The world of computers is run by cpus (Computer Processing Units) that have for the most part ramped up with speed or cores along the way. Just ten or so years ago we had single core chips that ran at 1 GHz and today eight cores running at 4 GHz seem to be everywhere. The issue facing the CPU market is can this pace be maintained (faster and more cores) with either cores or speed, and the answer is no. The technology behind faster is coming to an end, but with cores that is another story. When a CPU is developed the envelope of speed is based on a single process or thread and how the speed generates heat when processing. The thermal envelope is getting to the point where electrons are now bleeding or near bleeding into the next transistor gate. This thermal issue is making faster processors more and more difficult to develop so manufacturers are turning to more cores. A core is a processor contained in its self doing all the calculation at its maximum rated speed (one lane on a highway). So if we can’t run faster on the road let us make the road wider is where cores step in.
The issue is most software developed is a single core threaded application. So where does this leave you and I the consumer is the big question? Well it leaves us at a point today that we must wait for software to catch up to the hardware. Windows 7 & 8 are multiple threaded along with Apple and Linux OS (operating system) but the applications for the most part are happy living life in one lane of the processors world (one thread). Programming these applications to take advantage of more cores is not overly difficult but the issue is getting the consumer to purchase newer versions. All software developed within the past few years has been developed typically to use these extra processing cores. The use of these cores is even more evident in gaming software. The game engines used allow smooth graphics and proper life like moving into the sensory within the game. If the system was built on single core process we would see games having no smooth stepping, but jerky motion and non-lifelike details. The use of threading or assigned tasking processing allows these games to have that pop of detail.
So back to our real world of getting work done the use of threading or multiple tasking will allow things like:
Multiple Applications Running
Calculation and retrieval (Database Work)
Printing while working
Access internet pages while getting email
The big thing is that all this is there for the taking and has been for five plus years. Do you need a new computer to do all this? The answer is no because if you even have a dual core system and enough ram you have it all now. You just need to update the software and maybe the OS (operating system) to take full advantage. So put away the pocket book for a new computer and maybe look at software this season because that computer chip may just have a little salsa zing left!
CAW (Cool Application of Week)
Synctoy 2.1 from Microsoft is just a quick way to sync between folders and hey maybe that laptop you have. Moving files around can sometimes be a chore so take the stress out of being a computer warrior.