What Is A Gigaflop?

For people with limited technical knowledge about computers, the technical terms can be confusing. Even when shopping for a relatively simple home computer, a person is likely to encounter terms like gigabyte and RAM. Gigaflops is a term that relates to the performance of a computer. What is a gigaflop?

Actually, the term gigaflops is both plural and singular, so the use of the term “gigaflop” is incorrect. Gigaflops is a measurement of a computer’s speed and stands for a billion floating point operations per second. This is a measurement of the speed at which the computer can process calculations. For floating point measurements less than a billion, the term “FLOPS” may be used. Electronic devices like calculators use approximately ten FLOPS.

Many home computers do not have the capacity of even one gigaflops. Only the world’s fastest computers achieve over a billion floating point operations per second. These supercomputers have well over one hundred gigaflops. The speed of some supercomputers reaches petaflops which is one quadrillion FLOPS. Technology companies continue to try to outdo each other on developing the fastest computer.

The processing speeds of game consoles could be measured in gigaflops. According to several sources, the Playstation 3 has a central processing unit capable of two hundred eighteen gigaflops. The central processing unit of the Xbox 360 is slightly over one hundred fifteen gigaflops. Some sources give figures that are much higher than this which can be due to counting the gigaflops potential of the GPU even though the GPU isn’t used in computations.

A teraflops is one trillion floating point operations per second. Teraflops is sometimes abbreviated as TFLOPS. There has been a lot of controversy over inflated calculations of FLOPS of game consoles and computers.

Some people consider FLOPS to be an antiquated method of measuring a computer’s speed. If it is used to compare computers, using more than this factor is highly recommended by many technology experts. FLOPS can be a misleading measurement as some FLOPS measurements may include potential for speed instead of what the computer actually uses to process information.

Either accidentally or deceitfully, a fan or company of a computer or game console will sometimes claim that the computer system or game console in question has more FLOPS than it actually does. This causes discrepancies in information about computer systems. Doubts are often raised when a company claims to have a computer that far exceeds the current technology.

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