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A Faster Bus

If you hang around PCs long enough, you'll hear somebody talking about a “bus.” A bus is basically a collection of circuits or tiny wires within a computer through which data travels. To my mind, it's misnamed: When I think of a bus, I envision a vehicle that travels over a highway. But in the computer world, the bus is actually the highway. Like all highways, the number of lanes helps determine how fast you can drive. So a bigger bus is like a wider highway.

Some busses are faster than others. The bus on the Pentium 4, for example, is faster than that on the Pentium III. Don't get too hung up on this, though—like all other specifications, it's only part of the story. But if you hear about a bus, just remember that they're like highways and the bigger the highway, the faster you can go.


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