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I just wanted to know the best (preferably a single-word) translation of the English word throughput. Would you opt for capacidad, rendimiento or función de transferencia? Thanks Artur

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It probably depends on context. In the context of, say, a hard disk, you clearly could not use "capacidad," because that would generally mean the storage capacity, not throughput capacity. Are you looking for an answer for a specific context? – Flimzy Feb 8 '12 at 20:35
@Artur can you add a bit of context? "The best translation" is just too vague, because it depends on too many things. For example, where you are going to use the word? How formal is the language you're using? Also, it seems like you're offering three options only, when the best translation might not even be one of those. – Janoma Feb 8 '12 at 21:40
When I was learning queueing theory for telecommunications, we used the word throughput, in English. I guess they had the same problem translating it, so they just used the word in English. – MikMik Feb 9 '12 at 9:46
@Artur, is your context data throughput or industrial throughput? – Walter Mitty Sep 16 '12 at 11:50
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Not easy... throughput, for me (I'm an engineer) means some "rate of production", i.e. (in very general sense) how much of some product some productor/machine produces as a function of time.

"Rendimiento" seems the more used translation. But, it sometimes implies a relative measure of productivity (how much is produced as a function of how much is consumed), a concept more akin to "efficiency"; hence, "un rendimiento del 100%". Despite this potential confusion, this seems the more apt word to me.

"Capacidad" is not very apt, it just means "capacity" - it would make sense only if in its context it can be understood as "capacity of production" - sometimes is used in this way; but then, it would only apply to a "theoretical/nominal throughput", not to an actual/measured throughput. "Función de transferencia" does not make much sense to me.

In some contexts, the least ambiguous translation would be "tasa (de X)", ("rate") where X is the relevant amount (eg: "tasa de transferencia" or "tasa de lectura"). Or, in general "tasa de producción", or simply "producción".

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Yes, as much as I can feel the word 'capacidad' - it is kind of static. However when we speak of road that is under construction and 2 out of 3 lanes are closed, we could certainly use that word, couldn't we? – Artur Feb 8 '12 at 20:52
Yes. But I'm not sure that "throughput" would be the apt word there. – leonbloy Feb 9 '12 at 0:59
That's because neither English or Spanish are my first language. The context is really broad, but the factory and road examples would be the best here. Funcción de transferencia was a suggested translation in a dictionary, but it just does not click in any context. – Artur Feb 9 '12 at 8:33
@Artur What is your first language? Maybe there is someone that knows the language and knows spanish very well too, so hir can help you. – Joze Feb 10 '12 at 11:59

There is no single word translation.

In case of HDD throughput (transfer rate) it's tasa de transferencia.

In case of network throughput it's ancho de banda. Note, that this literally translates to bandwidth.

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Bandwidth measures information passing capacity. Throughput measures actual information transfer. It's misleading to use one concept in place of the other, although Spanish usage might allow the same term to cover both concepts. – Walter Mitty Sep 13 '12 at 8:03
Busqué el término "ancho de banda" en wikipedia. Extraje lo suguiente del artículo: Es común denominar ancho de banda digital a la cantidad de datos que se pueden transmitir en una unidad de tiempo. – Walter Mitty Sep 15 '12 at 9:22
Según mi parecer, "ancho de banda" se refiere a un límite de "throughput" y nó a "throughput" en sí. – Walter Mitty Sep 15 '12 at 9:24

Some people might misread "rendimiento" as "performance". Performance and throughput are closely related concepts, so maybe it's close enough.

 Desfragmentar un disco mejora su rendimiento.


Busqué la palabra "Throughput" en Wikipedia. Por error mío, lo busqué en Wikipedia en español. Lo interesante es que hay un artículo para esa palabra en la versión española, y no se salta a otro término. Aquí presento las primeras tres frases.

Se llama throughput al volumen de trabajo o de información que fluye a través de un sistema. Así también se le llama al volumen de información que fluye en las redes de datos. Particularmente significativo en almacenamiento de información y sistemas de recuperación de información, en los cuales el rendimiento es medido en unidades como accesos por hora.

Parece que no hay una sola frase que quiere decir "throughput". En caso contrario, los autores de wikipedia seguramente lo habrían usado. El artículo completo describe el empleo de "throughput" en la informática, y también en la industria.

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