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However, higher the number of cores in the chip does not necessarily translate into higher level of performance by the processors. There are lots of important factors that will determine the performance.
It is all about the time factor, which is the primary reason for having more cores in a processor. Larger the number of cores means less time required for processing any task or command such as browsing, gaming and more.
There is a lot of difference between an octa core and a quad core processor, but first you should know the meaning of each of these before you dive deeper.
Cores are the independent units in a processor. These cores actually read and execute CPU instructions. It can be anything like:
- Moving a data
- Adding data or
- Branching it out.
All these cores are typically integrated by the manufactures on a single or multiple semiconductor wafer within a single Integrated Circuit or IC package.
A quad core processor is that which has four autonomous units, or cores, in the chip. Each of these cores will perform in tandem with other circuits and resources of other components in the computer such as:
Each of these cores in a quad core processor has the ability to run several instructions of the Central processing Unit at the same time.
This increases the overall speed of the programs that are companionable with parallel processing.
On the other hand, the octa core processor, just as the name implies, will be made up of eight cores. This helps the processors to carry out more advanced and resource intensive tasks faster. This includes:
- Playing games that are graphic-heavy or
- Streaming high resolution videos.
The larger number of cores in this chip reduces the load times making the computer system much more efficient. However, all of these eight cores in the processor may or may not work together.
In an octa core processor, there are two sets of four cores in each. One set is called the little CPU which is the lighter one and the other is called the big CPU which is the stronger one.
This architecture of an octa core processor is called the big LITTLE architecture. Any given task is split between these two sets of cores depending on the type of execution required. Check out differences between Hexa Core and Octa Core processor.
Differences Between Octa Core and Quad Core Processor
1. Working Process
In case of a quad core processor, each of the cores can be simultaneously put to work. This enables in faster and smoother multitasking.
On the other hand, in case of a modern octa core chip, there will be two sets of four cores each that may work together or one at a time depending on the requirement of the task.
This means that an octa core processor will always have four cores at least working together and at the speed of a quad core processor even if only one of two sets are put to work.
Level of performance of the two types of processors is an important factor. In a quad core processor, all the processor cores will work at the same time in most of the occasions.
On the other hand, in an octa core processor, in a few specific circumstances, for example, when you are browsing the messages or reading a text, all the cores may not work together.
However, if you are playing a high-end game on your computer or watching a HD video or doing any task that is resource intensive, all the cores will be working together.
3. Power of Cores
As said earlier, in case of an octa core processor, the design has two sets of four cores in each. This makes the working a bit different.
One set is low powered and other is high powered. The low powered cores will work always but the high-powered ones may not.
On the other hand, the cores of a quad core processor do not have such design and the four cores may work together or independently depending on the type of task executed.
This means that the speed of an octa core processor will be always higher as compared to the speed of a quad core processor.
4. Difference in Outcome
When it comes to the quad core processors, optimization of applications used is a big thing when compared to an octa core processor.
This is because there are not many Android apps designed as of now that use and work in the correct way on an octa core setup.
This is why you will not find the right kind of speed you desire when you use an octa core computing system.
It is for this reason Apple Inc. still uses the dual core processors and most of the other manufacturers still rely on a quad core processor!
The fact is that there have not been any significant complaints made by the users till date about the dual core or quad core processors.
5. Battery Life
As you may know, all processors will consume a lot of battery power. The rate at which it will consume the battery will depend on the type of tasks you perform.
If a particular task needs a lot of resources, for example streaming HD videos or playing a high-end game, the processor will drain more battery at a much faster rate.
More the number of cores in it, larger will be the amount of battery drain. Therefore, a processor with 8 cores will drain more battery and affect its life more than a quad core processor.
The quad core processor, on the other side, will have only four cores and therefore will draw much less battery as compared to an octa core processor.
Moreover, all the cores in it may not always work together. therefore, the battery power will be conserved even more.
Apart from that, since it will operate at a speed lower than an octa core processor, there will be no chance of the electrons getting wider, which is a phenomenon when they travel faster, and cannot get through the CPU.
6. Performing Different Tasks
You may need to use your computer for performing either single threaded or multiple threaded tasks.
The performance of each of these processors will depend on the task threads, everything else remains equal. A quad core processor will be able to handle a single threaded task in a much better and faster way.
On the contrary, an octa core processor may not be that efficient in handling a single threaded task as a quad core processor. The performance of it will suffer because of its larger number of cores.
This will mean lower individual core performance. An octa core processor is ideally good for multi-threaded tasks, such as rendering, that will need all the cores to function in unison for a better performance and result.
7. Power Consumption and Heat Generation
The octa core processors will consume much more power and at the same time generate much more heat than a quad core processor.
This is due to the fact that it will need additional voltage for all the cores to perform together. This will eventually result in more heat generated by the large number of cores.
With fewer cores, actually half of an octa core processor, the quad core processor will consume less power and produce less heat.
This makes it more energy efficient compared to the eight core processors. Since the signals and electrons will get through easily, it will not turn into a heat sink as easily as an octa core processor.
Which is Better – Octa Core or Quad Core Processor?
With all these differences between quad core and octa core processors now known to you, you may have this natural question in your mind: which one is better, a quad core or an octa core processor.
You may also wonder what you should do now as a user to choose the right processor for your computer system.
Well, this really is a critical question and the simple answer to this is: you should consider your needs, if not your budget, to choose the right one. This will answer your other question as well.
If you are into high-end gaming, you may need an octa core processor in your computer to have a smooth and uninterrupted gaming experience.
On the other hand, if you use your computer for using several other apps, do other simple jobs and play a couple of games off and on, then a quad core processor will have enough capability to meet all your demands and follow all commands.
Since the key function of a processor is to execute processes and tasks, the cores play an important role because these are actually the active processing units of it.
Now, going by the terms simply, an octa core processor will have eight cores in it and a quad core processor will have four.
Therefore, mathematically and logically, an octa core processor will have double the capability of a quad core processor and four times that of a dual core processor. Right? Well, to some extent, but that is not all.
There are other different factors that will affect the capability of the processor of which one primary factor is the association and number of cores in the processors. These are:
- The battery consumption rates
- The performance levels
- The outcome and
- The design.
Therefore, to decide which is better among the two types of processors, do not go by the numbers. The core numbers do not matter as much as the processors do.
If you have an octa core processor in your computer, it does not mean that you will have a better performance.
It all depends on whether or not all those cores in it are used by your system as well as all the apps in a proper way as it should be.
To sum up, ‘Octa core processors are more powerful and efficient than a quad core processor’ is just a myth that most of the marketers and manufacturers have created.
Their primary intent is to make more money from the consumers. Come out of this belief if you do not want to waste money on a processor that you will seldom use to its fullest capacity.
In fact, you should not even consider buying an octa core processor till the time there are more apps available in the market that support it. Be wise, be specific and be decisive.
The cores that you will find in a processor will come in different numbers, shapes and sizes. It will also have different configurations, capabilities, power rating and performance levels.
Therefore, when you buy a processor, look at its capabilities and not only at the number of cores it has. Look at the core types instead.