Feeds

Research reveals mislaid microprocessor megahertz

The more CPUs speed up, the more they slow down

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.