12 Differences Between Dual Core and i3

Differences Between Dual Core and i3 Processor

Most of the i3 processors come with two cores but it certainly does not mean all i3 processors are dual core or vice versa. There are a few others that come with four cores.

If you are confused about a dual core processor and an i3 processor, this article will clear it all with a well compiled list of differences between them.

KEY TAKEAWAYS                                                                

  • The dual core concept was materialized in 2004 but the i3 processors came long after that in 2010, making them more modern.
  • The i3 processors with four threads support hyper threading technology and are more accurate and faster but dual core processors with two threads do not.
  • The i3 processors come with Turbo Boost technology, integrated GPU and DMI but the dual core processors typically do not.
  • The i3 processors are usually built on 32 nm architecture and 1156 socket as opposed to 45 nm and 775 socket of the dual core processors.

12 Differences Between Dual Core and i3 Processor

Differences Between Dual Core and i3 Processor

1. Age

The dual core processor is an older processor being released first in 2004.

On the other hand, the i3 processor is more modern, being released six years later in 2010.

2. Hyper Threading

The dual core processors do not support hyper threading and typically work on two threads.

In comparison, the i3 processor supports hyper threading having four threads instead of two that runs parallel in each core to utilize the available resources to the fullest.

3. Generation

The dual core processor belongs to the second generation of processors.

On the other hand, the i3 processor belongs to the third generation of the Intel processor family.

4. Speed

The dual core processor processes data at a comparatively slower speed than the i3 processor.

5. Accuracy

The processing result of the dual core processors is known to be less accurate in comparison to the processing results of the Intel i3 processor.

6. Socket

The dual core processor comes with a 775 socket. On the other hand, the i3 processors come with an 1156 socket.

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7. Turbo Boost

The dual core processor does not support Intel Turbo Boost technology.

On the other hand, the Intel i3 processor supports such advanced technology and therefore can process data at a reasonably high speed.

8. Lithography

The fabrication process of the dual core processors is 45 nm but, in comparison, the lithography of the Intel i3 processors is 22 nanometers.

9. Bus Type

The dual core processors are known to have FSB or Front Side Bus type.

In comparison, the i3 processors come with a DMI or Direct Media Interface bus type.

10. Bus Frequency

The bus frequency of the dual core processors is only 800 MHz, which is far too less in comparison to the bus frequency of the i3 processors which is 5 GT/s.

11. Maximum Thermal Design Power

The maximum TDP or Thermal Design Power of the dual core processors is 65 watts.

On the other hand, the maximum TDP of the i3 processors is 55 Watts.

12. Integrated Graphics Processing Chip

The dual core processors do not come with any integrated graphics chip in it but, in comparison, the i3 processors have an Intel HD graphics chip integrated into them.

Which is Better – Dual Core or i3 Processor?

Considering all the factors that differentiate between the dual core and i3 processors, you may find that the i3 processor will be a better choice for your computer to choose.

The i3 processor is faster than the dual core processors.

This is because the Intel i3 works on all four threads or sub cores but the dual core processors have to perform the task in batches using the two sub cores within it.

There are also a few other good reasons to opt for an Intel core i3 processor.

For example, in an i3 processor you will get an integrated HD graphics card along with hyper threading ability and Direct Media Interface or DMI for faster bus as compared to FSB.

One of the most significant factors that you should feel upgrading your computer with an i3 processor in place of a dual core processor is a good option is its move from the 45 nm architecture to 22 nm architecture.

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Therefore, more transistors can be included in the smaller width which also signifies low power consumption and less heat generation.

Also, if you go through different test results and benchmarks, you will find that the i3 processors are much better in performance in comparison to the dual core processors.

This is not only due to its hyper threading ability that is not available in other dual core processors but also its DMI and integrated graphics that are also not available in other dual core processors.

This means that when you use an i3 processor in place of a dual core processor, you will have an increase in both graphics performance and processing speeds.

The Intel Core i3 processors are built on different types of micro-architectures such as Sandy Bridge, Clark Dale, Haswell, and Ivy Bridge. Though the Intel i3 processors come with two cores, they come with four threads.

The clock speed of i3 processors also has quite a wide range, usually between 1.30 GHz and 3.50 GHz.

There are several models of Intel i3 processors launched with each eclipsing the former one in terms of performance and capabilities. The first generation of it was released in 2010.

If you want more features in a processor then i3 will surely meet all your demands. Some of the most recent versions of Intel i3 processors come with one or more of specific features.

For example, these processors come with higher cache amounts often ranging between 3 MB and 4 MB. A few of the i3 processors also support ECC or Error Correction Code memory as well as other features such as Intel OS Guard and Intel Platform Protection Security.

Few processors also come with embedded security features. This protects the BIOS or Basic Input/output System which ensures secure boot and also prevents attacks.

The Intel i3 processors usually come with an LGA 1150 or an LGA 1155 socket on the motherboard and the most common type of RAM incorporated in it is either DDR3 1333 or DDR3 1600.

One of the most significant aspects to fall for an i3 processor is that these chips consume much less power during operation due to their wider Thermal Design Power.

The consumption of power of the Intel i3 processor, however, depends on the speeds.

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For example, for slower speeds ranging between 1.30 GHz and 1.80 GHz, it uses 11.5 Watts, 15 Watts or 25 Watts of power.

On the other hand, for medium speeds ranging between 2.00 GHz and 2.50 GHz, it uses 28 Watts, 35 Watts or 37 Watts of power and, for faster speeds ranging between 2.90 GHz and 3.50 GHz it uses 35 Watts, 37 Watts or 54 Watts of power.

It is for this low consumption of power, the Core i3 processors are more often than not used in laptop computers.

It generates less heat and enhances the battery life, often up to 5 to 6 hours on a single charge.

Finally, the Intel Core i3 processor is the successor of the Intel Core 2 processor series and it can be used in a desktop computer, in a laptop computer, in a mobile or in any other embedded devices.

The dual core processors, on the other hand, were introduced in 2004 and since then its popularity increased steadily.

It performed much better than the single core processors and generated less heat and by using the same amount of power, if not less than that.

This is because each of the two cores in these processors comes with its own cache and controller.

This allows the operating system to perform most jobs in parallel.

However, all of the dual core processors may not perform twice as fast as a single processor because always.

This is because it mainly depends on the programs or operating systems, some which may not be optimized for multiprocessing.

Therefore, considering all these facts, if you intend to use your computer for tasks that are over and above the basics, it is prudent to go for an Intel Core i3 processor.

It will offer you much better performance and a high value for your money.


So, with that you now know the differences between a dual core and i3 processor and also which one of these two processors will be better for you to use.

Thanks to this article, now you will find it very easy to make a comparison and choose one among the two for your laptop or desktop computer.

About Taylor

AvatarTaylor S. Irwin is a freelance technology writer with in-depth knowledge about computers. She has an understanding of hardware and technology gained through over 10 years of experience.

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