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Old Jan 30, 2010, 09:23 PM   #1
mathcolo
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Do CPUs get slower over time?

I was just wondering... do CPUs get slower over time? For example, if someone's computer is doing a ton of video encoding or compiling, would the CPU get slower?
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Old Jan 30, 2010, 09:28 PM   #2
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No, unless it is malfunctioning.

It's not like gas, which by using gets depleted or something like that.

When a CPU has X transistors to use, it will stay X transistors no matter what you do, be it encoding or something other which is CPU intensive.

If a CPU has X transistors and one or more transistors get blown out (X - Y transistors), the CPU will not work anymore.
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Old Jan 30, 2010, 09:35 PM   #3
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Oh, okay. That makes sense. I guess when it feels like a computer is getting slower, I've just been influenced by newer, faster computers
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Old Jan 30, 2010, 09:42 PM   #4
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The rest of the computer can get slower over time, though. Usually this is related to the software installed on the system. Rarely a system will slow down due to a hardware problem such as a hard drive starting to fail or overheating caused by blocked or extremely dirty air vents. The CPU itself should not slow down unless it was damaged by something like overheating, operating while wet, or a power surge.
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Old Jan 30, 2010, 11:17 PM   #5
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Oh, okay. That makes sense. I guess when it feels like a computer is getting slower, I've just been influenced by newer, faster computers
Right. Your system gets "clogged up" over time... extra apps that aren't needed, etc.

If you were to erase the system and reinstall what it originally had on it, it would run at nearly the same speed as it did when you first got it.
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Old Jan 30, 2010, 11:31 PM   #6
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Another thought is the effect of newer software. While many times Apple optimizes their software for better performance on their older hardware, apps like video editing suites, after 2-3 years start to utilize newer processors better and leave older ones with less performance than an older, lighter suite.
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Old Jan 30, 2010, 11:35 PM   #7
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Talking

I was just going to write a response similar to yours, i totally agree with your thought on it. This is a point many people tend to overlook regarding "slower CPUs".

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Another thought is the effect of newer software. While many times Apple optimizes their software for better performance on their older hardware, apps like video editing suites, after 2-3 years start to utilize newer processors better and leave older ones with less performance than an older, lighter suite.
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Old Jan 30, 2010, 11:36 PM   #8
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interesting thread!

can individual transistors become damaged over time and the CPU still work correctly? or will it die straight away?
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 10:20 AM   #9
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It's not like gas, which by using gets depleted or something like that.
How in the world could a GPS get depleted? That makes no sense to me. The GPS sats get nudged now and then to stay in the right position, but a GPS receiver keeps working perfectly fine for years.
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 10:26 AM   #10
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who's talking about gps though?
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 10:53 AM   #11
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interesting thread!

can individual transistors become damaged over time and the CPU still work correctly? or will it die straight away?
It depends which transistors, generally, if any single one of the transistors dies, it usually kills the processor, as the whole process is synced to use x amount of transistors all the time, completely throws off the balance power wise.

However, there is ONE exception I know of. Back in the days I was working with someone who was overclocking an Athlon XP, and he "blew" the cache from heat. There was a small tiny black spot on the die, and the processor was only using 128 or the 512 (I believe 512k) cache that the CPU had. So my guess is that's the one place in a CPU a transistor can fail, unfortunately, it will bring a good portion of the cache down with it.

As for the GPS thing, I don't know where that came from...
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 11:50 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by spinnerlys View Post
No, unless it is malfunctioning.

It's not like gas, which by using gets depleted or something like that.

When a CPU has X transistors to use, it will stay X transistors no matter what you do, be it encoding or something other which is CPU intensive.

If a CPU has X transistors and one or more transistors get blown out (X - Y transistors), the CPU will not work anymore.
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How in the world could a GPS get depleted? That makes no sense to me. The GPS sats get nudged now and then to stay in the right position, but a GPS receiver keeps working perfectly fine for years.
There maybe you can see better now, he said GAS as in GASOLINE not GPS.
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 01:21 PM   #13
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grmph...need new glasses.
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Old Jan 31, 2010, 06:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smc333 View Post
It depends which transistors, generally, if any single one of the transistors dies, it usually kills the processor, as the whole process is synced to use x amount of transistors all the time, completely throws off the balance power wise.

However, there is ONE exception I know of. Back in the days I was working with someone who was overclocking an Athlon XP, and he "blew" the cache from heat. There was a small tiny black spot on the die, and the processor was only using 128 or the 512 (I believe 512k) cache that the CPU had. So my guess is that's the one place in a CPU a transistor can fail, unfortunately, it will bring a good portion of the cache down with it.
that explains it nicely and it makes sense. if a transistor died and the whole CPU kept thinking that transistor was fine, computation errors would be coming up every second!

nice story lol
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