The smart device processors – Single, Dual, Quad and Octa-core
For many users, processor’s cores encourage them to buy a particular smartphone. The more a phone’s processor has cores, the more it is worth buying. All an average tech-savvy user understands is that a phone with dual-core processor is better than one with single-core processor; quad-core is better than dual-core, and if it is octa-core, consider it is like icing on the cake.
Is that really true? Let us come across some general explanations about single, dual, quad and octa core processors.
What is core in a processor?
Danny Stieben on Makeuseof.com (What Is A Processor Core? [MakeUseOf Explains]) explains that the core in processor is in fact a processing unit that stands for reading instructions to perform specific actions. So whatever action you want to perform on your mobile device, it is executed by the core, and if there are more cores than one, which are actually processing units, than you can perform all your actions quickly and at the same time.
Single Core Processor
Now we try to understand single core processor. A single core processor or CPU uses one core inside the processor. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of a single core CPU.
- Single core processor consumes less power in comparison of dual or other multiple-core processors. However consuming less or more power does not affect a mobile but, it of course affects the battery. With more cores, it is found that battery drains quickly.
- Because single-core processor consumes less power, the entire system being run by it remains cooler.
- A single core processor is still good for most of applications because many of them aren’t built for multiple core processor. Tasks like checking mail, surfing net, downloading data, etc can still be handled by single-core processor.
- It’s comparatively a slow processor. It doesn’t have much computing power to handle large operations.
- It cannot also handle multiple operations at a time.
- Because modern apps require a lot of processing power, a single-core processor operating them can get frozen. It simply means that the entire system can become unresponsive.
The Dual-Core Processors
A dual core CPU has two cores to executive operations. These core are fitted in single circuit to behave a single unit; however, they have their own controllers and caches which allow them to work faster than single core processor.
- A dual core processor executes all the tasks much faster. It is perfect to run multiple processors at one time. If a single core processor is assigned with two difference things, it cannot do them both simultaneously. It switches to all tasks one by one but a multiple core processor can do both operations at the same time.
- Having a dual core processor means you have power of two computers in one. But a dual core processor is much cheaper than buying two computers and than combining them to build a dual-processor unit.
- There are fewer operations which require power of dual core processors. In this ways a lot of power is wasted which of course quickly drains the battery. A mobile devices being used for general purpose computing such as checking email, surfing internet, typing docs, and sharing data, does not actually require power of dual core processor.
- Many mobile app developers do not programmer their apps to run with dual or other multiple-core processors and that’s why their apps turn out to be incompatible with mobiles which are still running on dual or multiple-core processors.
The Quad-Core and other multiple core CPUs
In simple term, a quad core processor have four processors and same is case with an octa-core processor. These cores may be either on same integrated circuit on the same chip package. Here are their advantage and disadvantages
- Multitasking is the major advantages of quad or octa core processor. More cores provide more capacity to mobile performing many tasks in the single instance.
- Quad or other multi-core processors are helpful in running such apps which are rather intensive and require a lot of resources. Such apps include video editors, antiviruses, graphics programs, etc.
- New quad processors consumes less power and general less heat. That’s why they are much efficient.
- Moore’s Law says that a computer is obsolete in 2 years. Quad or octa-core is actually way ahead of current mobile application development technology because not all the developer are able to program apps running on quad core processors. Many programmers are still written for dual or single core processors.
- A mobile with quad or octa core processors have been tested to drain battery rather faster.
- Mobile developers need to program their apps to take the full advantage of quad or octa-core processors.
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