Bits/Bytes/Hertz explained basically


Worldz Biggest Oddball
VIP Member
Dec 10, 2009
Reaction score
Colorado Lounge
(i came accross this on some dental blog lol, but found it interesting for a complete novice)

Computers can really be broken down to this simplest item, the bit. A bit is either on or off, where on=1 and off=0. It takes eight of these little bits, grouped together, to represent the letters and numbers you see on a computer screen. This grouping of 8 bits is then called a byte. So, 1 byte=8 bits. Easy enough, right? (A[Ascii character]= 1 byte = 8bits (wide) = 01000001 [binary] = 65[decimal]) Notice the number of binary bits=8? If you have a computer handy, you can right click on one of your files, choose properties, and the computer will show you the statistics on how many Bytes make up that file. This is where many people will get lost because of the abbreviated way in which computers report the number of bytes. The following bullets should help you get back on track. • 357 bytes Simply Three Hundred Fifty Seven bytes, or letters. • 357 Kbytes (KB) (K=multiplier for 1,000, Kilobytes) Three Hundred Fifty Seven Thousand bytes or letters. • 357 Mbytes (MB) (M=multiplier for 1,000,000 [i.e.- one million] Megabytes • 357 Gbytes (GB) (G=multiplier for 1,000,000,000 (i.e. one billion) Gigabytes The speed at which these bits are moved around inside the computer, and over your network are shown in bps, or bits per second. In addition these bits are moved over parallel paths on the computer’s “bus” which provides an interconnection path for all the internal components to exchange bits and bytes with each other. Let’s say that your computer’s bus is 32 bits wide (which most of today’s “in-use” computers are). That means that 32 individual wires are designed into the computer’s bus for the specific purpose of transporting the data bits between the computer’s elements (disks, cpu, memory, display, printers, etc.) Since 8 bits = 1 byte, it can be extrapolated that this bus can move 4 bytes at any one time. That gets us to hertz, otherwise denoted as Hz. Hertz is the unit of measurement for the number of cycles completed in one second. Hence 60Hz (the cycling speed of your AC power outlets on the wall) means “60 times per second”. The multipler letters (above) are also used with Hz. So Khz means “kilohertz”, Mhz means “megaherz” (one million times per second), Ghz means Gigahertz (1 billion times per second). To get an idea of the significance of the Hertz, realize this: a 32 bit computer bus operating at 500Mhz could move 2 billion bytes in one second; a 32 bit computer bus operating at only 3Ghz could move 12 billion bytes! It pays to know your hertz. Of course the discussion above is tremendously oversimplified for obvious reasons. The actual speed of the modern day PCI bus found in most computers is actually capped at around 3.8Gbs, but the newer PCI-X bus (64 bits wide) is even faster and can be found in most newer machines. THANKS DAVE!
I had a rough idea about most of it, apart from the 32bit OS. I didn't have a clue what that meant, but it explained it on a level I could semi understand. :)