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Dual Processor Motherboard - Introduction to the Dual Processor Motherboard - What is a Dual Processor Motherboard

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Are you curious about all the hubbub over dual processor motherboards? These machines have become the new norm for just about all new computers, and now you can even find quad-core units on the market. If you are still running a single-core machine, perhaps you are wondering if you are missing out. This guide seeks to simply explain the difference between single- and dual-core computers, and help those with older models decide if they need to make the upgrade or not.

What is a Dual Processor Motherboard

As far as the basic technology goes, dual processor motherboards are pretty self-descriptive. Instead of having only one processor to handle internal computing, it has two processors that share the load. This way, dual-core machines can even outperform single-core processors that offer better processing speed, i.e. two 1-gigahertz processors working together can beat a single 2-gigahertz machine. This is because the separate processors are able to handle more total volume of calculations than one single core is able to do by itself. Because this is a newer technology, you will not often see dual-core machines with individual processors any lower than 1-gigahertz.

Do I Need a Dual-Processor Machine?

So now you know that you know what one is, what does it really mean for you? Should you run out and buy the newest system you can get your hands on? Well, that all depends on your situation. Here are a few items to consider:

Are you a gamer?
If you play modern video games, you probably already know the necessity of getting a dual-core system and good video card to support the intense rendering demands. But if you only play 2-D games or “classic” 3-D games, you are probably running them just fine on your current rig. If you are not experiencing slow-down or any problems with gameplay, then you do not need to worry. However, if you ever intend to upgrade to the newest titles, you will definitely need a serious system that can handle the load. Dual- or even quad-core systems are highly recommended.
Are you running (or planning to run) anything beyond Windows Vista?
Windows operating systems are getting more and more resource-hungry as new versions are released. While it is technically possible to run Windows Vista and beyond on 1 gigahertz single-core systems, to get the full experience you should have a more advanced system, preferably a dual-core with at least a full gigabyte of RAM. (And more RAM is always nice!)
Have you been running without issues on a single-core machine?
Well, if it is not broke, do not fix it! If you have a machine that you just use for simple programs like word processing or other office applications, then you most likely do not need to upgrade to a dual-core system. However, if your systems are starting to show significant slowing, then it may be time to make the upgrade. It may not even be a processor problem – older computers just tend to get slower over the years, as their operating systems become more and more susceptible to viruses and new software updates keep bogging down performance. If this is the case with your computer, consider making the upgrade.
Are you planning on installing new resource-intense software any time soon?
If you are planning to install programs to render video, edit long strands of audio, or other multimedia uses, then it is a good time to upgrade to dual core.

Major Dual Processor Manufacturers

Two major brands of dual core processors that you will see everywhere in your search are the AMD Athlon X2 and the Intel Core 2 Duo. When looking for a dual-core system, either of these labels will assure you that you have found what you are looking for. Make sure that the “X2” and “Core 2” are present, because these denote the dual processors. Both of these processor manufacturers are of similar quality and specifications, so choosing a good one comes down more to actual processor speed. Look at the number of gigahertz – more is always better. Beyond that, there is not a large amount of difference between the two, so you should spend more time focusing on the other system components like video cards, included RAM, etc.

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