Cpu quad core: What is a quad-core processor?

What Is the Difference in Speed in Quad Core & Single Core Processors? | Small Business

By John Papiewski

Although computers with quad-core processors are typically faster than single-core models, the difference in speed depends on a number of factors. On a very busy system and under ideal conditions, a quad core gets up to four times as much work done in a given time period as a single-core device. Individual programs don’t necessarily run any faster on a quad-core chip; it simply executes more of them at the same time.

Multi-core vs Single-core

  1. Among other internal components, a microprocessor contains a central processing unit called a core that performs arithmetic and logic operations at high speeds. A computer with a single-core processor performs one operation at a time, but like a short-order cook, it rapidly switches between different tasks, giving the illusion it’s doing many things at once. A quad-core processor, by contrast, has four CPUs on a single chip and executes four separate operations at the same time, drastically reducing waiting times and enhancing the computer’s productivity.

Processor Tasks

  1. Modern operating systems such as Windows, Linux or Mac OS X involve many running processes. For example, one process manages memory resources, another sends pages to a printer, and a third checks for cameras, phones and other attached devices. In addition to operating system tasks, the processor also runs your Web browser, video player and other application programs.

Memory Bandwidth

  1. Although a quad-core processor has multiple CPUs, they share other components, such as random access memory. Memory bandwidth, the speed at which the processor chip accesses data in RAM, can become a bottleneck when all the processors need to read information and store results. For this and similar reasons, a quad core’s performance is rarely exactly four times that of a single core’s, but instead typically runs between two and four times.

Performance Numbers

  1. As of 2013, dual-core and quad-core processors make up a large percentage of the processor market, although chip makers continue to produce a few single-core models. Test programs called benchmarks provide numbers you can use to compare different processor chips, although subtle technical differences between chips affect the results. For example, Intel’s Celeron 450 single-core device has a score of 598 on PassMark’s PerformanceTest speed benchmark software. The roughly comparable quad-core i5 S 750 processor rates an 1,139 on the same test. Similarly, Advanced Micro Device’s single-core Athlon 64 3500+ chip gets a rating of 530 while their quad-core Phenom 9350e scores a 2,219.


  • PC Magazine: Comparing Dual-Core vs. Quad-Core CPUs
  • PassMark Software: Mid Low Range CPU Benchmarks
  • PassMark Software: Mid Range CPU Benchmarks
  • Roge Wave Software: Memory Bandwidth

Writer Bio

Chicago native John Papiewski has a physics degree and has been writing since 1991. He has contributed to “Foresight Update,” a nanotechnology newsletter from the Foresight Institute. He also contributed to the book, “Nanotechnology: Molecular Speculations on Global Abundance.

Quad Core Pros & Cons | Small Business

By Jacob Andrew

Quad core processors, as the name suggests, allow four instructions to be processed simultaneously. These types of chips have been in the PC market for a while, but are rapidly becoming a part of mobile devices. While quadruple processing capability sounds like an all-around benefit, not every program can harness multicore capabilities. The new processors have some downsides, including high heat output and cache sharing, which users should consider.

Pro: Increased Multitasking

  1. The obvious benefit to quad-core processors is the performance increase. Not through sheer speed, as measured in clock speed, but in the ability to perform more tasks without any hiccups. Multitasking on a single-core processor merely manages the different programs at such a fast rate that it appear as if multiple programs can run simultaneously. However, when one of those programs consumes a large amount of resources, such as a video player, a single core processor will quickly choke while running another program. Four cores theoretically enables that video player to use its own core, while allowing a word processor or other program to utilize a different core.

Con: Cooling

  1. Quad-core processors, even when optimized, threaten to use more energy than their dual- or single-core predecessors. This is due to more electricity-consuming technology packed into the same size package as a dual-core processor. For PCs and laptops, the result is a significant amount of heat, necessitating a more expensive cooling system. Mobile devices, however, don’t have the room for large copper heatsinks, liquid cooling pumps or fans. As a result, tablets and smart phones may experience significant heating issues when overworked.

Pro: Efficient Performance

  1. It’s easy to assume that four cores would consume more energy than two. However, these power-hogging fears have largely proven to be a myth, due in part to new efficiency innovations. These innovation span from automatic CPU clock throttling, to a secret “fifth” core designed to handle non-processor-intensive tasks, such as music playing. As a result, quad core processors could actually consume less power outside of heavy usage times.

Con: Shared Cache

  1. The development of multiple cores is not always matched by growth in other parts of the technology. In the case of quad-core chips, the four cores are actually connected to a single bus, and a single shared pool of processor cache. The cache is where constantly accessed routines are stored, and a good processor can easily include 8 MB of cache per core. A quad-core with only 8 MB of shared cache, therefore, reserves only 2 MB per core. Similarly, the Front Side Bus, or FSB, which connects the processor to the memory, can become a bottleneck as four cores choke up writing to the memory. As a result, you may need to spend more than expected to get a quad core with sufficient L2 cache.


  • Gigaom: Quad Core Phones Look Speed, but There’s a Catch
  • Intel: Intel® Core™2 Extreme Mobile Processor
  • NVidia: The Benefits of Quad Core CPUs in Mobile Devices

Writer Bio

Jacob Andrew previously worked as an A+ and CCNA-certified technology specialist. After receiving his BA in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2012, he turned his focus towards writing about travel, politics and current technology.

AMD Athlon X4 950: The cheapest quad-core processor for AM4


With the introduction of the Ryzen series of processors, AMD has finally been able to compete with Intel in the mid-range desktop chip class. And although many considered the return of AMD a triumph, the manufacturer still has a lot to do. For example, while the company has nothing to answer in the top class. A difficult situation has also developed in the budget class.

The thing is that the new AMD AM4 processor socket, in which all models of the Ryzen series are manufactured, has so far been deprived of a balanced inexpensive solution. The AMD Ryzen 3 1200 was the most budget-friendly solution. By itself, this is a great processor, but the problem is that Intel offers cheaper processors from the Kaby Lake family, and for building entry-level gaming PCs with a discrete graphics card, many people choose them.

AMD Athlon X4 950

Yes, AMD has the old FM2+ platform where you can find similarly priced solutions. At the same time, the FM2+ socket is already obsolete: all new developments will be released on AMD AM4. So it turns out a strange situation when AMD offers a promising AM4 platform, but at the same time does not release budget processors for it, on which it would be possible to build a system with an eye for a further upgrade.

Recently, AMD has been offering low-cost A6 series chips, such as the AMD A6-9500 Bristol Ridge. But their problem is that they have only two cores, while not supporting multi-threading. In addition to this, these processors are hybrid, that is, they carry integrated graphics. From the point of view of budget office or multimedia computers, such a solution may be in demand, but we are talking about inexpensive gaming assemblies where a discrete graphics card is required, and an integrated GPU is a waste of money.

Fortunately, AMD is now finally able to offer an inexpensive chip that meets all of the above requirements. We are talking about a quad-core AMD Athlon X4 9 processor50. It belongs to the same Bristol Ridge family, and is on the same level as the AMD A6-9500, but it already has four cores, and the integrated graphics have been deactivated.

The new processor is available in two packages: Tray and BOX.

To get a more objective impression of the budget chip, let’s compare it with the youngest of the new 2nd generation AMD Ryzen chips – AMD Ryzen 3 2200G.

Model AMD Athlon X4 950 AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
Code name Bristol Ridge Raven Ridge
Production technology 28 nm 14 nm
Cores/Threads 4/4 4/4
Base frequency 3. 5 GHz 3.5 GHz
Turbo frequency 3.8GHz 3.7 GHz
L2 cache No 4 MB
L3 cache No 4 MB
Memory support DDR4-2400 DDR4-2933
Graphics Vega 8
Number of GPU stream processors 704
GPU frequency 1. 25 GHz
TDP 65 W 65 W

Despite the partial similarity to the AMD Ryzen 3 2200G (we will not pay attention to the presence of integrated graphics), it becomes obvious that the AMD Athlon X4 950 is an older solution, although it was introduced quite recently.

The new model belongs to the previous Bristol Ridge family. This means that it is based on an outdated microarchitecture, moreover, on an older process technology. However, even taking into account the huge difference between 14 and 28 nm and AMD Athlon X4 950, and AMD Ryzen 3 2200G fit within the TDP of 65W.

AMD Athlon X4 950

But otherwise, the two processors are similar: both have four processing cores and operate at similar frequencies. Yes, AMD Athlon X4 950 is limited to support for RAM up to DDR4-2400, but since we are talking about a budget assembly, faster RAM modules are unlikely to be in demand.

The new AMD Athlon X4 950 processor has already been tested by independent computer publications. The results were expected: despite the apparent proximity to the initial AMD Ryzen chips, it still lags far behind them. Time makes itself felt: the Bulldozer architecture, on which the discussed processor is built, appeared back in 2011, and since then a lot of water has flowed under the bridge.

At the same time, the AMD Athlon X4 950 is the most affordable quad-core processor for the AMD AM4 socket. So, even taking into account the relatively low performance, this is an excellent contender for the role of a temporary processor: you can build the most inexpensive PC with an AM4 connector with it, and upgrade to the required level in the future. Moreover, AMD will present processors for AM4 for more than one year.

AMD processors

See also

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The mid-range AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT video card compares favorably with the RX 6600 XT with increased frequencies. ASUS Radeon RX 6650 XT Dual OC, in turn, stands out with even higher frequencies. An interesting novelty is already available in XCOM-SHOP.


AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT: An update to the popular

AMD has updated its 6000 series graphics cards. The Radeon RX 6750 XT received increased core and memory frequencies compared to its predecessor. Two models of the new family are already available in XCOM-SHOP: GIGABYTE Radeon RX 6750 XT GAMING OC and MSI Radeon RX 6750 XT MECH 2X 12G OC.


3rd Gen AMD EPYC: Higher Clocks, Zen 3 Architecture, Up to 64 Cores

3rd Gen AMD EPYC server CPUs are clocked faster and can execute more instructions per clock. Chips EPYC 72F3, EPYC 7313, EPYC 7413, EPYC 7443, EPYC 7453, EPYC 7513 and EPYC 7763 have already arrived at XCOM-SHOP.


Delivery of goods



Processor Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 16 years later

How the first quad-core came about

At the end of 2006, Intel announced Core technology, and three months later, the first quad-core Core 2 Extreme QX6700 processor was born. Not only the architecture was revolutionary, but also the price, the new processor cost almost a thousand dollars.

At the beginning of 2007, the Core 2 Quad Q6600 was released for general consumption at a cost of about $800, but by mid-spring it still fell a little to $500, but due to the high cost, it did not gain popularity, only a few months later, when the price was halved , it became possible to consider these processors as the basis for high-performance systems.

Still, the Core 2 Quad was not an “honest” quad-core processor, in fact it was two Core 2 Duo crystals under one cover. These two processors “communicated” with each other through the system bus, which affected performance.

The difference between the popular Q6600 and the extreme QX6700, by and large, was the unlocked multiplier. In principle, in those days it was possible to overclock anything and anything, so even enthusiasts could make the Q6600 work 30% faster without any special costs by overclocking the system bus, and with luck, by 50%.

And yet, at that time and even then, for a sufficient time, only single applications worked with all 4 cores, other programs and games often used only one core, two at best. The only program that immediately liked all 4 cores was the WinRAR archiver.

Actually, the new processors were not suitable even for gamers due to poor compatibility with multi-core systems for a long time, but were designed specifically for enthusiasts or users of special resource-intensive professional software, who really saw an unprecedented increase in performance.

But progress does not stand still, and today you will not surprise anyone with four cores. If not to say the opposite: modern and 6- and 8-core processors are quite affordable, and all modern applications support multithreading.

This is not to mention that modern processors began to support new instructions that increase performance, many components from the north and south bridges have already become part of the CPU, for example, the memory controller, which also affects performance, and the memory itself has become noticeably faster.

Where did productivity come from

Until the advent of a CPU with more than one core, processors increased their power many times over, and it was not surprising that after a couple of years the new product could be faster than its predecessor and a couple of times. However, it could not continue like this all the time: the limits of both frequencies and heat dissipation were reached, and if before 2003, on average, processors added up to 50% from series to series and more, then after 2003 this figure began to decline.

To help maintain growth rates, albeit not as significant, just became multi-core. On average, developing both the number of cores and new technologies, processors continued to gain an average of 25% per year, this continued until 2013.

After 2013, sockets begin to increase, so far only in the number of contacts, but it seems that the entire area of ​​the old 775 from Intel and 754 from AMD could no longer accommodate the amount of silicon that was necessary to increase the number of cores and threads, however, until 2015 still managed to maintain a performance increase of 12%, mainly due to a decrease in the technical process.

In 2016, the performance gain is sharply reduced to 3.5% per year, but more and more active experiments with socket sizes begin. If the same AMD 754 simply filled the void in the middle, adding contacts until it was completely filled (socket 940, aka AM2), then after 775, Intel’s sockets began to change with each new generation, but the holes for the cooling system remained at the same distance, which, in principle, did not particularly annoy the average consumer.

Finally, Intel gave up with the release of 12th generation processors and the connector compared to the previous ones, immediately added 500 contacts and stretched out in one of the planes, which caused the transfer and holes for mounting the cooling system. Surprisingly, with the advent of the 13th generation of processors, the socket has not changed … yet. Perhaps this area will be enough to create new processors with even more cores and with a minimal increase in real performance.

Core 2 Quad Q6600 vs Core i3-13100

But back to the main topic. How much, according to the total for more than a dozen years of development, modern quad-core processors are faster than the very first ones, we will consider further. For our Q6600, we will select a modern competitor, it will be the 10th generation Intel, namely the Core i3-10100, which was released in April 2020. Accordingly, in reality we will compare processors with a difference of 13 years. A small comparison of the main indicators of processors:

Core 2 Quad Q6600

  • Process: 65 nm
  • Cores/Threads: 4/4
  • Rated power: 105W
  • Clock frequency: 2.4 GHz
  • Memory support: DDR2-800

Core i3-10100

  • Process: 14 nm
  • Cores/Threads: 4/8
  • Rated power: 65W
  • Clock frequency: 4.1 GHz
  • Memory support: DDR4-3200

From the above parameters, we can conclude that the Q6600 is 3 times slower than the i3-10100, and if we take into account the increase in performance over the years, it will be at least 200%. In addition, the new processor supports more instructions that are readily used by modern programs and games.

Let’s try to test both systems. By the way, both of them will use the same video card and solid state drive. The processor and memory are responsible for everything else. By the way, it was rather problematic to find tests and games that would want to run on both platforms, since the Q6600 platform is very outdated.


The memory bandwidth test puts the competition right from the start, showing a difference of more than 9x in both read and write speeds. The new processor was tested with DDR5-4800 memory. Although the latency values ​​of the new memory look large, the bus bandwidth and frequency did their job.

A set of well-known Geekbench 5 tests narrows the gap a bit, but still this is a difference at times: 5.5 times faster than the Q6600 i3-10100 in single-threaded tests and more than 7 times in multi-threaded ones. But the PassMark complex did not show the difference so much: in some tests, the new i3-13100 could not even achieve a triple superiority of our older brother. Perhaps these are some sparing algorithms that could not fully load a modern processor, or the influence of the fact that a graphics accelerator is used for testing, which was used in both systems the same.

Nevertheless, in real working professional software, these figures will definitely be higher, and the first example of this is the Cinebench R23 test, in which the Q6600 lagged behind the modern processor by almost 10 times. But 7z showed a not so impressive gap: the difference was 4.7 times.


In games, the picture remained unchanged, with the proviso that the resolution used was FHD. On average, the difference in CPU usage in games is between 5 and 8.5 times.


We can summarize: a modern quad-core processor is 4 times faster and less gluttonous than the very first one, and the difference between these indicators is 16 years. Although now the performance increase is not as double-digit percentages as before, it would be interesting to compare, say, the first Intel processor, which began to use a hybrid architecture, with some 20-generation processor of the same number of cores.