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Processors... why?


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#1
corbek

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This might seem like a dumb question to some, or maybe common knowledge but it's something I have frequently wondered about. I did a little research and didn't come up with anything so I thought I would bring the question here.I was wondering why we have multiple cores on a processor. Why not just have one big one, because the actual cpu is one piece. It seems inefficient to me to have more than one core when there is only one piece of the processor. Is the reason technological, or is it just the way they do it. Could it be too much energy would be going through the single processor for it to be effective?

Thanks ahead for the response.

Also, sorry if this is in the wrong spot.
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#2
zep516

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Hello, and welcome to Geeks to go !

Why not just have one big one, because the actual cpu is one piece.



"Several business motives drive the development of dual-core architectures. For decades, it was possible to improve performance of a CPU by shrinking the area of the integrated circuit, which drove down the cost per device on the IC. Alternatively, for the same circuit area, more transistors could be utilized in the design, which increased functionality, especially for CISC architectures."

"As manufacturing techniques reach theoretical limits in miniaturization, increased use of parallel computing in the form of multi-core processors has been perused to improve overall processing performance. Multiple cores were used on the same CPU chip, sale which could then fund further research and development of multiple-core processors. Intel has produced a 48-core processor for research in cloud computing"


http://en.wikipedia....-core_processor
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#3
Digerati

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In the early days, especially on busy servers, you increased performance by adding CPUs. And operating systems were designed to "spread the load" between the CPUs so the task would be completed faster. And it works. But as Zep indicates, CPU technologies (state-of-the-art) continued to advance allowing more and more transistors to fit in smaller and smaller spaces. Today, the most advanced processors have 3 Trillion (1000 Billion!!!) transistors in the space of a postage stamp!

But CPUs are stupid. They don't know how to do anything and must be told how do everything. And in it's basic form, can only do one thing at a time. So to better utilize all those transistors, and save costs (multi-CPU motherboards are very expensive) they divide a single CPU into 2, 4 and even 6 cores that the OS treat as separate CPUs that it can "spread the load" across to complete the task, or tasks faster. And I say tasks, because modern OSs can assign one task to this core and another tasks to that CPU.
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#4
rshaffer61

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8 cores now HERE
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#5
Digerati

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I forgot I saw that 8-cores were here.

You know, I really like and prefer Intel CPUs and as an entire line of CPUs (with a few notable exceptions), Intel still excels when it comes to performance, power consumption and heat generation. And that is likely to stay that way because Intel surely does not want to be spanked and embarrassed like they were before when AMD surpassed Intel, who were sitting on their laurels. It took Intel several years to recover finally leapfrogging AMD again with the Core 2 Duo, and they have kept increasing their lead (thanks to very deep pockets) since. But I love how AMD keeps nipping at Intel's heels as that keeps stoking (jabbing at) the fires burning at Intel. And that means nothing but good news, cheaper and more options for us consumers.
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#6
corbek

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Yeah, competition is always good to see in a market. I chose to put an AMD in my machine and from further research think I should have gone with an intel, but I don't think it would have improved my performance too much. I do think however, AMD has a higher performance/price ratio.
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#7
rshaffer61

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I have been running AMD for about 10 years now and haven't even considered Intel at all. The rest of my family all have Intel cpu's and that is their choices.
I have no issues with heat or voltages as you can see.
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#8
Digerati

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I do think however, AMD has a higher performance/price ratio.

No doubt. And that has always been their Ace card. And NO DOUBT, an AMD CPU serves as an EXCELLENT and RELIABLE Windows platform.

I have no issues with heat or voltages as you can see.

I was not suggesting AMD has heat or voltage problems. I am just saying when comparing CPU with CPU, the current line of Intels tend to generate less heat. But what does that mean? It means a few degrees on paper and a slightly better efficiency. But in practice for the end user, it means nothing.

Stuff like that might matter if each maker produced just 2 or 3 CPUs in their entire line. But there are dozens from each. And it might matter if ABC Motherboards was the only maker for AMD and XYZ Motherboards was the only maker for Intel. But ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, Biostar, Foxconn and a host of other makers provide boards for each platform.

And of course, NVIDIA and AMD makes graphics for both.

So bottom line, my Ford F150 is better than your Chevy Silverado. So there!
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#9
rshaffer61

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So bottom line, my Ford F150 is better than your Chevy Silverado. So there!

:) :yes: :) :)
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#10
corbek

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haha, good stuff Digerati.
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