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.