TECHNOCLICK: Technology Connection

October 10, 2008

The Closer Look on Dual Core Issues

Filed under: IT ISSUES — monbaesa @ 9:11 am

A few years ago, choosing a processor was pretty straightforward. It’s true that in the early days of microprocessors, a new model was often two or even three times faster than the model it replaced and sold for little or no more. Replacing the processor requires some research to ensure that the new processor is compatible with the current motherboard and other system components. Those days are long past.

Nowadays, choosing a processor isn’t as simple. Manufacturers now offers several lines of processors, which differ in clock speed, L2 cache, socket type, special features supported, and other characteristics. At any given time, the actual performance differences between their slowest and least expensive “economy” processors and their fastest and most expensive “performance” processors is relatively small. Processor performance increases incrementally and there are many more intermediate models available with minor performance differences. Even the model names are confusing.

Moore’s Law states that available processor performance and disk-storage capacity doubles every one and a half to two years. It described a trend that has continued to this day and is still remarkably accurate. It was found to not only describe memory chips, but also accurately describe the growth of processor power and disk drive storage capacity.

The latest issue in the processor industry is about dual core processors. It is two processor cores on one die essentially like having a dual processor system in one processor. AMD launched in mid-2005 the dual core AMD Opteron processors. It was designed with an extra HyperTransport Technology simply means a faster connection that is able to transfer more data between two chips. As response, IBM and Intel are cueing up their dual core processors as well.Why dual core? What are the reasons behind the shift to dual core and how will this impact the gigahertz performance race? Are dual core processors worth getting? Will they be compatible with the computer?

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