Dual Core vs i3
The term “dual core” simply means that a processor has two processing cores within the package. But its use as a marketing term in the early Intel dual core and Core 2 processors means that a lot of people use it more often as a noun rather than as an adjective. The newest dual-core processor from Intel is the Core i3, succeeding the Core 2 Duo and Dual Cores. It presents several design changes that provide significant performance gains.
The first change is the integration of a few components that used to be found on the motherboard. The first is a GPU which can provide acceptable basic graphics processing capabilities. Its inclusion into the processor makes it perform better and more uniformly on different motherboard brands. The second is the Direct Media Interface which used to be known as the northbridge and southbridge in older motherboards that other dual-core processors used. The inclusion of the DMI in the i3 processor shortens the electrical path between the core and the actual components like the RAM, hard drives, ports, and other resources.
Another feature found on the i3 that is not available on other equivalent dual-core processors is hyperthreading. Hyperthreading provides efficient resource utilization and allows multiple threads to run parallel in each core. Intel claims that HT processors like the i3 retain their responsiveness even when running complex applications like video editing software.
The biggest contributor to the leap in performance of the i3 from other dual cores is its move from the 45nm architecture used before to the 32nm architecture. The smaller width allows for more transistors within the same silicon chip; hence the inclusion of the DMI and the GPU. It also means less power consumed and less heat generated while performing better and faster than its predecessors. Power consumption is now becoming a more important benchmark in processors due to many people moving away from traditional desktops into the more mobile and battery-operated laptops.
The i3 is a dual-core processor.
The i3 has an integrated GPU while other dual cores don’t.
The i3 has an integrated DMI while other dual cores don’t.
The i3 has hyperthreading while other dual cores don’t.
The i3 is on the 32nm architecture while dual cores are on the 45nm architecture.
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