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.

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1.9 x 2 = 3.8 sorry, I couldn't help pointing that out, lol

But yes, your friend's right, some programs can utilise more than one core (multi-threaded) while older ones can't.

It's very rare to only have 1 thing going though. Most computers are running windows plus anti-virus at the very least, often a lot more. On single core CPUs these things must take it in turns with the program you're using, so a dual-core at 1.9 would perform better than a single-core at 1.9 but not twice as well. Sorry I can't give a more definitive answer.

An interesting thing to look at (assuming you're using windoze): press Control+Alt+Delete and start the 'Task Manager' go to the performance tab and look under 'system' at the bottom (or 'totals' for XP) and you'll see all the processes and threads your computer's running at the moment.

Yeah if the app doesnt support mutlithreading it will only use 1 core

HOWEVER, you cannot simply compare clock speeds. The intel Core line is WAYYY more efficient than the Pentium line. A Core2 1.6ghz with only ONE core operating has equal performance to a ~2.6ghz pentium 4. Its just a way more efficient CPU.

Thanks for the replies. Much help. Though, the processor in question specifically is an AMD Turion. I've heard that AMD fell off the awesome train a while ago. I don't follow them, as I've always stuck to Intel, but this laptop is the cheapest laptop I can find with a GeForce 8200M in it. I'm willing to bet it'll run most of what I want, just curious though.

So my next question: how does the Core 2 line differ from AMD's Turion line?

PS - I can't believe I made that mistake... 1.9x2=2.8... it was late and I wasn't thinking lol :)

The 8200M sucks by the way ;)

The Turion is a 64 bit mobile CPU. The nomal turion is like a Pentium M or Celeron M, whereas the Turion X2 is dual core - the intel Core2 kicks its ass in benchmarks but its better than the original intel Core1 as it supports 64 bit.

Well, as far as the 8200m goes... I have a 7800gt in my desktop, 256mb, AGP 8x... I play CSS smoothly at 1024x768, and Bioshock is playable. Left 4 Dead, not so much. In a laptop, I'm not looking to be able to play Crysis or even CoD4, but just want the ability to fire up the occasional game of CSS. Am I wrong in assuming that the 8200m will compare nicely to the desktop card listed above?

Also, about the AMD prcessor, it is an x2 obviously because it's dual core, but you're saying that it will run programs that do not support multithreading significantly slower than Core 2's at the same clock speed?

Processor-wise im saying it will be slower in general compared to a core2 because core2s are quite simply the bomb. However, thats not to say its not still a good CPU.

Ive got the desktop version of an 8600 and it runs COD4 on medium/low, BF2 on max, crysis on low, and world in conflict on high.

Counter strike source is about the same sort of specs as BF2 so it should run it fine. For reference, an 8600 = midrange card with performance of say a 7900 and an 8800 = fairly high end card. An 8200m aught to be your general mid/low range card. I know someone with an 8400 and thats okay for older games (battlefield 2 on high) so a 8200 should expect maybe medium/high on CSS but thats a guess

Allright thanks again dude. Highly appreciated. I just went through this while thing at Best Buy yesterday before I started this thread.. they tried to sell me the laptop on the phone saying there were only a couple left and flying off the shelves. I was going to get it anyway so I said sure, whatever. They kept saying my card was declined and I knew there was over $600 in my account, which was more than enough to cover the $400 of the laptop. So I went to the store personally and they said my card was declined again. Instead of just using my iPhone to check my balance, I waited until I got home, only to find out that they charged my card the $432.99 by accident, and when they tried to run it again, it was declined. They had me go all the way BACK to the store with the card and a copy of my bank statement, only to tell me that they couldn't find the receipt, and to check back tomorrow to see if it shows up in their system.

To wrap it up, this ordeal make me rethink the purchase. You helped out a lot, thanks again.

Tell them to give them your money back right away!

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