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Dual Core vs. Dual Processor

The Mother(board) of all Battles!

When considering server offerings, you’ll see a lot of reference to Dual this and Dual that… but what does it all mean?  Below summarizes what you need to know.  Let’s start with terminology.

  • Dual Processors means there are 2 physical processors in the machine.
  • Dual Core means there is 1 physical processor with 2 cores in it.  (You can do the math for Quad Core and Quad Processor and so on…)

Now that we know the physical difference between the two, let’s get into some specifics.  Primarily these systems are built to perform in the same light. Multitasking is multitasking, but there are some underlying effects for both.

  • Dual Processor has RAM and cache space setup for each processor, so if you have a process running on Processor 1, it’s only getting the RAM of Processor 1.  However, if you have your resources beefed up it doesn’t matter, and your system will run more efficiently because the processes are split between processors and not cores (less burnout).
  • Dual Core machines are the new light for small business owners, as they are slightly cheaper and provide pretty much the same thing.  The major drawback to Dual Core is it puts the stress of the entire system on one physical CPU, which can be pretty tasking for a little chip.  However, a multi-core system has the ability to handle multiple threads separately yet simultaneously.  This makes multi-core systems perfect for multi-threaded applications.

Don’t get me wrong, any of these problems can be remedied by ensuring you have the proper amount of RAM, and you put some time into task scheduling.  Both setups are capable of doing the same things, but its how you configure your system to run efficiently that matters.  That can be on a Dual Processor or a Dual Core.

Benchmarks: According to benchmarks run on the AMD Athlon 4400 Dual Core, the AMD Opteron 248 Dual Processor, the Intel Pentium D 830 Dual Core, and the Intel Xeon 3.0 Dual Processor they all run at very comparable standards. AMD had better resource efficiency, and Intel had better processing power (surprise, surprise).  The overall winner of the tests was the Pentium D, but with a little research you will see that the difference is minimal, and you should really just look at your setup and figure out what configuration would fit best.

About David Vogel

David Vogel
David Vogel leads digital marketing at Datapipe, helping Datapipe connect with clients and prospects and build awareness in the tech community. David writes about data breaches and their implications, HIPAA and PCI compliance, and the benefits of managed services for the cloud.

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