1processor with 4cores i need more explanation

Discussion in 'iMac' started by stuart2102, May 27, 2012.

  1. stuart2102 macrumors regular


    May 29, 2011
    As what i've read on Wikipedia a processor can only have 1 core, but im just curious on my new imac specs i5 which is 1processor with 4cores can anybody have technicality on how it is? i need more explanation about this at least i have and idea.
  2. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
  3. Matador Red macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2012
  4. stuart2102 thread starter macrumors regular


    May 29, 2011
    yeah this is the site that im reading a while ago before i posted my concern coz when i check my imac its 1processor but 4core can you try to share me your knowledge on this 1processor 4 cores?

    Model Name: iMac
    Model Identifier: iMac12,2
    Processor Name: Intel Core i5
    Processor Speed: 3.1 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 4
    L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
    L3 Cache: 6 MB
    Memory: 8 GB
    Boot ROM Version: IM121.0047.B1F
    SMC Version (system): 1.72f1
    Serial Number (system): C02FP0EMDHJW
    Hardware UUID: 52DEAEAF-0137-5962-AB87-8634A5AE3373


    ahh okay i got it thanks for this link
  5. bvanlieu macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2008
    You mean wikipedia can be wrong? :D

    A CPU has some fundamental components used to process instructions and data. Adding multiple physical CPUs to a computer takes up space and creates some other synchronization issues (think I/O between CPUs).

    Smart engineers figured out ways to duplicate the CPU processing logic into the same single CPU unit/packaging. Lets call this block of processing logic a Core.

    This is how you have multi-CORE CPUs. Instead of a single set of processing logic, there are multiple blocks of them, each able to process instructions and data independently. There are then some shared items such as cache memory, but that is outside the scope of this simple discussion.

    The end user sees it as a way to linearly increase CPU processing capacity without the need for more physical CPUs. You can process a movie playback on one core, while the other cores check email, and execute any other program that is running on your fancy computer :)

    - b
  6. Occamsrazr macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2012
    How do you define processor and how do you define core? This is the source of the confusion
  7. biohead macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    West Drayton, UK
    Modern CPUs now have more than 1 core (from around 2005 onward). The reason for this is to get more performance out of one core, you have to make it run faster.

    We went from 33MHz, to 100MHz, to 500MHz, to 1GHz to 3.8GHz etc. As they got faster, they made a lot more heat. There's an anecdote, I don't know if it's true, that the fastest Pentium 4s generated more heat per unit area than a nuclear reactor. Single core processors started using enormous amounts of electricity.

    It got to a point where the speeds couldn't go any faster due to the heat made and energy required, so to improve performance, they started adding another core and slowed them down a little bit so they weren't as hot.

    This gave dawn to the Core 2 Duo (2 cores), Core 2 Quad (4 cores), Phenom X3 (3 cores) and now the latest Intel Xeon processors have 8 cores per processor.
  8. HobeSoundDarryl, May 28, 2012
    Last edited: May 28, 2012

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    It goes like this:
    • For a fairly long time, it was about a number next to a Ghz (not entirely, but the masses pretty much got trained into thinking this was most of the purchase decision)
    • There came a point where it was overly complicated and too expensive to keep pushing up processor speeds (recall "solutions" like liquid cooling, etc having to be built in to cool down some processors).
    • So once the marketing spin of X++ Ghz > X Ghz became a jeopardized message, the marketers evolved the game.
    • Put 2 (slower) cores on a piece of silicon and call it dual core. This would be the old "2 ________ are better than 1" proposition. Communicate Ghz doesn't really matter (anymore) and run with this new message.
    • As soon as dual cores would be just about maxed out (without getting into expensive liquid cooling, etc options), roll out 4 cores: "4 cores are better than 2".
    • As soon as quad cores were nearing max, roll out virtual cores so that 8 "virtual cores" could be pitched while still delivering only 4 actual cores.
    • As soon as quad cores or 8 virtual cores are nearing their maximums, roll out 6 or 8 cores.
    • Then, add virtual 6 or 8 cores to spin 12 and 16 virtual cores.
    • When they run out, look for 12 and 16 cores, then 24 and 32 virtual cores, then ramp it again.
    • Around this time, try to spin a new claim that they can add more virtual cores so that 1 virtual on 1 physical becomes 2 or 3 virtuals on 1 physical. See if they can get away with that claim (or maybe even do it).

    Basically, this solves the marketing problem of the Ghz number battle for a very long time (you can always add more cores). However, eventually this will run into the same problem: much like the Ghz battle became a problem with the related costs (such as more expensive cooling system requirements) , doubling of cores will eventually make the next iteration of doubling a pricing problem for the masses. In other words, the goal is always to roll out next generation of improved computers without having to significantly hike up the retail prices. Toward the end of the Ghz war, the extra stuff manufacturers were going to have to build into the boxes to deal with the next faster speed(s) was going to cause a price problem (I won't even get into the power consumption issue). The same is coming with the "just double the cores" solution. Eventually, the next doubling is going to collide with the business goal of not significantly jacking up the retail price.

    But I'm sure someone is already thinking about the next spin... "cores don't matter anymore?", "processors don't matter?". We'll see soon enough.
  9. Occamsrazr macrumors 6502

    Apr 26, 2012
  10. stuart2102 thread starter macrumors regular


    May 29, 2011
    Thanks anyway i found my answer already yesterday when i read some site its only my understanding that i was confuse but when i read one of the link here, so i was only confuse of what im reading and not the wikipedia hehehe


    yeah thats it i keep on looking for the definition about core and processor i didnt find it for just twice searching but hopefully i found it hehehe


    Good explanation thanks a lot
  11. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    Is this a joke? Honestly, you are not serious are you? I suspect you are joking, because the above is of course a complete load of nonsense.
  12. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, there is some truth to what he writes (if you dig far enough), but yeah, its mostly a load of bs...

Share This Page