What is core and what is processor? How are they related?

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What is core and what is processor? How are they related?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

Back in the day, processors only had one core, so there wasn’t really words to distinguish them.

Cores are the things doing actual work, while the processor is the physical place they’re doing the work. Think of it like having a factory (processor) with one assembly line (core) in it. You can do twice as much work with two assembly lines (two cores). You could have produced both results before on the one line, but it would’ve meant constantly stopping work to change the line to the other product.

A modern consumer level processor might contain up to 24 cores which can work in parallel on your computer. You can have different processes (like each tab in Chrome, Spotify, the background Windows processes) each running in their own cores, preventing them from interrupting each other for CPU time.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There’s a special type of circuit called a “Central Processing Unit”, or “CPU”. These are very complicated circuits that are capable of running programs. A lot of times, a CPU is referred to as “a processor”.

As our computers got more sophisticated, we needed more and more power out of the computers. So we started building computers that could have multiple CPUs. At first, this meant the computer had two places to plug in normal CPUs, and the other parts of the computer managed having two CPUs.

Over time, as this became more and more common, we started making ONE physical piece of circuitry that had more than one CPU inside. Once we started doing this, we called the individual CPUs “cores”. So a “4-core processor” is one thing to plug in to your computer that represents 4 total CPUs.

That the word “processor” can be used for both is just unfortunate. We’ll even go as far as saying we have an “8-core CPU” even though that really means we have 8 CPUs in our computer.