Sunday, September 6, 2009

Difference between Intel Core 2 Duo vs Quad Core & Intel Dual Core vs Quad Core


Queries Solved:
What is the difference between Intel Core 2 Duo
vs Quad Core ?
Performance difference between Intel Dual Core and Quad Core !
Compare Quad Core vs Dual Core vs Core 2 Duo for general purpose & multitasking.

In our previous post, We covered a wonderful and informative article explaining the difference between Intel Core 2 Duo & Intel Dual Core & Intel Pentium D. Dual Core is a name of Class or Architecture of processors which refers to any processor weather its Intel or AMD with two cores on a same chip. Intel registered at trademark for name Intel Core or Intel Core2duo. The overall and final fact is, all the above mentioned processors are Dual Core Processors and have Dual Core architecture except Quad Core which has 4 cores in a single chip.

A Dual Core processor contains two cores & a Quad Core contains four Cores, In a very near future we may see Multi Core Processors with 16 or 32 Cores in a single package. Core 2 Quad Multi Core or Quad Core processors are widely used for Multitasking, across many application like for general purpose, networking apps, Digital signal processing & most used for graphics applications. Quad Core or Multi Core processor’s performance solely depends on application/software algorithms and implementation. Unless the software algorithm wont allow you to use Multi Core, you may not see any performance difference comparing to Dual Core or Core 2 Duo. Performance gains are limited by the fraction of software that can be parallelized to run on multiple cores simultaneously. Take an example :

If automatic virus scan starts while you are watching your favourite movie, The application running the movie is far less likely to be starved of processor power, whereas the antivirus program will be assigned to a different processor core than the one running the movie. A Dual Core may handle the situation, but what if your favourite Movie is in HD (High Definition) or Blue Ray format !! Quad Core or Multi Core processor wont let you down in such cases. The largest boost in performance will likely to be noticed in improved response time while running CPU hungry applications, like antivirus scan, searching for file and folders, ripping HD movies, large File conversions. I remember once i had around thousand contacts added in my Yahoo ID and i was in favour to save archive of each and every chat with each and every contact. After a year when i thought to backup all archive it was a real headache and ages of waiting to bind all the folders and files in to one Winrar file though the compression ratio was 0%. Why ? Because there were thousands of files and folders and while binding them to single file takes a whole CPU power. ( Well its not only cpu responsible, Hard Disk data transfer rate & ram i have is also making a important role here). Same waiting will be there while extracting the same file. Anyways it took era to complete the job, this could have been little fast if i used Quad Core based system with faster Hard drive and top performer RAM.

Though operating system (OS) support is more important, but adjustments to existing software are required to maximize utilization of performance boost provided by multi-core processors. Also, the ability of multi-core processors to increase application performance depends on the use of multiple threads within applications. The situation is improving day by day as now of we have less choices left. The Crytek has developed similar technologies for CryEngine 2, which powers their game, Crysis. Emergent Game Technologies' Gamebryo engine includes their Floodgate technology which simplifies multicore development across game platforms.

These days Quad Core 2.4GHz CPU costs near about the same as Dual Core 3.0GHz, Lets see the performance difference as mentioned by Xbit Labs review.

Application

Dual Core
3.0 GHz

Quad Core
2.4GHz

Improvement

Excel 2007 (Less is Better) 39.9 24.4 63%
WinRAR 3.7 (Less is Better) 188 180 5%
Photoshop CS3 (High is Better) 70 73 -4%
Microsoft Movie Maker 6.0 (High is Better) 73 80 -9%
PCMark05 (High is Better) 9091 8853 -3%
SysMark 2007, E-Learning (High is Better) 167 140 -16%
SysMark 2007, Video Creation (High is Better) 131 151 15%
SysMark 2007, Productivity (High is Better) 152 138 -9%
SysMark 2007, 3D (High is Better) 160 148 -8%
Quake 4 (High is Better) 136 117 -15%
F.E.A.R. (High is Better) 123 110 -10%
Company of Heroes (High is Better) 173 161 -7%
Lost Planet (High is Better) 62 54 -12%
Lost Planet "Concurrent Operations" (High is Better) 62 81 30%
DivX 6.6 (High is Better) 65 64 0%
Xvid 1.2 (High is Better) 43 45 5%
H.264 QuickTime Pro 7.2 (High is Better) 189 188 0%
iTunes 7.3 MP3 encoding (Less is Better) 110 131 -16%
3ds Max 9 SP2 (High is Better) 4.95 6.61 33%
Cinebench 10 (High is Better) 5861 8744 49%
As we see in chart, only rendering and encoding tasks showing some performance gains, and in rest of the war, dual core beats the quad core. Results of Excel 2007 and Lost Planet concurrent operations are surprising due to possible reason of software engineering and algorithms.
 
Conclusion : Dual Core’s higher Clock speed wins in battle for general purpose, Multi Core CPUs are not better in performance unless Multi tasking job is given or software algorithm is supported. Its a nature of technology to be upgraded every moment, you cant ignore that, what really matters is what you are going to do with your processor.

What a Quad Core processor will do is add an additional two cores to the system, if an application can take advantage of the more advanced multi-threading abilities of a quad-core system, you will likely see some performance advantage. If the application will not, you will not see any extra performance unless the quad core processor of choice outclasses the dual core processor, for example the newest Intel Core i7 975, compared to a dual core Pentium D, will be faster at any application, due to other reasons (like more efficient interface to the memory). If you can afford the quad core with no problems, I don't see any solid reason to avoid such a purchase, it won't damage performance, shouldn't raise the power consumption up too much, and with more SMP friendly applications (like video encoding, or playing back HD video content), you will see a healthy performance advantage over a single or dual core CPU.

Also read : Difference Between Intel Core 2 Duo vs Dual Core vs Pentium D

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