Hey all. I'm not a very active user, but I have a question for you all. It involves how a dual core processor interacts with Windows and the applications it runs.
My previous assumption was that a 1.9ghz dual core processor would run everything at the equivalent of a 2.8ghz single core. I was told by a friend that this is not true. His understanding of the architecture of a dual core processor is that everything is run at the clock speed that the CUP is rated for, but that different tasks in Windows will be on each core. In other words, according to him, 2 programs could each be running simultaneiously, but each on a different core, at 1.9ghz, therefore outputting 2.8ghz of processing power per clock cycle. BUT, if a program wasn't coded to be optimized for a multicore processor, that it would only utilize one core. Therefore, if you were to run only 1 program that was not coded specifically to utilize both cores simultaneousely, it would run at 1.9 ghz.
That may be a bad explanation, but let me elaborate by explaining the situation. I am very used to my desktop, which is a P4 2.8ghz with a GeForce 7800. I was looking at a laptop with an AMD Turion dual core 1.9ghz and GeForce 8200m. I figure, this thing should be able to run Counter Strike Source, but he got me thinking: what about programs that do not utilize hardware acceleration, and are not optimized for a dual core processor? These programs are entirely based on a processor/memory basis, so would it run half as fast on a dual core 1.9ghz than a single core 2.8?
I ran a test of a program with such properties. It is Multimedia Fusion 2 Developer edition, for reference. The program does not utilize hardware acceleration, and was created before dual core processors were mainstream. With a lot of sprites running on screen. it ran slower on my girlfriend's single core 2.0ghz processor than my 2.8ghz processor. This is what has me concerned about a dual core's structure and utilization. If programs like this are not optimized for use with a dual core system, will they run at the clock speed? Being as this program doesn't run to my liking on a 2ghz single core, if it ran on only one core out of two on a dual core, it would not be fast enough for me on a 1.9ghz dual core.
If anybody reads all of this, you win.