over time.

This startling conclusion follows a five-year research programme carried out by the Illyria University's Information Technology department.

"Five years ago, we activated a dozen new, freshly-purchased systems," said Computer Science Professor Asteio Artikolos. "Since then we have measured, on average, a 10-15 per cent reduction in the machines' clock speeds over that time. It's as if each machine's stock of megahertz were somehow leaking away.

"Each year, we have added new, faster machines. Not only have these seen a similar reduction over time in the number of processing cycles available each second, but the rate of decrease is greater than older, slower microprocessors."

So far Artikolos and his team have been unable to explain the phenomenon. One possibility is that the effect is related to the time dilation effect discovered by Einstein. Any moving body operates on a different temporal frame of reference than a static one, said Artikolis. As processors are clocked higher, so their transistors move more quickly, altering their apparent speed when measured by benchmarkers in a state frame of reference.

"It's certainly the case that many computer users notice a decrease in performance over time," Artikolos told Register Hardware. "A machine that seemed incredibly fast on the day of purchase seems torpid within three years. Traditionally, this was blamed on reduced free hard drive space and the increased memory requirements of software updates. Our research suggests a more fundamental problem, one that centres on the very way modern microprocessors operate."

Artikolos' findings pose an interesting question: where exactly are all these megahertz ending up? More research, he said, was needed.

Intel was unavailable for comment. AMD, however, claimed to be well aware of the problem and to be already designing processors capable of working beyond the limits of Einsteinian mathematics - with a negative temporal displacement facility built in.

"It's why all our processors appear two years ahead of the other guys' stuff," a spokesman said.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?