We all know the common saying: “The more, the merrier.” But exactly how many processor (CPU) cores are best for your laptop or desktop? The answer isn’t as easy as comparing it to how many cores you have on your desktop computer or laptop. In this article, I’ll break down what CPU cores really mean and find out if you’re getting the most out of your purchase!
- What is a CPU core?
- Why do you need more than one CPU core?
- Intel CPU cores
- AMD CPU cores
- How many CPU cores are there in computer processors?
- Who needs more than one CPU core?
- What does it mean when they say “Dual Core” or “Quad Core”?
- How many CPU cores are good for me?
- What is the future of the CPU cores?
What is a CPU core?
A CPU core is a single central processing unit (CPU). It reads and executes computer programs. A CPU has the ability to read the program, execute it, and store it in memory. For example, if you bought a computer with an Intel Core i5-1135G7, the Core i5-1135G7 would be made up of four cores.
A CPU core is typically an individual processor within a CPU. The more cores, the more processing power. Imagine, you want to perform multiple tasks at one time and your processor speed is limited. Technically, increasing processing speed is way more cost-effective. That’s where CPU cores play a vital role. With more CPU cores, your processor can act like multiple CPUs coupled to work together.
Remember, the speed of the processor isn’t increased when you add in another CPU core. The speed of the computer is increased when you increase the clock frequency, add more RAM or upgrade to a faster hard drive. Check out Which is the Best Laptop Processor for Your Budget.
Why do you need more than one CPU core?
In the case of a CPU, the more cores you have, the more powerful it is. Most CPUs these days have four cores meaning they process up to 4 things at once. However, some high-performance CPUs like Intel’s Core i9 and AMD’s Threadripper can process multiple things at once and it takes a lot of power to do that (which is why they’re expensive).
For example, you want to play games and stream your game through a streaming application. These are two monster tasks if ran together. A single-core processor can never handle this and you end up crashing your OS more often. Therefore, a Quad-core or Hexa-core processor can handle this plethora of tasks way more easily.
Intel CPU cores
The first microprocessor sold by Intel was the four-bit 4004 in 1971. It was designed to work in conjunction with three other microchips, the 4001 ROM, 4002 RAM, and the 4003 Shift Register. The 4004 was mostly used inside of calculators and similar devices; it wasn’t meant for personal computers.
Coming to personal computers, Intel started manufacturing their own designs in the early 1980s; this marked the first major product release by Intel, known as the 8086. The 8086 was a 16-bit processor and was not very popular in comparison to the Zilog Z80 and the Motorola 68000. The 8086 was quickly followed by the 8088 which was essentially an 8086 with an 8-bit bus. The 386 and 486 are based on a design by Intel from the 1980s, but they are heavily upgraded to be very fast.
At present, Intel offers a wide range of CPUs that have multiple cores, each with its own advantages. For the most part, Intel prefers to make use of an in-house processor design instead of licensing someone else’s. There are two types of Intel CPUs: Core 2 Duo and Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9.
AMD CPU cores
The AMD processor, formerly known as the Athlon, was first introduced at the end of 1999. The company then launched two different series: Elite and XP. The ASP (or Application Streaming Processor) was the first XP series and came with an integrated memory controller.
When the market for desktop and server processors shifted toward x86-64 (AMD64), AMD changed its product names to include 64. This move was followed by the release of the Athlon 64 FX series in 2003. The company sought to differentiate its products with the AM label, which was used for the Athlon 64 X2 and the Athlon 64 FX-62.
Over time, AMD produced very good processors and their current processor lineup offers better processing capabilities at affordable pricing. For laptops, in particular, the AMD Ryzen series processors are available with multiple cores, such as Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7.
How many CPU cores are there in computer processors?
A typical computer processor will have 2, 4, or 8 cores and more. These cores are designed to handle specific tasks for processing information. The more cores a processor has, the more work it can do at one time and the faster it can process information.
The number of CPU cores is a measure of the processing power a processor is able to deliver. Many modern processors have two cores, and some have as many as eight. Some computers may even have more than one processor chip. This is referred to as parallel processing and it allows a computer to run multiple programs at the same time. The more cores in a processor, the faster a computer will perform certain tasks, such as editing videos and playing games. However, not all applications can take advantage of multiple cores.
Who needs more than one CPU core?
If you have a computer with more than one CPU, then you have “dual-core” or “quad-core” processors. There are no other types of CPUs. If your computer only has one CPU, it’s either single-core or dual-core. This is because CPUs are classified by how many cores they have, not how many processors.
In short, if you are Gamer, Video editor, Graphic designer, 3D modeler, you certainly need more than one CPU core. CPU cores are like the horsepower of your CPU. You don’t need to have a 500 horsepower engine to get from point A to point B, but you certainly need more than 200 horsepower to get there quickly.
What does it mean when they say “Dual Core” or “Quad Core”?
The number of cores on a CPU is usually denoted by the “core count” of the CPU. A dual-core processor means that it has two processing units or two cores. A quad-core processor has four cores. Cores are not all alike, however, some are better than others at handling certain tasks, so this can affect performance depending on the task at hand.
How many CPU cores are good for me?
The best answer to this question is that it depends. Most CPUs now come with at least one or two cores, which is often enough for most tasks. You might also consider getting a CPU with four cores if you do intensive tasks like video editing or gaming. To help you understand better, I have made a list of tasks and must have CPU core requirements.
I would not recommend choosing a laptop with a single-core processor unless you are too tight on budget and can’t spend more than ₹20,000. A single-core processor can handle very minimal tasks given that your laptop runs Windows 10. If you are a Linux user, it may solve the purpose, but choose a laptop at least with a dual-core processor.
The most common processor used in modern budget laptops is a dual-core processor. A dual-core processor can easily handle your day-to-day tasks with ease. To give you a realistic idea, a dual-core processor can easily run office applications, browse the web with up to 10 plus tabs open, play low-end games, consume a lot of multimedia content.
These processors are my personal favorite. With the power of four cores, it can help you run high-end games, build applications with coding, design awesome graphics, edit beginner-level videos, and more. I strongly recommend if you are a coding student or graphic designer, you must choose a laptop with at least a quad-core processor.
This is where professional-level computing starts. Processors with Hexa-core can handle anything you throw on it. It’s always ready to serve for your high-end games, machine learning codes, intensive graphics work, motion graphics loaded video edits, and more. If you are someone who wants to pursue professional-grade work in your respective industry, choose a laptop with a Hexa-core processor.
You reached up to mastery of your work and now you no longer care about the budget. All you need is super-fast computing and multi-tasking. An octa-core processor is what you should choose.
Most of the modern laptops are equipped with the above-mentioned processors. If you are building a custom PC, you may choose a better process such as Intel i9 for a blazing-fast computing experience while doing multi-tasks.
What is the future of the CPU cores?
There is a lot of speculation and debate about the future of the CPU core. On one hand, there are many people who believe that we will see more cores in the near future. On the other hand, there are many others who believe that we will see fewer cores in the near future.
In conclusion, it’s undeniable that a processor with more cores is better. The more cores a processor has, the less time it takes for the processor to complete a task. If a processor is given 2 tasks at the same time, it will take half of the time to complete both tasks compared to only one. For example, a core i5 processor takes 4 seconds to complete one task and takes 2 seconds to complete two tasks simultaneously. A core-i7 processor takes 2 seconds to complete one task and takes 1 second to complete two tasks simultaneously.