The technology behind Hyper-Threaded, or HT, and multi-core processors enables processors to far exceed the performance of single-core, non-HT processors. The differences between the technologies are great, however, so it’s important to understand these differences before choosing what to use in your business computers. With either technology, however, you’ll achieve greater performance than you would with a regular processor.
Hyper-Threading technology creates two virtual processing cores for each physical core present in a CPU. The physical core powers the virtual cores, which then share the responsibility of task processing. Each virtual core is identical to the other, and though neither is as powerful as the physical core, together they far exceed the physical core’s power when HT isn’t enabled. The use of these virtual cores enables the CPU to delegate tasks between cores in real time.
Advantages of Hyper-Threading
The workload created by a CPU-intensive operation, such as running two demanding programs at the same time — an operation that would slow down a single, physical core regardless of its raw power — is split between the virtual cores in a processor that utilizes HT technology. With two virtual cores tackling tasks at the same time, processing times are shorter, programs open faster and your computer will stay more responsive during multi-tasking. In a nutshell, Hyper-Threading increases processing efficiency.
Multi-core technology, which is most commonly available in dual-core, quad-core and hexa-core CPUs, is a technology that adds extra physical processing cores. In a single core CPU, tasks are processed one at a time on a first-come, first-serve basis. This can be problematic for multi-tasking as tasks will start backing up. In a processor with two or more cores, multi-tasking is far more efficient as multiple cores are available to process tasks. The more cores you have, the more data you can process without a dip in performance.
Advantages of Multi-Core
Multi-core technology has all the advantages of Hyper-Threading technology and more. Unlike HT technology, which uses two virtual cores for every physical core to process tasks more efficiently, multi-core technology adds physical cores. As a single physical core is more powerful than a single virtual core, a dual-core processor is more powerful than a single-core processor with Hyper-Threading. Many newer model CPUs are Hyper-Threaded and multi-core, which enables even greater performance. For example, if you have a quad core processor — that’s four cores — with HT, you would have eight virtual cores.