Is a quad-core processor twice as quick as a dual-core processor?

DrSunil Vaswani March 22, 2013
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Is quad-core processor double strength of a dual-core processor? As name implies – quad ~ four and dual ~ two

  1. Anay Chaubal
    March 28, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    There are more issues that affect a processor's speed than the number of cores. For example, Intel has 3 dual core processors for PCs, the intel pentium dual core, the intel core2duo, and the core i3.
    the deal is that, core i3 is fastest, Core2Duo is next, and pentium dual core is the slowest at any given fixed clock speed.

    This is because of the architecture of the processors. In pentium dual core, there are just 2 cores placed on a single die, and there are connections running between them for data transfer. In core2Duo, there are 2 cores on a die, and they are interconnected at the basic architecture itself. Core i3 is a more modern processor with a larger number of transistors, and thus better processing power than the core2duo.

    also, the ram used in the whole computer / mobile device runs on a certain clock speed / frequency. the higher the frequency, the higher the rate of data transfer between the cpu and the storage, then there is the whole cache memory deal.

    thus while it seems that a quad core cpu would be twice as fast as a dual core one, its really the whole computer / mobile device architecture which affects how much fast the device is as a whole.

  2. Usman Mubashir
    March 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Quad core is not faster, but can handle more data at a single time. I'm trying to say what a dual core can do with full power, a quad core will do with half power. so with dual core you will not be able to calculate more, but a quad core will be able to provide 100% more capacity to process.

  3. Chris Marcoe
    March 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Tom's Hardware has a great thread about it. Bottom line is: It depends on what you are using it for.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/343682-28-dual-core-quad-core

    Also, this will show you several threads that ask the same thing.

    • DrSunil Vaswani
      March 27, 2013 at 5:15 am

      Thanks

      How does the different manufacturer affect performance of processors having identical specifications ( clock speed , cores ) Please elaborate with examples

  4. Nicut Alexandru
    March 24, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Hi! Answering your question could be tricky.
    The idea pointed in mostly of the answers is correct: if the software (including the OS) is not written to take advantage of the “extra” cores, they will just be sitting idle instead of doing real work and even if the software is written in a manner that it will use all available cores, you will lose some processing time due to thread scheduling
    Basically, it's all in the way the 4 core CPU and the 2 core CPU are designed.
    The clocks aren't important. Important it's the way they are used: hyper-treading, fsb, caches, 64 bits support, etc

    • DrSunil Vaswani
      March 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      How does number or cores and clock speed affect battery conservation? and is there lesser burden on battery in a device with dual core than in single core? and so there is lesser heating of battery in dual core than in a single core?

    • Nicut Alexandru
      March 27, 2013 at 7:40 am

      The impact is very little. In basic, newer CPU's with more than one core are released by the manufacturer with lower power consumption and newer technologies that allow better use of the clock cycles, if possible.
      Ex: an i5 intel on an laptop has hyper-treading. The desktop version hasn't.
      The big situation is created by the running processes, services and the usage of the CPU. Smartphones, netbooks, laptops, etc : the heavier is the usage of the CPU, the faster the energy drain from the battery, because it's needed to power up the clock cycles.

      Ex: Nokia Asha 302 > Stand-by Up to 707 h (2G) / Up to 830 h (3G)
      Talk time Up to 9 h (2G) / Up to 5 h 50 min (3G)
      Music play Up to 50 h

    • DrSunil Vaswani
      March 26, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      Thanks

      How does the different manufacturer affect performance of processors having identical specifications ( clock speed , cores ). Please elaborate with examples

  5. Rakesh Pal
    March 24, 2013 at 6:45 am

    absoloutly not it means you can run double number of process but not double the speed unless the clock speed in double

    • DrSunil Vaswani
      March 27, 2013 at 5:16 am

      How does number or cores and clock speed affect battery conservation? and is there lesser burden on battery in a device with dual core than in single core? and so lesser heating of battery in dual core than in a single core?

  6. Indronil Mondal
    March 24, 2013 at 5:59 am

    absoloutly not it means you can run double number of process but not double the speed unless the clock speed in double

  7. Junil Maharjan
    March 24, 2013 at 4:48 am

    since it is quad core which has 4 core processors it would be faster than the dual core which has two core processors but it also depends upon the clock speed of the processors.

    • DrSunil Vaswani
      March 24, 2013 at 6:02 am

      Thanks

      pending a sub-question to same topic : Please give examples of clock-speeds and how to rate them based on their units and even makes/brands? For egl., how would you generally rate and compare Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9?

  8. Noman Fayez
    March 23, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    isn't a 1.7GHz core i7 better than a 2.4Ghz core i5?

    • DrSunil Vaswani
      March 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks for replying

      pl note : As per protocols of portal , questions may be asked in questions section

  9. Carlos Remonza
    March 23, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    If you are asking about speed then get a faster processor or clock speed. If you are asking to do many things at once or multitask then get more cores.

    I give u some real world example:

    2 athlete from country A and 4 athlete from country B participate in a lets just say 100m sprint. The two athlete from country A has a top speed of 10miles/hr thus runs faster than all of the 4 runners which has a top speed of 7miles/hr from the country B. Therefore those from country A wins the race.

    But,

    If they participate in a house building tournament which involve teamwork (i made that up but u get the meaning) therefore those 4 people could easily win (unless 2 out of 4 person is sleeping).

    • Sharjeel Larik
      March 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      I really appreciate the example given by Carlos Remonza. To any person, quad Core would definitely seem attractive when comparing processors; however, if everything else remains constant and money remains unlimited, you should go for a quad-core processor with more clock speed.

    • DrSunil Vaswani
      March 24, 2013 at 6:01 am

      Dear Carlos

      I read your answer carefully

      Thanks for taking interest in this topic

    • Susan Sanders
      May 9, 2013 at 11:12 am

      Excellent analogy, thank you for giving an understandable example.

  10. Harshit Jain
    March 23, 2013 at 4:27 am

    It depends on the processor architecure. For example, Intel atom processor called Clovertrail+ having x86 architecture is more daster than Quadcore Tegra3 and Snapdragon s4 pro processors based on ARM architecture.

    • DrSunil Vaswani
      March 24, 2013 at 6:00 am

      I understand

      What about Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9?

    • Harshit Jain
      March 24, 2013 at 11:41 am

      It is slower than the Tegra 3 Quadcore.

    • DrSunil Vaswani
      March 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Sounds good

      But I meant to ask - how would it's performance be in comparison to A8 and A7 of same type? Please compare A9 with A8 , A7 and A15

  11. Bruce Epper
    March 22, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Twice the number of cores will NEVER equate to twice the processing power at the same clock speed. The reason for this is twofold: if the software (including the OS) is not written to take advantage of the "extra" cores, they will just be sitting idle instead of doing real work and even if the software is written in a manner that it will use all available cores, you will lose some processing time due to thread scheduling (overhead in managing multiple processes simultaneously).

    Some of the software that is commonly written to take advantage of every core possible are: games, audio and video editing, scientific and engineering applications, and web browsers (for multiple tabs).

    • DrSunil Vaswani
      March 24, 2013 at 5:59 am

      Thanks

      It is nicely presented answer

      Appending two sub-question to same topic : Please give examples of clock-speeds and how to rate them based on their units and even makes/brands? For eg., how would you generally rate and compare Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9?

      How can a user know if a software is using cores greater than one?

  12. ha14
    March 22, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    here are some benchmarks
    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/09/choosing-dual-or-quad-core.html
    clock speed wins most of the time. More CPU cores isn't automatically better. Quad core is better than the dual cores in terms of multitasking ability, provided that software learned how to use the two extra cores. If you have a dual core processor with a high clocking frequency, going for a quad core processor with lower clocking frequency is not advised, but if you do heavy works like editing in photoshop and opening 50browser tabs and watching movie then you can feel better with quad core.

    • Master69
      March 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      The link you posted HA14 is from September of 2007
      Lol i think software has changed quite a bit since that benchmark
      was ran..

    • Jefe
      March 24, 2013 at 2:10 am

      Did you seriously cite an article from 2007 with benchmarks? There was nothing more current than that? LOL.

    • DrSunil Vaswani
      March 24, 2013 at 5:57 am

      Appending a sub-question to same topic : Please give examples of clock-speeds and how to rate them based on their units and even makes/brands? For egl., how would you generally rate and compare Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9?

    • ha14
      March 24, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      sure processor evolved also software but that do not mean if you use some software that were updated from 2007 will run better and much faster on the same cpu where test was done in 2007.

    • ha14
      March 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Cortex-A9 Processor
      http://www.arm.com/products/processors/cortex-a/cortex-a9.php

      rating will be the result of testing and stretch the limit of the processor.

      ARM Cortex A9 vs ARM Cortex A15 – What to expect, and what’s the difference?
      http://www.androidauthority.com/arm-a9-vs-arm-a15-87559/

      Nitty Gritty: CPU Core Performance, Per Clock
      http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/snapdragon-s4-pro-apq8064-msm8960t,3291-4.html

      Cortex A9 beats Intel Atom at the same clock speed
      http://www.androidauthority.com/cortex-a9-beats-intel-atom-same-clock-speed-112227/

    • DrSunil Vaswani
      March 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks for so many study links

      How does the different manufacturer affect performance of processors having identical specifications ( clock speed , cores )?. Please elaborate with examples

    • ha14
      March 26, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      internal Core architecture is important, CPU with a big cache. the manner in which those programs are executed depends to the differences inside of the chip, how many operations per clock cycle can be done...different type of sockets (electrical characteristics and instructions used are different), different clock and Bus Speed. Hyperthreading
      http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/why-amd-mhz-dont-equal-intel-mhz-20051215/
      in general intel processors are slightly faster but amd are more efficient.
      if all manufacturers do the same architecture and all the same then there is only one kind of processor

      Intel Vs. AMD for Gaming
      http://techtips.salon.com/intel-vs-amd-gaming-22168.html
      While the Intel i7s are faster overall, the AMD FX models provide better framerates in gaming tests, according to benchmarks from Hardware Heaven, allow significant overclocking and are less expensive in 2012 than comparable Intel processors.

      http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core2-Duo-E8400-vs-AMD-A4-3400#competition

      Intel Core i5 2500K - 3.3GHz - 1MB L2 - 6MB L3
      AMD Phenom II X4 955 - 3.2GHz - 2MB L2 - 6MB L3
      http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=88
      http://anandtech.com/bench/CPU/2

    • DrSunil Vaswani
      March 27, 2013 at 5:18 am

      Thanks for your interest and replies

      How does number or cores and clock speed affect battery conservation? and is there lesser burden on battery in a device with dual core than in single core? and so lesser heating of battery in dual core than in a single core?

    • ha14
      March 27, 2013 at 9:21 am

      it depends on the architecture of the cpu, The move to a 22nm process and Tri-Gate transistors help power savings. Chips that have a lower TDP do not have strong performance capabilities, mobile CPUs clock down to the same speed when not busy. Lower TDP better battery life...

      Intel mobile Ivy Bridge accept ultra-low voltage DDR3, or DDR3L. Ivy Bridge will also switch off the DDR I/O to save power when idle.

      Ivy Bridge can vary its operating frequency depending on the task at hand, and use the lowest voltage possible.

      What Is Thermal Design Power? [Technology Explained]
      http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/thermal-design-power-technology-explained/
      Core i5-2557M is designed to use less power than the Core i5-2540M. Since it’s based on the same architecture, this also means it will provide worse performance but better battery life. If you’re looking for a portable laptop, the Core i5-2557M would be better. If you care about performance, the Core i5-2540M is ideal.

      increasing operating frequency and voltage can exponentially increase power consumption and would drastically reduce battery
      life. For example NVIDIA Tegra (Dual-core ARM Cortex A9) multi-core architecture with SMP (Symmetrical Multiprocessing) this help splitting the job thus reducing power usage and extending battery life. Since it is dual core then each core can run at half of the frequency therefore at a lower operating voltage. Because the exponential relationship between power and voltage, the dual core CPU consumes lower power than a single core CPU for the same work, this reflect on battery life saving.

      Intel Mobile Y Processor : Ivy Bridge with 10W and 13W TDP
      http://www.technolozone.com/intel-mobile-y-processor-ivy-bridge-with-10w-and-13w-tdp.html

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