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Two in One – Understanding Dual-Core Processors

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Introduction

Workstations and servers have long enjoyed the benefits of multiple processors, such as:

  • Better responsiveness when running multiple applications
  • Faster performance of a single multi-threaded application
  • Better throughput for business and creativity applications at lower clock speeds than a single faster processor

However, the high cost of multi-processor motherboards and multiple processors have kept most desktop computer users from enjoying the same benefits.

The new dual-core processors Intel and AMD have introduced are designed to bring the benefits of multi-processor operation to desktop systems by placing two processor cores in a single physical package. This article discusses the benefits you can expect to get from moving to a dual-core processor, how Intel and AMD approaches differ, what upgrades you must perform before you can install a dual-core processor in an existing system, and what the future holds for dual-core systems.

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