The Computer Latency Calendar

Imagine how Apple's M1 chip feels a 2-second API response.

I recently saw this Gist and Interactive Page, so I thought it would be cool to update it for the 2020s. This can serve as a visualization of how fast a modern computer is.

How to read this calendar

Imagine 1 CPU cycle took 1 second. Compared to that, Apple's M1 chip has a CPU cycle of 0.25 ns approx. That's 4,000,000,000 times difference. Now, imagine how M1 would feel one second in real life.

Action Physical Time M1 Time
1 CPU Cycle 0.25ns 1 second
L1 cache reference 1ns 4 seconds
Branch mispredict 3ns 12 seconds
L2 cache reference 4ns 16 seconds
Mutex lock 17ns 68 seconds
Send 2KB 44ns 2.93 minutes
Main memory reference 100ns 6.67 minutes
Compress 1KB 2μs 2.22 hours
Read 1MB from memory 3μs 3.33 hours
SSD random read 16μs 17.78 hours
Read 1MB from SSD 49μs 2.27 days
Round trip in the same data center 500μs 23.15 days
Read 1MB from the disk 825μs 38.20 days
Disk seek 2ms 92.60 days
Packet roundtrip from California to Seoul 200ms 25.35 years
OS virtualization reboot 5s 633 years
SCSI command timeout 30s 3,802 years
Hardware virtualization reboot 40s 5,070 years
Physical system reboot 5m 38,026 years