Difference between Core 2 Duo and Dual Core Processors


After hours of research on the Internet, surfing through various websites and finding nothing. Interpreting data from Intel’s official website, here I have the most comprehensive discussion online on the difference between two most confused processors.

The Intel Core 2 Duo and Intel Dual Core processors. Here’s a collection of the all time popular answers I have heard:

Core 2 Duo, naya hai ji. Advance to hona hi hai“. – The vendor when I was buying a PC.

“Dual Core? Just a different name for Core 2 Processor Series.”- Some tech forums.

“Dual Core. Core 2 Duo. Aren’t they supposed to be the same?” – The most common answer.

But back to business. Jumping on directly to the correct answer of our question.

Dual Core processors are 2 processors working in series at the same time, whereas Core 2 Duo are 2 processors working in parallel and sharing their load.

Might remind some of us the combinations of electrical resistance as an analogous, but since that’s not exactly the situation, I have better explanations for this. Some non-technical analogy. Consider that you and me have been given a task to complete. Take that task to be reading and signing a document. Assume that each page has to be attested by either of us only. Now there are two ways to do that. The first, I sign my pages, pass on the document to you and you follow suite. The other way, I give you your set of pages, take out mine, and we simultaneously sign our different set of the pages. Obviously the second approach is much faster than the first one. Our second approach is what Core2Duo does, and our first what Dual Core does. Note that work is shared in both cases. Our load is shared, I don’t do your task and neither you do mine. This explains the difference between the two processors. If you’ve read till here I caution do not skip the next paragraphs. Some disclaimers follow.

Core2DuoSo, are Dual Core processors a waste? Okay, please allow me to take another analogy. The last one in this post. This time I’ll explain it mathematically. Take two functions. One ‘n’ and other ‘n^2’ (n square). For values of n between 0 and 1, n is greater than n^2. And for values of  n>1 the difference starts to get bigger as we move towards right on the number line, the values of ‘n^2’  is bigger than ‘n’.  Same is the case here. Which performs better or questions like “which is better ?”, “which suites my needs?” are all answered through this analysis. For tasks like creating some word documents, surfing the internet, downloading and uploading pictures through a Digital Camera, which are not that complex tasks, Dual Core is not a bad choice. For gaming, high-end Web Development, photo and video editing Core 2 Duo would be better any day.

Let’s go a more technical now. More precise information on how Core 2 Duo is actually more advanced than the other processors? See, I say advanced rather than saying better. That’s important to be right in technical terms. Below are points of our interest:

1. The cache size is increased by more than 50%.

2. Energy Efficiency: Core 2 Duo processors are not only high on performance but energy-efficient too. The processors operate at lower frequencies that require less power to run. (That’ll take me another round of research on the Internet to explain you. Some time later may be).

3. Better Acoustics:  I quote it directly from the Intel Product Brief for this.

Intel® CoreTM2 Duo processors are equipped with a Digital Thermal Sensor (DTS) that enables efficient processor and platform thermal control. Thermal sensors located within the processor measure the maximum temperature on the die at any given time. Intel® Quiet System Technology, included in the Intel® Express Chipset families1, uses the DTS to regulate the system and processor fan speeds. The acoustic benefit of temperature monitoring is that system fans spin only as fast as needed to cool the system, and slower spinning fans generate less noise.

Even if you’ve just scrolled down to the last line of the post. No problems, check out this video. Anyways I recommend DO CHECK this video (link below), it really well explains the difference between all kinds of Intel processors.

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