Hyper Threading and Multithreading – 8 Differences

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What are the difference between hyper threading and multithreading? The manufacturing companies of CPUs are always on the lookout for new ways and features to include in their products to increase their functionality and performance.

Some increase the cache size while others enhance the clock speed, and some include hyper threading while others include multithreading features.

Multithreading and hyperthreading are most commonly used technologies in the production of CPUs by different manufacturers that you find today in the market.

Though the primary objective of both these technologies is the same, which is to enhance the performance, there are quite a few differences between hyper threading and multithreading.

Hyper threading and multithreading are two different technologies found in the modern CPUs, though all of them may not have it in them.

Still, it is worth knowing the differences between these two technologies in particular in order to make the right choice in the end.

If you are not aware of them already, fortunately, you will not have to look any further.

This article includes all the major differences between multithreading and hyperthreading technologies to enhance your knowledge.

And, the ‘Which is better’ section that follows the list of differences will help you further in making the right choice.

8 Difference Between Hyper Threading and Multithreading

Difference Between Hyper Threading and Multithreading

1. Basic Difference

The most basic difference between hyper threading and multithreading technology is that in the hyper threading technique a single physical core is split into two virtual or logical processors.

On the other hand, in multithreading technique the cores execute several threads in a single process at the same time in the sub CPUs created within the single CPU.

2. Origin

Hyper threading technology was introduced in February 2002 in a Xeon processor and is actually the marketing name of the technology that has been around in the x86 dominion.

Developed by Intel, the primary concept of this technology resembles SMT or Simultaneous Multi Threading where a single core appears as two logical cores to the operating systems.

Multithreading technology was introduced in 1950 though it was a part of the IBM ACS-360 in 1968.

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However, the first major CPU developed with this technology was the Alpha 21464(EV8).

3. Specifications

The hyper threading technology involves lightweight threads and these multiple threads need fewer resources to operate and increase the performance by sharing resources of the main core.

On the other hand, the multithreading technology performs according to the function and creates the sub-CPUs based on optimization.

These processors are also very much optimized to use the resources more efficiently.

4. The Cost Factor

The CPUs that support hyper threading technology are quite expensive.

On the other hand, the multithreading processors are relatively less expensive.

5. Manufacturers

Intel is the manufacturer of hyperthreading CPUs for their users.

On the other hand, IBM, Compaq, and Sun are the manufacturers of CPUs with the multithreading technology.

6. Use Cases

The ideal uses of hyper threading technology can be in 3D animation, high-quality video editing, and 3D application rendering.

On the other hand, the processors based on multithreading technology are for using web browsers, light desktop apps, web servers, and similar tasks.

7. Working Process

Hyper threading technology provides TLP or Thread Level Parallelism to each processor which increases the utilization of the CPU and the resources as well at the same time.

This allows using the resources that would have been idle or unutilized to operate on two sets of tasks at the same time to get more jobs done.

Multithreading works by executing two or more threads at the same time with the necessary support provided by the operating system.

It also switches the CPU system very quickly between the running threads. Here the execution of threads can be parallel and concurrent.

8. Features      

The threads in hyper threading technology can share the same set of open files.

The different threads use fewer resources and it is not needed to switch threads in order to interrelate with the operating system.

In the multithreading technology there is no division in categories and the same resources and memory are shared by the process threads that are identical.

It is a more optimized system.

Which is Better – Hyper Threading or Multithreading?

Well, everything depends on your needs.

It cannot be said with a guarantee that hyper threading is much better than multithreading technology, or vice versa, because both come with different sets of features and offer different benefits to the users.

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Still a few other important facts will be good to know since that will enable you to make a judgment yourself.

Hyper threading is a technology where a single processor performs as two separate virtual processors while carrying out a computing task.

In this process, the individual physical cores of the CPU are divided into two virtual or logical cores to handle the computing tasks.

The main purpose of using the hyper threading technology is to enhance the performance and speed of the CPU because there are more cores in the CPU. 

Hyper threading was officially demonstrated on an Intel Xeon processor which made it perform 30% faster in comparison to a normal variant.

In hyper threading technique the work is carried out in the CPU under unit time allowing the task to run in the core.

And, in hyper threading technology, the CPU production companies use the two architectural elements in the CPU, additional General Purpose registers, usual resisters, and other execution units.

On the other hand, multithreading technology is also used to enhance the performance of the CPUs.

This technology allows dividing one single processor into several sub-processors.

This offers the pertinent threads to carry out a variety of tasks inside the main CPU.

Typically, a multithreading CPU consists of two specific types of lightweight threads such as:

  • Kernel threads – These threads are a bit slower when it comes to creating the sub-processors but are very easy to operate. Kernel threads are supported by most of the operating systems where the thread routine is upheld as multithreaded.
  • User threads – These threads are both easy to create and operate. The user threads can operate more efficiently from the user-level library and are designed in a specific way so that these can run on any available operating systems. However, you cannot expect to have multiprocessing performance.

Based on these different threads, the multithreading models can be categorized into three distinct heads such as:

  • Many to one model, where several user threads are mapped into one single kernel thread
  • One to one model, where every single kernel thread manages one particular user thread and
  • Many to many models, where several user threads are mapped into smaller amounts of similar kernel threads.

The threads in multithreading techniques can be executed either in parallel or concurrently.

In parallel execution, each of the threads in the process can operate on a separate processor.

On the other hand, in concurrent execution, the single processor switches the execution processes between the threads in a multi-threaded process.

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Everything is supported by the operating system and it is the Scheduler that assigns the threads to the CPU.

Therefore, with all that said, the benefits of the hyper threading technology can be summarized as follows:

  • The CPUs based on this particular technology are usually faster
  • These CPUs are quite efficient when it comes to performance
  • This particular technology is pretty modern in comparison and
  • These CPUs offer a more productive and responsive experience to the users.

On the other hand, the benefits of the multithreading technology can be summarized as follows:

  • The multithreaded processors are considered to be more potent in comparison to the CPUs that support the hyper threading technology
  • There are a larger number of new processors available in the market that supports this technology
  • These processors also offer higher level of work output and increased efficiency from the available resources and
  • The multithreaded processors typically use the physical cores to increase the performance and efficiency of the work.

So, in the end it can be said that both these essential technologies increase the output and performance of a task in different ways but render it in a much more efficient and faster manner.

Therefore, as things turn out with all that said about hyper threading and multithreading technologies, you should go for a CPU that supports hyper threading technology if you want to put it to use for high-end performance oriented tasks such as video editing in order to get better and faster results.

On the other hand, you should look for the multithreading CPUs if you intend to use your computer for general purpose and basic computing tasks such as web surfing, working on word documents and other fundamental computer related activities.

It will be a great and more productive option for you.

Conclusion

Therefore, as you can see, both hyper threading and multithreading technologies are quite different but are widely used in the CPUs today.

They both use two different concepts to enhance their performance. It is now up to you to choose the right one based on this knowledge.

About Taylor Swift

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift, a UOPEOPLE graduate is a freelance technology writer with in-depth knowledge about computers. She loves to play video games and watch movies when she has no writing assignments. Follow Her at Linkedin