GHz vs MHz: Difference and Comparison

Both these units measure clock speed or the rate at which a processor can complete one cycle.

GHz is the greater unit that measures clock speed in billions, while MHz is the smaller unit that measures the millions of clock cycles in a processor. Thus, one GHz is equal to 109 hertz, while one MHz is equal to 106 hertz.

Key Takeaways

  1. GHz (Gigahertz) and MHz (Megahertz) are units of measurement for frequency, specifically for measuring the clock speed of a computer processor.
  2. GHz is equivalent to one billion cycles per second, while MHz is equivalent to one million cycles per second.
  3. GHz is faster than MHz and indicates a higher processing speed, which is important for running complex applications and multitasking.

GHz vs. MHz

GHz (gigahertz) stands for billions of cycles per second, whose frequencies are used in modern computer processors, indicating the frequency of a signal. MHz (megahertz) stands for millions of cycles per second, with frequencies used more in radio communication and older computer processors.

GHz vs MHz
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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGHzMHz
DefinitionGHz is the unit of frequency used to measure the billions of cycles completed per second in a processor, where one GHz is equal to 109 hertz.MHz is the frequency unit used to measure the millions of cycles completed per second, where one MHz equals 106 hertz.
Full FormGHz stands for Gigahertz.MHz stands for Megahertz.
Measurement1 GHz is equivalent to 109 hertz.1 MHz is equivalent to 106 hertz.
UsesGHz is the frequency used to measure the processing power of home or office computers.MHz is the frequency used to measure the processing power of microprocessors.
Number of Cycles Per SecondOne GHz is mathematically equal to one billion cycles per second.One MHz is mathematically equal to one million cycles per second.
Alternative usageGHz is used to measure the frequency of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networks.MHz measures the frequency of cordless telephones, radio waves, TV broadcasting, spread spectrum signals, etc.
RelationshipI GHz is 1000 times greater than 1 MHz.I MHz is 1000 times smaller than 1 GHz.

What is GHz?

Gigahertz or GHz measures the frequency of cycles a processor completes per unit of time. These periodic cycles are also commonly known as clock speed.

The unit Hertz was named after the renowned German scientist Heinrich Hertz.

GHz measures clock speed in billions. Thus, one gigahertz is equal to 1,000,000,000 hertz. One GHz is also commonly represented as a factor of 10, such that:

1 GHz = 109

It can also be converted into the lower measuring unit of megahertz. The relationship between the two units can be summoned as follows:

1 GHz = 1,000 MHz

GHz is commonly implicated in measuring CPUs’ synchronic clock cycle frequencies as gigahertz indicates the processor’s speed; the greater the GHz measurement, the faster the computer.

However, other factors affect the speed of a computer, including components like software design and disc performance.

ghz

What is MHz? 

Hertz is the unit used to measure the number of cycles of an oscillating body. The abbreviation MHz connotes Megahertz.

MHz is the unit of measurement used to calculate the frequency of millions of clock time cycles completed per unit of time.

It is a common Hertz multiplier used to calculate the periodic cycles of a microprocessor. One MHz is mathematically equivalent to 1,000,000 hertz. 1 MHz can also be represented as 106 hertz. `

A value in MHz can also be converted to GHz. However, one has to remember that megahertz is a smaller unit of measurement than gigahertz.  Hence, megahertz is related to gigahertz in the following way:

1000 MHz = 1 GHz

MHz is commonly used to measure the frequency of microprocessors. It is also infrequently used to measure radio waves, television broadcasting, high-speed digital data transmission bandwidths, etc.

MHz is frequently used to measure spread spectrum signals.

mhz

Main Differences Between GHz and MHz

  1. The main difference between GHz and MHz is that while both measure the number of cycles per second in a processor, One GHz is equivalent to 109 hertz, while one MHz is equivalent to 106 hertz. Hence, GHz measures the billions of cycles completed per second, while MHz measures the millions of cycles completed per second.
  2. The full form of each abbreviation is also different. The abbreviation MHz connotes Megahertz, while GHz stands for Gigahertz.
  3. Both these units are used to measure the processing power of computers. While GHz is used to measure the processing power of office and household computers, MHz is used to measure the processing power of much smaller microprocessors.
  4. Cordless telephones, radio waves, and television broadcasting bandwidths operate in the MHz range, while Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networks operate in the GHz range.
  5. One MHz equals one million cycles completed per second, while one GHz connotes the billions of cycles completed per second.
  6. The relationship between the two concepts can also be viewed as a point of difference when analyzed from each side. As a larger unit of measurement, GHZ is 1000 times greater than MHz. Conversely, 1 MHz is 1000 times smaller than 1 unit of GHz.
Difference Between GHz and MHz
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0021979786903085
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7347979/

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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