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What is a "Dual Core" Computer?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Richard_T, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. Richard_T

    Richard_T Well-Known Member

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    My wife and I recently purchased an HP Media Center which has 2 intel Pentium processors running at 2.2 GHz (dual cores), 2 GB or RAM memory and an Nvidia GeForce 6200SE graphics card. We got it at a great price so we decided to dive in and replace our old Compaq. My question is, what is this dual core thing and how does it work? Is it that if I have one program running I'm getting 4.4 GHz? Any help would be great.
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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  3. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Well-Known Member

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    Short answer: no. Longer answer: almost certainly not [​IMG] In theory, if a program is written to take advantage of multiple cores, you could get close to twice as much work done in the same amount of time as you would with an otherwise-identical single-core processor. But many tasks aren't suited for that kind of "parallelization" and most programs aren't written that way; for those that are, there are other factors that prevent you from "getting double".

    The most likely benefit you will see if you are doing more than one thing at once, like browsing the web while compressing music. Because there is more than one core, one processor-intensive activity (compressing) should not block other activities (browsing).
     
  4. DaveD'

    DaveD' Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, the main benefit of a dual core processor is more efficient multi-tasking.
     
  5. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Well-Known Member

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    Some applications are done properly and multi-threaded. Photoshop, for instance, is such a program. Multiple cores really speed things up there.

    A normal single-core computer is really only ever doing one thing at a time. It may seem like it is doing many, but in reality the only thing that makes a single-core computer appear to be doing many things is that the programs "take turns". On a multi-core CPU, two things can happen simultaneously.
     

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