Choosing the Right Processor: Dual-Core and Quad-Core Comparison

– Dual-Core and Quad-Core –

You probably know that quad-core processors are faster than dual-core processors if you have been dealing with computers for any amount of time. Hey, but why?

Dual-Core and Quad-Core

Today, computers and laptops are an important part of our lives. In order to complete a wide range of activities, we use them. Some of us use them for internet surfing and movie watching, while others use them for gaming, streaming online, and video rendering.

At the root of all operations done by a computer or laptop is a processor. The execution of workloads is responsible for it. The capability of a processor to handle certain tasks and the speed with which it accomplishes them depend on its specifications.

A wide range of processors, each with different specifications, is available on the market. They are mainly available from two producers, Intel and AMD. Each organization provides a wide range of processors for its consumers.

What is a Dual Core?

A central processing unit with 2 processors is a dual-core processor. Every processor has its own set of controllers, enabling the dual-core processor to run more effectively and efficiently than a single-core processor.

Since there are two processors they can perform functions all the more swiftly. A few examples of dual-core technologies would be the AMD X2, Intel core duo, etc.

Some of the benefits of dual-core processors are that they perform better than single-core processors. Dual-core processors have the advantage of splitting the data into multiple units for processing. The performance boost is very useful when one has to run more than one process at a time.

Usually, computer processors have to stop when they switch between different threads but this is not needed for dual-core processors since they can deal with two at a time instead of one at a time and this process is called hyper-threading.

Dual-core processors can get a better battery life and higher clock speeds when compared to a multi-core processors. Some drawbacks of dual-core processors are that a single-core central processing unit (CPU) can outrun a dual-core central processing unit (CPU) since they have a greater clock speed.

A 3.8 GHz single-core processor can be more beneficial than a 1.8 GHz dual-core processor when a single task is to be performed.

Hence some programs cannot be run on a dual-core processor. Dual-core processors cannot handle multiple tasks simultaneously when compared to a multi-core processor since a CPU with four cores can perform hyper-threading at a more prominent speed as compared to dual-core processors.

What is Quad Core?

With 4 processors, the quad-core processor is a central processing unit. Since there are many cores, a better output can be initiated by chip manufacturers without having to increase the clock speed.

This helps the operating system to break a load of processing between multiple processors so that the job is completed all the more easily. AMD Phenom X4, Intel Core 2 Quad, etc., may be several examples of quad-core processors.

When we speak about the benefits of quad-core, we should illustrate how, not just because of speed, but also because of the ability to perform more tasks simultaneously, quad-core processors improve performance. On a quad-core processor, multitasking is possible.

However, a single-core processor will not be able to run the program when one of the programs requires many resources such as VLC, and subsequently, this is not a concern for a quad-core processor as it allows VLC to use its core.

Dual-Core and Quad-Core Comparison

However quad-core processors can manage non-processing intensive tasks and quad-core processors are considered to use up very little power.

When we discuss the disadvantages of Quad-core processors, we talk about how Quad-core processors use large amounts of energy when compared to single or dual-core processors.

This in turn results in an expensive procedure where the individual would have to purchase cooling systems to prevent the laptop from heating and this is generally suitable for laptops since mobile phones don’t have enough storage to fit a cooling system hence smartphones experience heating issues.

The quad-core processors are connected to a single bus that has a single pool of cache. A good processor can hold up to 8MB of cache in a core. Hence a quad-processor can hold only 2MB in each core.

Hence it also becomes expensive to spend more on a quad-core with a sufficient cache.


Comparison Between Dual-Core and Quad-Core 

Parameter of Comparison Dual-core Quad-core
Meaning A dual-core processor as suggested by the name implies a CPU having two processors. Quad-core is a multi-core processor which means a CPU has four processors.
Speed Not as fast in terms of speed. Considered to perform quicker.
Energy consumption Consume less power/ energy since they have only two core processors. Consume more power/energy since they have four core processors.
Task Cannot perform many tasks simultaneously. Can perform many tasks simultaneously.
Heat Do not heat the gadget. Cause a great deal of heat and hence heat the gadget.
Graphics Dual-core processors lack a good graphic. Quad-core processors have superior and high-quality graphics.

Double The Cores Is Not Double The Speed

So let’s say you have the right software and all your other hardware is the same. Would a quad-core processor then be twice as fast as a dual-core processor? Nope.

The software problem of scaling is not addressed by increasing cores. Core scaling is the theoretical ability of any software to assign the here and to the correct cores so that each core computer is at its optimal speed.

That is not what in fact is occurring. Tasks are actually split sequentially (which most multi-threaded software does) or randomly in fact.

For example, let’s say you have a quad-core processor (Core1, Core2, Core3, Core4). You need to accomplish three tasks (T1, T2, T3) to finish an action, and you have five actions (A1, A2, A3, A4, A5) like this.

Here’s how the software will divide tasks:

  • Core1 = A1T1
  • Core2 = A1T2
  • Core3 = A1T3
  • Core4 = A2T1

The software is not smart though. If A1T3 is the hardest and longest task, the software should split A1T3 between Core3 and Core4. But now, even after Core1 and Core2 finish their tasks, they have to wait for the slower Core3 task to complete the action.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that software, as it stands today, isn’t optimized to take full advantage of multiple cores. And doubling the cores does not equal doubling the speeds.

We hope this article has been helpful to you. Please share it with anyone you think will appreciate the information and kindly drop your comment below.

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