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MIPS - Million Instructions Per Second
By:Christine Martz
A measure of a computer processorís speed and power that approximately measures the number of millions of machine instructions that a processor can execute in one second, or, in millions of instructions per second. There is no standard method for measuring MIPS because some instructions require less or more time than others. MIPS only refers to the CPU speed. Computer applications may be limited by factors such as I/O speed and because of this, a computer with a high MIPS rating may not run a particular application faster than a machine with a low MIPS rating. For all these reasons, MIPS ratings are not used often anymore because of advancements in computers that give a more accurate rating of a computerís performance. As an example of the advancement of CPU speed over the last two decades, The Motorola 68000 processor 1979 ran at 1 MIPS at 8 Mhz in the year 1979 compared to the Intel Core 2 X6800 processor which runs at 27079 MIPS at 2.93 Ghz in 2006.

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