Instructions Per Second (MIPS)

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Instructions Per Second is a metric by which a computer processor’s speed can be measured. It relates the number of instructions that a CPU can execute, counted in millions, within a given time period.

Millions of Instructions Per Second is calculated by the following formula:

mips formula1


MIPS is a poor metric for performance has two notable issues:

  1. Instructions are not standardized between machines;
  2. Non CPU delays such as I/O and memory can impact overall execution time;

As reported by PC magazine in November 24, 1987; the MIPS metric has so many shortcomings that it is popularly referred to as Meaningless Indices of Performance (R).

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Zαck West
Entrepreneur, programmer, designer, and lifelong learner. Can be found taking notes from Mother Nature when not hammering away at the keyboard.