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What Is an Octa-Core Processor? (Everything You Want To Know)

The Octa-core processor is one of many processors created following the rise of the personal computer.

But what are these processors, and how good are they at handling demanding computing tasks? This article will help to answer these questions and give further detail.

What Is an Octa-Core Processor?

An Octa-core processor is a computer processor (CPU) with eight cores. Each core is its own processing unit, theoretically allowing the processor to multitask by splitting up computational tasks between the 8 processors.

In the early 2000s, it became clear that computer processors, which were rapidly gaining speed, needed to gain more cores in order to improve their efficiency.

At first, dual-core processors were released for enterprise computing applications, like internet servers.

Over time, however, multi-core processors became the norm in personal computing as multi-core processors are vastly more powerful and consume less energy.

In simple terms, a core is a physical unit on a processor chip that performs calculations. CPUs receive strings of instructions from applications called threads.

CPUs process each thread using the resources of a single core. CPUs with multiple cores are capable of processing multiple threads simultaneously, increasing their speed and efficiency.

Octa-core processors have a total of 8 cores, so they can theoretically process 8 threads at a time.

In addition, most modern CPUs, through a process called hyperthreading, can split each core into two virtual, or logical, cores.

This allows each core to process two threads simultaneously, meaning an octa-core processor can process 16 threads at once.

Despite the efficiency of an octa-core processor, it must be stressed that not all applications can make use of all 8 cores.

In fact, many modern applications, such as games, are designed to use only use a single core at a time. In such situations, an octa-core processor isn’t necessarily faster than a processer with fewer cores.

Are Octa-Core Processors Good?

Octa-core processors are generally good because they help to significantly reduce a PC’s processing time and conserve its battery life. Whether an octa-core processor will result in a speed boost depends on the application you are using, as not all applications are optimized to use multiple processing cores simultaneously.

While octa-core processors are very good and reduce the energy consumption of your device, you won’t always see a speed improvement by switching to an octa-core processor.

Octa-core processors have 8 computing cores, which means that theoretically the core can process 16 threads of computing instructions simultaneously, two threads per core.

In reality, though, not all applications can take advantage of multiple-core processors, so they run their computing threads in a single core.

Even in gaming, most games don’t really take full advantage of multi-threading, and many games run on a single core.

What this means is that more cores doesn’t always mean faster performance.

For example, say you have a processor with 8 cores and a clock speed of 2.7GHz, and another processor with 4 cores and a 3.2GHz clock speed.

If the game or application you are running performs its calculations using only a single core, then you will see faster performance from the 4-core processor, since its cores have a faster clock speed.

Applications that are typically built to take advantage of multi-threading include operating systems, graphic editors, and video editing software.

For these applications, you may see better performance from an octa-core processor compared to a processor with fewer cores, since these programs better utilize all the computing cores of the processor.

If you’re looking into building your own PC, particularly for gaming, I recommend taking a look at the CPU benchmarks for the games/applications you plan on running on your PC.

The benchmarks will give you a good idea of which processors provide the best result for your use case, regardless of core count.

Which Core Is Best for Mobile?

Octa-core processors are the best processors for mobile. Octa-cores give the best balance between power and efficiency while delivering a fantastic performance.

Like PCs, smartphones derive their computing power from their CPU. Multi-core processors are notoriously good at conserving energy, so they’ve found their way into mobile phones.

When comparing two phones, however, comparing just based on core count is not necessarily the best way to compare the power of their processors.

Different phones are made with different components and architectures, and some phone manufacturers have even begun to manufacture their own custom CPUs (Apple Silicon and Google Tensor, as examples).

So, while most high-end phones are likely to use octa-core processors, the best way to compare them is not by core count, but by looking at the phones’ benchmarks.

Mobile Benchmark from GeekBench

Which Is Better: Quad-Core or Octa-Core Processor?

Octa-core processors are generally more efficient and better for multitasking than quad-core processors. Which processor is better depends on your use case and the base speed of each processor, as processors cannot be compared on core count alone.

Whether you will see better performance from an octa-core or quad-core processor depends on many factors, including your use case.

If your use case involves an application that can make use of multiple processing cores, then you’re most likely to get the best performance from an octa-core processor.

However, if you are using the processor for an application or game that can only use a single core at a time, then the better processor will probably be the one with the faster clock speed.

Which Is Better: Octa-Core or Hexa-core?

Octa-core processors are technically more efficient and better for multitasking than hexa-core processors. Which processor is better depends on your use case and the base speed of each processor, as processors cannot be compared on core count alone.

You cannot compare two processors on core count alone. The better processor depends on what you are using it for and the base speed of each processor.

Generally speaking, an octa-core processor will be better and more efficient than a hexa-core processor.

However, if the hexa-core processor has a higher clock speed, then it’s not so clear cut which processor will have the better performance. That’s why it’s a good idea to look at CPU benchmarks to guide your comparison.

Do More Cores Mean Better Performance?

More cores does not always mean better performance. Your processor’s performance is determined by its clock speed, the number of cores, and the application you are running. Not all applications can take advantage of multiple cores, so it isn’t correct to say that more cores always results in faster processing.

While high-end processors with fast clock speeds are likely to have more cores, multiple cores does not always mean better performance.

For some applications, such as gaming, a processor’s speed is more impacted by the clock speed of each core, and not the total number of cores.

This is because many games are programmed to run on a single core, so they don’t derive a performance boost from a processor with multiple cores.

In this case, the performance of the processor is most impacted by the clock speed of each core.

By contrast, some applications, like graphic editors, may actually benefit from multiple cores, and in these cases more cores will improve performance.

👋 Hey There, I'm Eric!

Since 2018, I've been making streams come true.

I like gaming, streaming and watching other people stream. I created this website to help streamers, viewers, and gamers answer questions they have regarding live streaming, gaming, and PCs. I am a Twitch affiliate and currently stream on Twitch 3 days a week. I also have a Youtube channel where I make videos about streaming. I hope you find my content helpful. Feel free to stop by one of my streams to say hi.