what does motherboard base clock speed really mean???

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Treypound
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say a motherboard has a base clock speed of 300 MHz what does this really mean?


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ByEeek
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It means there is a crystal mounted on the motherboard, sending a signal to the processor's clocking unit at the rate of 300MHz. It doesn't mean the processor can handle 300 million instructions per second.
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Treypound
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(Original post by ByEeek)
It means there is a crystal mounted on the motherboard, sending a signal to the processor's clocking unit at the rate of 300MHz. It doesn't mean the processor can handle 300 million instructions per second.
what does the signal entail though? isnt it the speed data can move round the whole motherboard?


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ByEeek
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Oh crumbs. Now you ask. The clock generates a square wave that is used as a heartbeat to the motherboard. Moving data from one component to another is slightly more involved and depends on the chip set, underlying architecture and instruction set. It is too much to explain in a post on here, but if you are interested, look for some books on digital electronics that show how Finite State Machines are designed from the simple NAND gate upwards and then from that introduce basic CPU concepts. Alas, my second year digital electronics lectures are rather hazy these days.

Good luck!
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