Cores vs logical processors. People don’t know the difference between them. This is a big cause of concern when shopping for a new laptop or a CPU. And once you start checking out the specs you will come across these two. Sometimes people even come across them in advertisements. Many times you know that the greater the number of cores your laptop or PC has the better is the performance of that laptop/computer. But the question arises here does this apply to logical processors and CPU threads? And Cores vs logical processors battle who is better. so, let’s jump into action and know more about the battle of Cores vs logical processors.

Also Read: How to change CPU fan speed without BIOS

CPU Cores Vs Logical Processors – What’s The Difference?

You can call Central Processing Units (CPUs) the brains of smartphones and computers. They are very necessary for the system or they are good as dead. The main function of the CPU is to execute instructions. It also performs other functions, for instance, the launch of applications, copying files, booting up your device, etc. So, we can say that CPUs are important for the functioning of these electronic devices.

There are different advancements that have been made to make the CPU much faster and better. So in order to increase the speed, the number of CPU cores has been increased. In return what it did was allow faster execution of instructions and the invention of multi-core CPUs.

Note: The CPU cores and Processors are not the same things. Let us explain with this a simple example you can say that the processors are the house and CPU cores are the bedrooms of the house. Processors contain CPU cores.

On the other hand, there are Logical processors that are non-physical processors that your OS identifies as physical processors. For example, my laptop is dual-core and has four logical processors.

Cores vs logical processors

DXDIAG identifies my laptop as a quad-core. Although it is a dual-core. This is due to the fact that OS identifies the dual-core to be a quad-core because of the logical processors. While CPU-Z says it is a dual-core.

What is Hyperthreading?

Hyperthreading is the main cause why DXDIAG saw the dual-core as a quad-core. Simultaneous Multi-threading (SMT) is known as Hyperthreading by intel and clustered multithreading (CMT) by AMD.

Hyperthreading or simultaneous multi-reading that an operating system detects a single core as two logical cores. Before the hyperthreading operating system was by themself responsible for scheduling which process were to be executed based on the importance of it. Because of this, the CPU core could only execute one thread at a time.

Hyperthreading allows for most of the processes or threads to be addressed in real-time by the CPU. This then causes the operating system to see a single CPU core as two cores.

And also these two cores are virtual cores or what we call logical processors. That’s why the OS saw our dual-core laptop as quad-core. This happens because of hyperthreading.

Let us again provide you with an example this one is a shopping mall analogy. For now, every single CPU at the moment has two threads.

In this example mall is an operating system. And CPUs are the shopping clerks and threads are the lines of people.

A CPU having two threads means that it can easily serve two processes or lines of people not at the same time. But, just fast enough that it looks like they are being served at the same time. The operating system then sees the single CPU as if it’s a dual-core. Because it is serving two threads at the same time. Although that is not the case. So when you look at DXDIAG or the performance tab in Task Manager. You will see a quad-core Intel i7-7700HQ having 8 cores. The 8 cores are logical processors and it is the same for CPUs that have hyperthreading or clustered multi-threading.

How Many Logical Processors and threads are in a CPU core?

Until things change a single CPU is always going to come up with two threads. This just simply means that if you have a dual-core CPU. It is going to have four threads two each on a core. A CPU with a quad-core CPU is going to have eight threads.

To determine how many threads a CPU core has multiply 2 by the number of cores. The formula for this process is going to be like this.

Number of CPU Cores * 2 = Total Number of Threads

This formula shows that the number of threads is always going to be more than the number of CPUs. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX had 32 CPU cores along with 64 threads. From this, you will get to know the amount of processing power the Threadripper has. That CPU is meant for doing intensive tasks only.

There are two threads for every single core. The formula for the case of logical processors is mentioned below:

Number of CPU Cores * Number of Threads Per Core = Total Number Of Logical Processors/Cores

How to check number of CPU Cores, Logical Processors And CPU Threads?

You can check the number of cores or threads of your CPU in three ways mentioned below:

Check On Userbenchmark

Things will become simple if you know the name of your CPU core. You just have to go to Userbenchmark and write the name of your CPU. The User benchmark will give you all the information when you click on the results. You will get to know everything about your CPU.

Windows Task Manager

You have to press Ctrl + Alt + Del and click on Task Manager. Then, press on the Performance tab which is present next to the processes tab. You can see the utilization of percentage of your CPU, disk, memory, GPU etc. on the performance tab. You have to look for cores on the right side. After you see the number of cores then multiply it simple by two. This will show you the total number of threads. It will also show you the number of logical processors your CPU core has.

Device Manager

You have to click on the Windows button and type in Device Manager into the search menu. After the Device Manager opens up you have to click on it. Then, proceed to look for the Processors drop-down menu. As we have mentioned earlier in the blog the Operating System sees a CPU core with two threads as two virtual cores or logical processors.

Cores vs logical processors

The same thing is happening here also. In this particular case, our CPU contains 4 threads and Windows Operating System sees our laptop having four cores while we have only two cores. However, if you have four cores and 8 threads then Windows OS will see your CPU having 8 cores not four. You can know the true number of cores by simply dividing the number of the core shown in Device Manager.

Do Cores and Logical Processors affect performance?

There are three things that affect the processing power of a computer. For instance, the number of cores, CPU speed, threads, and logical processors. This signifies that a CPU containing several threads is faster than a CPU core without threads i.e. if they have the same CPU speed and cores.

There is a chance that they have the same number of threads, logical processors, and cores. So, this is where the CPU becomes important. If the speed of CPU A is faster than the speed of CPU B then A is going to be faster and powerful than B. This shows how cores, threads, logical processors, and CPU speed greatly affect performance. If you have to determine the faster one then consider the following:

  • CPU Speed (GHz)
  • The Number of Threads and Logical Processors
  • The Number of CPU Cores
Cores vs logical processors

You can see from the above picture that the performance of Intel Core i7-7700HQ and Intel Core i5-8250U is being compared. Both of them contain the same number of cores and threads. However, the Intel Core i7-7700HQ has a high CPU speed than the Intel Core i5-8250U. So, it will be faster than the two even after it becomes older.

Conclusion

In this blog on Cores vs logical processors, we hope that you understood everything related to it. Modern CPUs have the ability to multitask and complete tasks efficiently. Now with the addition of logical processors, CPUs are able to handle the most difficult tasks. So, we can conclude by saying that CPU cores are physical while the logical processor is the product of CPU cores multiplied by a number of threads per core.