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How many processors in an i7?

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August 30, 2010 2:00:03 AM

so i have a core i7 920....its obv. a quad core, but i was talking to some tech guy, and he was talking about i7's have 8 or 12 cores, and i was wondering what exactly that means...my i7 has hyper threading....what does that do....and finally, when i go into dx diag, it says

processor: intel (r) core i7(tm) 920 @2.67 Ghz (8 CPUs), ~2.7 GHz


does that mean i have 8 processors or what? i guess im just looking for some general knowledge.

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a b à CPUs
August 30, 2010 2:11:32 AM

You have a processor, with 4 cores and 8 threads. The 970 and 980x have 6 cores 12 threads.

What you have is a real 4 core that make believes its an 8 core.
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a b à CPUs
August 30, 2010 2:12:02 AM

It's a quad core - there are 4 physical cores. But with Hyper Threading each core can handle 2 threads so it operates like it has 8 cores (although because they are not separate physical cores you cannot say that the performace improves linearly). There are 4 physical cores, but 8 logical 'cores'.

If you want some in depth knowledge, check out these articles:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Intel-i7-nehalem-cp...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Intel-Core-i7-Nehal...
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August 30, 2010 2:13:43 AM

4 physical cores, 8 logical cores. I remember p4 netburst HT was really crappy, anyone know the underlying reason? They really improved the performance in the i7.
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a c 172 à CPUs
August 30, 2010 4:33:37 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instruction_pipeline

The idea is that once the pipeline is loaded, you can clock it really fast. The problem is that when something called "branch prediction"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branch_predictor
fails (basically when the CPU guesses wrong about which way the program is going to go), you need to flush the pipeline and start over.

tu, the big improvement came with the Conroe Core2's. A Conroe E6600 running at 2.4 GHz is about 1.5 times faster than a 3.46 GHz P4 per core.
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August 30, 2010 2:16:24 PM

Best answer selected by fastcarfastbike.
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