What Are the Main Differences Between Mainstream and Integrated Processors?

A central processing unit, also known as a central processing, single-core processor, high-end processor or just CPU, is basically the electronic circuit that executes commands within an operating system, making use of one or more microprocessors. The CPU performs arithmetic, logical, input/output (I/O) operations corresponding to the instructions within the application program. The most common types of processors are single-core, dual core and multi-core. Single-core processors are on a single chip and dual core processors are installed in two or more core modules. Multi-core processors are more complex, consisting of multiple chips within a single processor package.


Single-core processors are generally smaller and cheaper than dual core and multi-core cpus. They also consume less power and are easier to upgrade. They are ideal for applications where performance and memory are less important than cost, such as microcomputers used for training purposes. Single-core processors are fast but not as fast as multi-core processors. They are also better suited for embedded systems, where speed is a significant factor in the design.

Two and four-core Intel CPU’s are increasingly popular today. Two and four cores Intel Pentium processors are faster than AMD’s Athlon, however they are also more expensive than AMD’s Opteron. Four cores are on the higher side of the CPU price scale, offering great performance for more demanding applications. The latest generation of Intel Core i7-processor is the most advanced of all currently available Intel processors.

Instruction-set processing units (IPs) control the execution of instructions within a program and determine how the processor core will behave. Instructions can be executed one at a time or in parallel. A high-end processor core like the Core 2 Duo from Intel offers multithreading support. Multithread support lets threads execute multiple tasks within the same processor core. Some multithreaded processing units (MPU) are based on single-core processing units (UPS), which utilize different instruction sets for performing various tasks.

A review of recent laptops with a quad-core AMD Opteron DPE from Gigabit AIX is difficult to find. This specific configuration is only supported on the older Windows XP operating system. Since the laptop already comes with a standard two-core CPU, upgrading to a dual core AMD laptop with an Intel motherboard presents some challenges.

In contrast, the latest quad-core processors from AMD, Intel, Apple and others are extremely fast for the types of computing done on them. The newest laptops offer integrated dual-core processors, which use both types of cores for running multiple tasks simultaneously. Laptops that have dedicated multi-core processors are faster than laptops with lower core counts because they can run more intensive tasks.