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What Is a Dual Core Processor?

A dual-core processor refers to a CPU that possesses two distinct cores placed on the same die. Each core has its own separate cache. A dual-core processor basically means having two microprocessors in one.

The architecture of a basic or single-core processor is made in such a way that instructions fed to it are ordered, executed, and then stored in the cache for easy retrieval. When there is data is needed and it is not located in the cache, it has to be retrieved from the RAM or random access memory or from storage devices and then transported through the system bus to the processor. This whole path can sometimes bog down the computer performance because it has to rely on how fast the system bus, the RAM and storage devices are. The speeds of these components are slower than the speed of the CPU itself. The whole situation is exacerbated when the user begins multitasking – opening different programs at the same time and taxing the resources of the CPU.

A dual-core processor addresses the slowdown by allowing each core to handle the incoming data strings at the same time in order to hasten the whole process. What happens with the two cores is that while one is executing a command the other core is already accessing the system bus or executing its own command.

In order for a dual core processor to really work, the operating system should recognize the processor’s multithreading function and software must also write code to recognize and execute multithreading.

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