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Dual Core, Core Duo and Core 2 Duo Processors - What Differences?

And What Implications for your Laptop's Performance?

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Unless you are quite familiar with laptops and desktop computers, chances are that you can't make much sense of those tags on laptop offers: dual core, core duo or core 2 duo, etc. For one, they sound alike. Besides, you probably haven't seen a clearr-cut explanation of what each stands for.

Now, that's about to end. This short piece is meant to clear things up and show you what dual core, core duo and core 2 duo mean. It will also explain what implications these processor core architectures might have for the system you want buy. Hopefully, this helps you make a better choice.

Develoment of processor technology is strongly influenced by the growing appetite for faster, more powerful performance for computers. Especially important, in this regard, is system performance in multitasking application situations. Users want speed and efficiency, even in demanding use. That's largely what the trend towards multi-core processors is about.

Let's say straight away that the three phrases - dual core, Core Duo and Core 2 Duo - do not mean the same thing, though they are related. Dual core is different from core duo, just as core 2 duo is from core duo. So, here we go:

Dual Core

Dual core is a generic term for a processor designed with two logical cores within the processor. In effect, this processor has two cores on the same die, each having its cache. In simpler language, it's a two-in-one CPU with two executions units or cores.

Previously, all processors were single core. The processor worked back and forth to execute its various tasks, often with a lot of demand on the system resources. When several tasks are running, this could slow down performance. In principle, dual core processor offer a more robost apporach, with the two cores working in tandem to provide more efficient performance. In effect, it has the potential to run more operations and processes more efficiently and faster, than would be expected from a single core processor.

Because dual core is a generic categorisation, dual core processor could come from any of the processor manufacturers. You will find Intel dual core processors as well as AMD dual core processors.

For Intel, up to its Pentium 4 were single core processors. However, the Pentium D is dual core. Intel has since abandoned the Pentium nomenclature in preference for Core Duo.

Core Duo Processors

Core Duo is a proprietary Intel brand of dual core processors. The Core Duo is viewed as Intel's first full release of dual core processors, though the Pentium D is dual core. The Core Duo processors are therefore dual core processors, made by Intel. These processors offer substantial power conservation, even with more clockspeed. They also deliver much better performance.

Core 2 Duo Processors

After releasing its Core Duo processors, Intel upped the ante with its Core 2 Duo series. So, Ciore 2 Duo processors are dual core processors made by Intel Corporation and the follow-up to the Core Duo release. Core 2 Duo, like Core Duo, is a brand name of Intel processors. The Core 2 Duo concept is a cocktail of the best elements from the Pentium D NetBurst architecture, the Pentium M and the Core Duo mobile processors. This computer processor is designed to optimise processing performance and power consumption.

Today, many top performance laptops are run on Core 2 Duo processors. While this Intel range of dual core processors has proved successful in the market, it must be noted that AMD has had its own success with its dual core processors. The AMD Anthlon 64 X2 has earned its own respect, in terms of impressive processor performance. Inte also as other multi-core processors like the Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Extreme.


What Do You Really Require?

Well, users are always looking for the best, except that the very best tends to cost a lot of money. Which is why the best your money can buy becomes the nest best choice. Only those engaged in top-end computing really require the high-end processors. Most simple users, who just want to type letters and browse the internet, do not require top performance processors that are found in expensive systems. In effect, even single core processor systems will do.

However, it's good to point out that most of today's users insist on a dual core processor, which makes sense in view of their higher performance efficiency. A Core 2 Duo processor will be great, if you can afford it. Otherwise, settle for something less and you won't be missing too much.


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