The words cap and overhead are synonyms?
Are they have the same meaning?
Can I treat them the same?

(After Edited)
Are these sentences the same:

  1. "The cap of the Computer Internet Packet is 1024KB"
  2. "The overhead of this packet is 1024KB".

Is the first one is correct English?

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    You need to provide more context, since each of those words each has many meanings. Can you use each one in a sentence where you think they have the same meaning? – Canadian Yankee Sep 16 '20 at 11:42
  • Have you tried looking in a good dictionary? If so, please edit your question to provide links, and maybe also copy the text of the meanings that you think might be the same. dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/overhead – JavaLatte Sep 16 '20 at 11:56
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    If they are numeric, the cap is the maximum and the overhead is the part that is needed above the amount that is desired. In many contexts, when they are equal nothing useful can be done. – Peter Sep 16 '20 at 12:18

This is something that gets repeated on this site often - that terminology (particularly IT terminology) is not always grammatical, and may have a completely different meaning in that context to any dictionary definition.

In this particular case, a packet "cap" pretty much mirrors the dictionary definition. A cap is a limit.

However, a packet "overhead" is the time it takes to transmit data on a packet-switched network. In English, an "overhead" is a cost or an expense, particularly one which you are obliged to pay regularly, for example, your rent is an "overhead". You may find the IT-related definition in some dictionaries but I couldn't find it. Terminology only really finds its way into the dictionary if it becomes part of everyday speech.

If you want to know the meanings of terminology that are not in the dictionary you would be best asking on a site dedicated to that particular field such as IT, or networking. Similarly, the part of your question about the difference between the two is an IT technical question, not an English grammar question.


They are completely different terms.

A “cap” is a maximum, in this case the maximum size of a packet.

The “overhead” is the amount in excess of the useful part, called the “payload” in the networking field.

The payload plus overhead must be less than the cap. Therefore, the larger the overhead is, the smaller the payload can be and the less efficient the system is.

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