What is Hertz (Hz)?

Hertz or Hz refers to the unit that indicates a single cycle per second. Technically, a hertz equals 0.00000000125 cycles per second, which is calculated on the basis of the frequencies or waves of electric changes in a second.

This unit is widely used in the world of computers to indicate the clock speed of the Central Processing Unit or CPU. Apart from the CPU, hertz is also the unit that refers to the frame rate or refresh rate of the computer monitor.

Understanding Hertz (Hz)

What is Hertz (Hz)

Hertz refers to the standard unit of measurement for frequency. Typically, frequency refers to the cycles per second, and therefore, one hertz is equal to one cycle per second.

The hertz is named after the German physicist Heinrich Rudolf Hertz and is used commonly to measure different frequencies such as sound waves, radio waves, and light waves.

Typically, hertz is an SI derived unit where the base unit is one second. Therefore, one hertz is the reciprocal of one second and is expressed as s-1.

Usually, it is expressed in higher multiples such as:

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There are lots of different multiples and submultiples of hertz, but these are the most common ones used in the world of computers, with THz being used relatively less often.

In computers, this unit is used to measure the clock speed of the CPU and the refresh rate of the monitor.

This means that, by looking at the Hz value, you can guess how many instructions in a second the CPU can handle or the number of times an image will be refreshed on a monitor.

However, in the case of processors especially, higher multiples of hertz are commonly used because these chips can process millions or billions of instructions in one second.

The hertz is considered to be the primary unit of measurement of the performance of the CPU and is well accepted by the manufacturers and the general populace.

However, a few specialists have disapproved of this approach. They claim that this is a benchmark that can be manipulated very easily.

This may not only lead to confusion but also suppress the actual performance of the CPUs and the computer monitors.

What is Hertz in Computer Monitor?

For a computer monitor, hertz refers to its refresh rate. This indicates the number of times the monitor can draw a new image and display it in one second. This means that a 144-Hz monitor will be able to refresh images 144 times in a second.

Remember, when you look at the computer display, you are actually not seeing a single, static image.

In fact, it is the same image that is updated or refreshed several times in quick succession to give you the impression of a single static image.

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The higher the Hz or the refresh rate of the monitor, the more information will reach your eyes. This will make an animation or an image look smoother.

Most of the monitors today come with a 60 Hz refresh rate, which is quite good for doing basic computing tasks at home or the office.

Jobs may include word processing, working on spreadsheets, email and watching YouTube videos.

However, for better performance and less strain on your eyes, a monitor with a 120 Hz refresh rate is recommended.

On the other hand, for gaming and other creative and graphics intensive tasks, you will need monitors with a higher refresh rate of 144 Hz or 240 Hz.

When your screen flickers, especially on an older monitor, it indicates that the refresh rate is low.

So low that it is visible to the naked eye. In such situations, you may change the refresh rate of your monitor manually to resolve the issue.

Here is how you should do it:

If this does not work, check or change the display cables. If it does not work even then, consider that it is high time you change your old monitor.

What is One Hertz in Speed?

In terms of speed, one hertz is equal to one cycle per second. It simply means one complete cycle. Therefore, 100 Hz would signify one hundred complete cycles per second.

However, with reference to speed, the concept of hertz can be applied to any kind of periodic event such as measuring the clock speed, or beating of a human heart.

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In the case of computer clock speed, 1 hertz is equal to one tick per second.

It can be said that the clock ticks at 1 Hz, and for a human heart, it can be said that it beats at 1.2 Hz.

In computers the clock speed is usually measured in higher multiples of hertz such as in 1 Megahertz or MHz, which is equal to one million ticks per second or 1 Gigahertz or GHz, which is equal to one billion ticks per second.

This clock speed can be used to roughly determine how fast the computer is.

For example, a 2 GHz computer will be much faster than a 1.4 GHz system, considering that the amount of memory and the type of processor in the two are the same.

However, such comparison cannot be made between computers having different types of processor and amount of memory.


Hertz is the common lowest unit for measuring the speed or frequency of the computer and its different parts such as the CPU.

This unit is also used to measure and indicate the frame rate of a computer monitor.

However, the frequency of the CPU is expressed in either MHZ or GHz more commonly.