What Are Cores, Hyper-Threading, and Multiple CPUs?
Jason Fitzpatrick / How-To Geek
A single modern CPU typically has multiple cores. Each core is its own processor. Simultaneous multi-threading, called Hyper-Threading by Intel, splits each physical core into two logical processors. Each logical processor lets your operating system run two separate tasks. For example, an eight-core CPU appears as a single CPU with 8 cores and 16 logical processors.
The central processing unit (CPU) in your computer does the computational work — running programs, basically. But modern CPUs offer features like multiple cores and hyper-threading. Some PCs even use multiple CPUs. We’ll explain the differences and how they work.
What Are Hyper-Threading and Simultaneous Multithreading?
Simultaneous Multithreading (called Hyper-Threading by Intel) allows a single CPU to run multiple tasks simultaneously rather than sequentially, which improves performance in most situations.
Hyper-threading was Intel’s first attempt to bring parallel computation to consumer PCs back in 2002. The Pentium 4’s of the day featured just a single CPU core, so it could only perform one task at a time — even if it were able to switch between tasks quickly enough that it seemed like multitasking. Hyper-Threading…
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