Single vs Dual vs Quad

I'm sure this seems a silly question to most, but I can't understand processor speeds, is a dual core processor that does 3.00ghz just as fast as a quad core 3.00ghz? Or is the quad core twice as fast?

I understand it depends on the application to use all the cores, but say if it could, what would be best?

What other sort of factors effect a processors speed?
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  1. I will say this , It all depends on architecture. Whether or not the application can use all the cores is relevant only to the user and his budget. Now a days a Dual-core is almost a bare minimum. The Newer processors dont always have new Architecture but if it does thats what would make one of the same "speed" faster. So yes , an i7 will probably beat up a Core2Duo whether or not it supports all 4 cores. Same with Phenom over AthlonX2.

    Now I will let some one with more experience then me give you a more detailed and better answer.
  2. A normal PC has a lot of things going on the background. A dual core processor allows your PC to work on 2 things at the same time, so doing 2 things at once is nearly 2 times faster than 1 processor working on 1 thing for a second, working on something else for a second. However, a dual core processor does not make doing 1 thing twice as fast. Does that make sense? The more a program or OS is optimized to use more cores, that simply means it can spread more work out to more processors cores. But it does not mean that if a program is only doing 1 thing at a time, more cores will help much.
    Now, take for instance your OS, it has a lot going on the background. Windows can use 1 core to basically perform all of that work, while another core is running your video application that is running, or the game you are playing. So everything seems much faster and smoother. But 2 cores is not twice as fast as 1 core, and 4 cores is definetly not 4 times faster than 1 or even 2 times faster than 2 cores. But more cores, when programs or your OS can make use of them do have a pretty profound impact on OVERALL system speed and performance.
    There are many, many things that determine how much work a processor can do in a certain amount of time, and exactly what it is all dependant on. There are entire books written on the subject.
    There are also many, many articles written all over the web that will explain it all in boring detail. Google is your friend.
  3. Or an Octo-Core ^_^V

    i7 with Hyperthreading = WIN!
  4. hate to break it to ya stevensl2 but few years ago some company made workstation made of AMD 4x Opterons if im not wrong (basicly 4 sockets ~16 cores) :D fell the power! :P
  5. Gin Fushicho said:
    I will say this , It all depends on architecture. Whether or not the application can use all the cores is relevant only to the user and his budget. Now a days a Dual-core is almost a bare minimum. The Newer processors dont always have new Architecture but if it does thats what would make one of the same "speed" faster. So yes , an i7 will probably beat up a Core2Duo whether or not it supports all 4 cores. Same with Phenom over AthlonX2.

    Now I will let some one with more experience then me give you a more detailed and better answer.



    I just installed Windows 7 32 bit on two of my friend computers. One is a AM2 DELL with a single core 3500 at 2.2 ghz or 2.4 ghz not sure which. Not that Windows index score is worth to much, but the AMD scored a 4.3 belive on the the CPU score and the other computer was a Older Celeron at 2.96 ghz single core. It scored a 3.7 on the Windows ranking system. So I would also agree that architecture has alot to do with Speed, not just the clock speed on a processor.
  6. B_fox said:
    I'm sure this seems a silly question to most, but I can't understand processor speeds, is a dual core processor that does 3.00ghz just as fast as a quad core 3.00ghz? Or is the quad core twice as fast?

    I understand it depends on the application to use all the cores, but say if it could, what would be best?

    What other sort of factors effect a processors speed?



    it used to be that all processors had one "core" but about 4 years back it was getting harder to make faster processors so manufacturers made dual cores . These were just two of the earlier processors sharing a socket on the mb .
    Triple and quad cores ... well they just added more cores

    Theres a great article on this site in the cpu section about how more cores affect performance
    You get a good gain going from 1 to 2
    and a good gain going from 2 -3

    but very little extra from 3-4
  7. A quad core processor has 4 cores that run at it's rated speed. For example the Phenom II 965 runs at 3.4Ghz, each individual core runs at 3.4Ghz. What this does is allow more work to be done at the same time allowing for better multitasking. There are also more and more programs being created that can divide their work load among multiple cores so that it performs better when given more cores.
  8. B_fox said:
    I'm sure this seems a silly question to most, but I can't understand processor speeds, is a dual core processor that does 3.00ghz just as fast as a quad core 3.00ghz? Or is the quad core twice as fast?
    Think of it like your kitchen vs. the kitchen in a restaurant. You have one oven in your kitchen, and maybe it takes 30 minutes to bake a cake in it. A restaurant might have 4 ovens, and they can bake 4 cakes at once, but their cakes aren't ready any faster than yours is, there are just more of them.

    Programs are like recipes - if you have the right kind of program (recipe) you can take advantage of multiple cores (ovens) by doing things in parallel. If you had four ovens in your kitchen you could cook a dinner by putting a roast in one oven, vegetables in another, a cake in another, etc. so that everything could be done at the same time. This would let you prepare a dinner faster than if you had only one oven.

    Some programs are able to organize their work in parallel like this and take good advantage of the extra cores. Others are not (but may still benefit by not slowing when you run them at the same time as other programs).
  9. sminlal said:
    Think of it like your kitchen vs. the kitchen in a restaurant. You have one oven in your kitchen, and maybe it takes 30 minutes to bake a cake in it. A restaurant might have 4 ovens, and they can bake 4 cakes at once, but their cakes aren't ready any faster than yours is, there are just more of them.

    Programs are like recipes - if you have the right kind of program (recipe) you can take advantage of multiple cores (ovens) by doing things in parallel. If you had four ovens in your kitchen you could cook a dinner by putting a roast in one oven, vegetables in another, a cake in another, etc. so that everything could be done at the same time. This would let you prepare a dinner faster than if you had only one oven.

    Some programs are able to organize their work in parallel like this and take good advantage of the extra cores. Others are not (but may still benefit by not slowing when you run them at the same time as other programs).



    I think a better analogy is that you cut a roast in to 4 smaller pieces and then they all cook faster ...
  10. in conclusion the more cores the better performance you will get, might not be at all time but 95% it will, unless you like to open one program at a time and keep waiting till it completely finishs, also if you do that in alot of programs it will open faster, also keep in mind that dual core, core 2 duo , quad core they have different (higher) buss speed, that will also effect the computer overall performance, and more cache as u go on, and better multiplayer and volts (in some)

    so you cant judge on how fast the cpu is by looking at its cores only, or clock speed only, keep that in mind.

    hope that helps.
  11. But why is the top processor less expensive than the one at the bottom even though it has higher GHz?

    Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T8100, MicroFCPGA, 2.10GHz, 800MHz FSB, 3MB Cache, 10.5x Ratio, 35W, Retail - £146.63

    Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T5600, Micro-FCPGA, 1.83 GHz, 667MHz FSB, 2MB Cache, 11x Ratio, 34W, Retail - £175.66
  12. are they from the same website?

    if yes or no, get T8100 there is no need to think on that one.
  13. Thanks for suggestion ...........
  14. B_fox said:
    But why is the top processor less expensive than the one at the bottom even though it has higher GHz?

    Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T8100, MicroFCPGA, 2.10GHz, 800MHz FSB, 3MB Cache, 10.5x Ratio, 35W, Retail - £146.63

    Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T5600, Micro-FCPGA, 1.83 GHz, 667MHz FSB, 2MB Cache, 11x Ratio, 34W, Retail - £175.66


    Although the T8100 seems faster by specs, laptop cpus are a mess in terms of naming and sometimes more Hz or more cache makes little diference.

    Really. They can only be compared within themselfes and the diferences aren't that great. In Mobile the same applies to AMD ofc.
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