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 become more advanced, multiple programs are required to execute simultaneously. In this requirement, a single processor becomes un-sufficient. In 2005, multi-core processors were used to fulfilling this requirement.
Multiple CPUs are required to execute multiple programs simultaneously because each CPU executes one program. In the start, when technology was expensive and the computer system was not much sophisticated, options were used through the operating system to execute multiple programs at the same by using a single CPU.
After that, multiple physical CPUs 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, Hyper-Threading. Intel implemented 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, the execution speed of programs got fast, but that is different from the real implementation of physical cores.
Multiple Core CPUs
The first processor with more than one core was introduced in 2005, changing the entire scene of the computer working, including PCs and laptops. With the invention of multiple cores in a single physical CPU, the real implementation of multitasking was started.
A single CPU or core executes one program; that’s why if there are multiple CPUs or cores, 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 launched its latest series of CPUs called the ‘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 depends on more than the multiple numbers of CPU cores. Even the CPU architecture decides which CPU is faster than the other. It is also possible that a Dual-Core CPU performs better and faster than a Quad-Core CPU 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 varies in every CPU, which is also a reason for the CPU’s high or low performance.
So before deciding on a CPU as faster, whether 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 you must go through these CPU specifications before deciding that a CPU with a higher number of cores is faster than a lesser number.
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 system’s RAM is slower in performance than high specs, the CPU cannot even give its maximum performance because that CPU must wait to get data from the system RAM for execution.
Same as computer buses are fine lines on the main board of a computer that connect different computer devices and are also used for data transfer.
The data-carrying capacity of these Buses is called Bus width. Suppose the speed of these System Buses is slower and their Bus Width is also less.
In that case, 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 fine lines also carry data from RAM to CPU and from CPU to RAM.
Result of Analysis
Now we can understand that with no drought, a higher number of cores is an identification of higher multiprocessing but is not a guarantee of high performance. By seeing the other internal CPU specifications, we can finalize that Quad-core CPU is better than a Dual-core CPU.
Still, at the same time, it can be inverse due to the configuration of other components directly related to the CPU and the computer’s other hardware resources, including RAM and motherboard.