Modern GPS receivers normally have 12 or more channels which can receive data from 12 different satellites simultaneously. Satellites are moving fairly rapidly along their paths and the ability of the receiver to 'lock' onto a large number of satellites means that they are always using the best data available. It also means that their 'startup' times are very quick.
The oldest receivers have very few channels, so they have to divide their time between using data from only one or a few satellites and searching for new ones. They are inherently slow.
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