What Is Bit-rate & Why Is It Important?

With the vast growth in technology, it’s quite common that people expect a very high speed and quality on everything that they do on computers, smartphones and many other gadgets. This speed and quality have a number of factors that relates to something which is called as Bit-rate.

Bit-rate usually depends on the context in which we use, but it a crucial thing to know about it and also the benefits provided by it.

What Actually Is Bit-rate?

A term that is used to describe the amount of data that is being used within a specified duration of time. Depending on the context, measurements of bit-rate commonly includes kbps and Mbps, meaning kilobits per second and megabits per second respectively. It matters not for the units being used, a higher number is good which indicates high speed or high quality.

Moreover, it is even important to realise that the lower numbers may put less strain on your hardware, which also may become important for devices such as netbooks and smartphones.

Internet

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A higher bit-rate is always desirable for Internet speed as it won’t allocate your own hardware under any extra stress and you can receive from it the content that you wish to want at an instant. You can do more with your Internet connection, if your bit-rate is a higher which is allows to play games online with a minimum lag, stream high definition movies and also can download huge files in a very less time.

You can assay what is the bit-rate that you are able to get when you visit a website like speedtest.net and go through that test. The bit-rate number is not as bad to be compared with the other bit-rate but generally, there won’t be an expecting number. The Google Fiber users and even some parts of the world can get the bit-rate speed as high as 1Gbps whereas the usual broadband cable users in the US get only 10Mbps which feel lucky.

There are more online discussions communities like Reddit about the prices of the Internet which are high in the US that considers the speed of Internet is very low and the initiatives as like the Google Fibre are getting started to make a difference.

Audio & Video

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If it is a case of audio and video, These bit-rates are defined in a separate manner. Here, these are referred as the amount of data being stored for every second of media which is played. for instance, an MP3 audio file of 320 Kbps is of high quality than the same file that is 128 Kbps, even though both of them were created from the same source file. Remember, a crappy-sound audio can’t get better when a higher bit-rate audio file is copied because of the evil source which doesn’t allow, to begin with. Hence, higher bit-rate is a general rule but it is not completely true.

The same rule applies for videos too, that a higher bit-rate has a higher quality than that of another video with the same resolution. Bit-rates are expected to be linearly increasing with the increase in resolution for processing a large amount of data. Hence, high bit-rate provide good quality for audio and video but the main drawback is that your hardware has to strain resulting in stutters.

Also remember that there are various compression algorithms being used by different file formats which result in lower bit-rate for high quality. However, the processing strain gradually speeds up for these algorithms.

Hard Drives & SSDs

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Last but not the least, it is also essential to be aware of the bit-rate of our had drive and SSD. This determines the speed of read and writes operations of the device that has a strong impact on the load and store times of larger files, games or programs. In general, the traditional hard drives have almost the same speed for both read and write operations, therefore it makes a difference only from their RPM: 5400, 7200 or 10000. Anyhow SSDs need not rely on RPM speed for the read and write operation speed as their flash based storage make use of controller chips for completing this operation of reading and writing the data.

It will be better to know the bit-rate for both the read and write operations as it is important, however. Mid-range SSDs has read and write speed as 500 Mbps and 200 Mbps respectively, whereas the higher-end SSDs roughly have 500 Mbps for both read and write. The overall performance of your system will be affected by the speed of the hard drive, even if you have an excellent CPU, a fast graphics card and a high-frequency RAM.

Conclusion :

Hope, you have got cleared with what exactly a Bit-rate is and its importance so as to reduce its effect on the operation being performed on computers or mobile devices such as laptops and those which consists of the hard drive. We can compare bit-rate for concrete comparison. Even it allows combining the concepts mentioned above to be more familiar with how data streaming works – whether the bit-rate of a video is higher than your Internet connection.