Which is more important in a CPU, number of cores or higher clock speed?

rhames

Which would make more sense to look for when buying a personal laptop for general use?

Topic: Hardware
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3 total
nchristine
Vote Up (21)

I would say clock speed, which will be felt in almost everything you do, although if you are buying a new machine, the ones with faster CPUs are probably also going to have more cores anyway. 

jimlynch
Vote Up (18)

For general use, I'd say don't worry too much about either. It's different if you are a gamer, or you need to run high-powered apps, but if you are just doing email or word processing or social media, then you shouldn't really need to worry about either.

johanaparker
Vote Up (18)

It's completely depend on need. Multiple cores are good for some things, higher clock speeds for others. There are two basic situations that are to be considered:

 

1. The processor is used with a computer that solely does calculations for a single program

 

2. The processor is used for multiple programs running at the same time

 

The first situation is where processor 'speed' is more important, as the user wants the ability to make calculations quickly and efficiently. 

 

The second is where multiple cores come in handy, as each program can be assigned to a separate core, thus freeing each program from 'bottle-necking' each other. 

 

Source: superuser

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