Dual Core vs Quad Core: Which is Better? CPU pronounced as the “Central Processing Unit” is the brain of a computer system. At the start of the computer system, single processors were used which was enough to process the instruction of a single program. As time passes, and computer systems have become more advanced, multiple programs required to execute at the same time. In this requirement, a single processor becomes un-sufficient. To fulfill this requirement, in 2005, multi-core processors were started to use.
To execute multiple programs at the same time, multiple CPUs are required because each CPU executes one program. In the start, when technology was expensive and the computer system was not muchly sophisticated, to execute multiple programs at the same by using a single CPU, options were used through the operating system. After that, multiple physical CPUs were started to use in large systems where heavy processing of programs was required.
To fulfill the heavier processing needs of users for parallel processing, Intel introduced its first technology with the name of Hyper-Threading. Intel implements this technology in its Pentium-IV processors in 2002. That was a single Physical core CPU that was virtually divided into 2 CPUs which appeared as 2 CPUs to the operating system.
These two logical CPUs were allowed to share hardware resources for the execution of programs. This technique speeds up the processing of different applications. For this purpose, one CPU remains in wait condition to borrow the resources from other virtual cores. With hyper-treading, just execution speed of programs got fast but that is not the real implementation of physical cores.
Multiple Core CPUs
The first processor with more than one core was introduced in 2005 which also changed the entire scene of the computer working including PCs as well as laptops. With the invention of multiple cores in a single physical CPU, real implementation of multitasking was started. A single CPU or core executes one program that’s why if there is multiple CPU or cores then multiple programs can execute following the number of CPU cores. The first developed multicore CPU was Dual-Core which means that the CPU consists of 2 CPUs.
Nowadays, the number of cores in a single physical CPU can be up to 18. By seeing this large number of CPU cores, you can imagine the processing power of today’s CPU and can count the number of programs that are executing at the same time.
After the invention of multicore processors, in 2006, Intel launches its latest series of CPUs which is called as ‘Core’ series. These are Itanium-based processors and the majority of processors of this series are multicore processors. The number of cores on these CPUs is present as Dual (2) core, Quad (4) core, Hexa (6) core, and Octa (8) core.
Performance of CPU
Multicore CPU does not mean high performance. Computer program execution speed does not only depend on the multiple numbers of CPU cores. Even the architecture of the CPU decides which CPU is faster than the other. It is also possible that a Dual-Core CPU performs must better and faster than a Quad-Core CPU just because of its architecture.
Internally every CPU has its components which also vary in performance. These components include bus speed and especially very fast speed special type of memory known as “Cache Memory”. The number of Registers is also varied in every CPU which is also a reason for the high or low performance of CPU. So before deciding on a CPU as faster whether it is Dual-core, Quad-core, or even higher, you must check the internal specification of CPU architecture.
One very common specification of a CPU is its ‘clock speed’ which represents the speed of that particular CPU. The measurement unit of clock speed is GHz (Giga Hertz). Another very important specification, along with the clock speed of the CPU, is the type of internal Cache of the CPU. Types of CPU internal cache memory are L1, L2, and L3. Each is higher in speed than its previous version. Along with the type of Cache memory, the size of this memory in the CPU also matters a lot for the performance of a CPU.
If a Dual-core CPU has 6 or higher MBs of L3 cache while Quad-core CPU has 4MBs of L2 cache then this Dual-core CPU is faster than a Quad-core CPU. That’s why, before deciding about a CPU with a higher number of cores is faster than a lesser number of cores, you must go through these specifications of CPU.
System Resources and CPU performance
The performance of the CPU does not depend on its performance but other systems resources are also integrated with its fastest performance. CPU fetches data from RAM for the execution. If the RAM of the system is slower in performance than high specs CPU cannot even give its maximum performance because that CPU is required to wait to get data from system RAM for execution.
Same as computer buses are special lines on the main board of a computer which connect different devices of a computer with each other and are also used for data transfer. The data-carrying capacity of these Buses is called Bus width. If the speed of these System Buses is slower and their Bus Width is also less the transfer rate of data between the different components of the computer and RAM will be slow and the same is the case between CPU and RAM because these special lines also carry data from RAM to CPU and from CPU to RAM.
Result of Analysis
Now we can understand that no drought, higher the number of cores is an identification of higher multiprocessing but is not a guarantee of high performance. By seeing the other internal specifications of the CPU we become able to finalize that Quad-core CPU is better than a Dual-core CPU but at the same time, it can be inverse due to the configuration of other components which are directly related to the CPU as well as related to the other hardware resources of computer including RAM and motherboard.