dual and quad core help

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by L plate, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. L plate macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2012
    i have a 2.66 ghz i7 dual core (late 2010) 8gb mem

    if i buy the new spec one :)
    1, what would the min spec be to be a least as fast/good as this one be ?
    2, is it worth upgradeing ?

    this it my first apple laptop and i love it but have been told quad core is better but they seem to be lower than 2.66 ghz
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    It all depends on what you do with it. If you do multiple tasks at once, then a quad core is faster, if you do only one or two things at a time, then the dual core can be faster (assuming it is clocked faster). However, mhz for mhz the 2011 is faster than the 2010's so really a "slower" speed 2011 will be just as fast as the higher clocked 2010 even in single and dual core operations and faster in highly threaded operations.
  3. L plate thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2012
    thanks, think i will be going for the 2.4 then :) :apple:
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Just an explanation: Intel has completely messed up the meaning of "GHz" for their processors. Here's the explanation:

    Your processor produces heat. The faster it runs, the more heat. And the more cores you use, the more heat. And for all processors in laptops, the heat is what is limiting the speed.

    You could have a processor where a single core can run at say 3.2 GHz continuously before the processor gets too hot. But if you use two cores, producing twice the heat, they can only run at say 2.6 GHz (they can run at full speed for a short time, but then the speed has to be reduced to 2.6 GHz). And with four cores running, producing four times as much heat, the speed has to be reduced further to say 2.2 GHz.

    So if you bought a 3.2 GHz single core, a 2.6 GHz dual core, or a 2.2 GHz quad core processor, each of them could run a single core at 3.2 GHz. Both dual and quad core could run two cores at 2.6 GHz, but only the quad core could run four cores at 2.2 GHz. So the quad core processor is always at least as fast as the dual core, even though the "official" clock speed is lower. But if you use four cores, it will be a lot quicker.
  5. L plate thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2012
    thanks both :) understand it all a lot better now :)
    did ask in pc world but just felt all they wanted was my cash lol :p
    going to wait a few weeks see if any news of a apple update :D
  6. samy.taco macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2014
    I had the same question, thanks to gnasher for an awesome answer and keeping it simple.
  7. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    It should also be mentioned that your apps specifically needs to be written to utilize more cores, in order for the to be able to exploit the more cores. If you just use Safari, Microsoft Office, Mail, etc., then you won't see any difference going from a dual to a quad core processor.

    If you have an older model, an upgrade to an SSD will be a much wiser choice.

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