Dual Core and Octa Core: 7 Differences

By Dominic Chooper on April 02, 2022

You may wonder which among a dual core and an octa core processor is better when you need to make a choice between the two. However, choosing will be much easier if you know the differences between them in the first place.

And, if you need any assistance, you will get it in this article. Here are some of the major differences between these two types of processors with some additional information to choose the better one for you.


7 Differences Between Dual Core and Octa Core Processor

Differences Between Dual Core and Octa Core Processor

1. Number of Cores

In the dual core processors, there are two cores provided and each of these cores is allotted with a special task.

On the other hand, the octa core processors come with eight cores. All these 8 cores are arranged in two different sets where each contains four cores.

2. Power Consumption

The dual core processors consume much less power in comparison to the octa core processors.

This is primarily due to the fact that it has only two cores as opposed to 8 cores of the other processor.

3. Multitasking Ability

The dual core processors lag far behind the octa core processors in terms of multitasking ability. These processors cannot handle a large number of jobs at the same time.

On the other hand, the large number of cores in the octa core processor along with its hyper threading ability allows it to carry out several tasks at the same time.

4. Computational Speed

The dual core processors come with a significantly lower computational speed as compared to the octa core processors.

On the other hand, the 8 cores of the octa core processors can process a given data set at much shorter time than a dual core processor.

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5. Usage

The dual core processors can be used easily and effectively for day-to-day computing tasks along with some more-than-basic computing tasks. It cannot handle graphics intensive tasks.

On the other hand, the octa core processor can handle any heavy graphics application and graphics intensive tasks such as video editing, graphics rendering, animation and other heavy graphic applications much more easily.

6. Performance Output

The dual core processors are developed to offer good performance provided you are using it for daily computing tasks.

The design of the octa core processors simply ensures that the performance output is impeccable irrespective of the type of job done on the system.

7. Heat Generation

The heat generated by the dual core processors is much lower.

On the other hand, the heat generated by the octa core processors is much higher due to its larger number of cores as well as higher power consumption.

Which is Better – Dual Core or Octa Core Processor?

With the differences mentioned above, it may seem that it is good to go with the octa core processor with a better CPU architecture and core number.

Well, that is not all that you will need to make the right choice.

Fortunately, at this point of the article, you will be guided through your selection process.

Also, at the same time you will gain some additional knowledge about the different aspects of the dual core and octa core processors apart from the major differences that are already mentioned above.

Here are some other important facts regarding the octa core and a dual core processor that everyone should know.

All these factors affect their respective performance and knowing them may, in turn, influence your final choice.

Typically, the working process is vaguely the same for the two processors where there are two different sets of cores handling different sets of tasks with a difference in the number of cores in the two sets.

Ideally, you can say that in a dual core processor there are two microprocessors rolled in one, and rightfully so.

This is because this specific CPU or Central Processing Unit also allows performing more than one task at a time because the two cores come with their respective cache and controller.

This also means that the dual core processors can process data at a much faster rate.

However, each of these microprocessors has the ability to handle incoming data strings at the same time.

This improves the efficiency of the processor on the whole.

This means that when one core of the dual core processor is busy executing a particular set of instructions, the other core can execute its own code or access the system bus.

On the other hand, the main idea behind creating an octa core processor is to offer higher performance and greater speed while processing a given data string as compared to any other processors.

These processors can handle more advanced computing tasks such as graphics heavy applications, gaming, and high resolution videos.

These efficient and capable processors ensure faster loading times as well.

However, you should take note at this point that, practically, you will get the performance of a quad core processor even then.

This is because the 8 cores of the processor are divided into two quartets, as said earlier.

And, normally, it is only a single set of cores that will be utilized at any given point in time in this processor and will use up a lot of energy for that as well.

The other set of the octa core will offer a much lower level of performance but will consume much less energy.

This ‘low power’ quartet of cores will be used most of the time for performing tasks such as reading, writing, browsing the internet, sending email, and navigating the operating system.

It is only when you need more power for performing intensive tasks on your computer such as editing photos or video or playing games, the processor will switch the cores dynamically.

However, this big.LITTLE approach may not always have an equal number of high and low power cores.

There are some processors that may have unequal distribution of number of cores and there are even some octa core processors where all of the 8 cores are either high performing or low performing cores.

And, given the design concept, using an octa core processor instead of a dual core processor does not mean you will get a performance four times higher, as is expected mathematically.

It all depends on the improvements and performance of the cores itself and not on their numbers merely.

And, considering the graphics performance in particular, it does not depend on the main processor only.

If you want to have a superior gaming and graphics experience then the performance of the graphics card as well as the resolution of the screen should be taken into account.

Also, you should consider the type and amount of RAM, the speed and size of the on-board cache, and the software that is being used.

Therefore, all in all, it can be said that investing in an octa core processor does not necessarily mean you will have a better gaming experience.

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It may not be a good option for running CPU intensive apps even if you do not consider the other factors and, most importantly, read the reviews before making up your mind finally.

If performance is important for you, make sure that you go through the benchmark results as well.

In short, additional cores does not equate to higher performance since it does not tell anything about the CPU architecture or how many of the cores are high performing.

Unless you know that you will know nothing about the efficiency of the processor.

Therefore, do not buy a processor simply based on the core count. Remember, there is far, far more to it.

For example, you will also need to consider your computing needs as well as the specific type of tasks that you want to do on your computer because both these processors support a separate set of computing tasks.

While the octa core processor will allow you to do graphics heavy tasks such as VFX and 3D animation on your computer, the dual core processor will not.

Add to that, you will also need to consider the power consumption and heat generation factors, both of which are higher in the case of the octa core processors in comparison to a dual core processor.

This will play a significant role if you want to use your computer for a long time of the day at a stretch.

Therefore, if you are not into intensive gaming and professional computing tasks and cannot afford too much money on a computer or a processor, you should go with the dual core processor.

It will be cheaper and will provide high value in return to your investment while performing your daily computing tasks.

Otherwise, if you want a much higher price/performance ratio, then the octa core processor should be your final choice.


So, there are quite a few differences between a dual core and an octa core processors apart from the number of cores as the names signify.

With the knowledge gained through this article, now you can easily find out what type of processor your system is equipped with.