Dual vs Quad vs Hexa vs Octa Core – How many cores does your laptop need?

Gone are the days of single-core CPUs. Now, most laptops in the market have at least two while the stronger laptops have four times more cores. But this does bring up the question: Dual vs Quad vs Hexa vs Octa Core – How many cores does your laptop need?

Also read: The difference between Apple M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max

So the question that arises is that how many cores are needed for your laptop? In this article, we will be discussing in detail the CPU cores, the different types available in the market, and how many cores are required for the laptop.

What do you mean by a CPU core?

The Central Processing Unit, also known as the CPU is the brain of the operation system of the laptop. Whenever any application is run on the laptop, the CPU provides the right commands that the RAM (Random Access memory) processes and launches the required program.

The cores have more than one “threads”. These threads complete the tasks on the digital level and the cores perform them physically.

What can affect the CPU’s workload?

The different applications and programs that are active on the laptop take up a part of the workload of the CPU. It consists of both internet and offline applications. The multi-tasking of the CPU puts immense pressure on the cores. It is done as the total strength has to be divided between different tasks. It is the reason why single-core CPUs have no value in recent times.

CPU-intensive and light programs

The weight of every single program depends on the simplicity or complexity of the program. Simple applications like Wordpad or Paint are light programs. Tu runs such programs, single core CPUs can even handle the programs easily. Gaming, editing software, web-building apps are CPU-intensive programs and complex indeed. It is then that you need more than one core for handling the task effectively.

Hence, depending on the kind of work that will be done by the user, the cores on the laptop have to be decided. For more complex tasks, you require more than one core. And for simple routine works, dual cores work just fine for the user.

What are Cores and Threads?

The processors are differentiated based on their core and thread.


The number of cores determines how well the processor will perform. Single-core processors are no longer made by core manufacturing companies. Now companies make processors in multiples of two.

Your laptop has to do several works at one time. It might be running a scan while you will be writing content on the laptop. The core of the processor handles one task at one time. If it is a dual-core processor, it can perform two works at the same time. The higher the count of the core, the more work it can do at one time.


The individual works performed by the core of the processor are known as a thread. The single-core of the processor can take care of one task. However, the task that is being completed might get paused. It might need input from the user for finishing the work.

For making the processors effective, the makers have come up with a technique known as multi-threading. When one core of a processor becomes idle, it moves to the other task that needs to be finished. The cores shift between the threads and maximize the efficiency of the performance of the processor.

Different kinds of processors available in the market

Multiple types of processors are available in the market. A user needs to know about them in detail so that they can make informed choices when purchasing a laptop.

Dual-core processor- As is evident from the name, dual refers to two. Two different cores are used in the processor for transmitting and processing all the data. The Dual-core refers to a CPU that is equipped with two administrator cores and one physical processor. Two processors, integrated circuits, cache, and cache controllers are all connected for better performance of the dual-core laptops.

HP Ryzen 3 Dual Core 3250U is a good example of a laptop running on dual core processor.

Dual vs Quad vs Hexa vs Octa Core


Quad-core processor- In this type of quad processor, four cores are used for the processing and transmission of data. The quad prossesor comes with four unit chip. These read and complete the CPU algorithms like migration and branch data. In this chip, the individual center works with the different circuits for cache, input, or output ports and memory management. Different cores equipped with a quadcore cpu can do many tasks simultaneously and enhance the speed of the console programs.

ASUS Pentium Quad Core is a good quality laptop that uses quad-core processor.



Hexa-core processor- For processing and transmitting of data, six different cores are used in the hexacore processors. The hexcore processor has an additional multi-core processor that comes with 6-core processors and completes any task quicker than the dual-core or quad-core processors. The smartphone manufacturing companies use Dual-core and Quad-core processors. Some smartphones are equipped with a hexa core processor.

DELL G15 Ryzen 5 Hexa Core is equipped with hexa-core processor and is great for gaming and other high intensity works.



Octa-core processor- The word Octa means eight. In this processor, eight different cores are used for transmitting and processing the data in octacore laptops.

Dell XPS 17 (9710) is a great laptop that uses octa-core processor.









Dual-core vs Quad-core

A single-core CPU of 2.6GHz will be as strong as a dual-core processor with 1.3 GHz power. Dual-core processors are more beneficial as the strength of the DC CPUs helps in compartmentalization easily and quickly. The different applications and programs will pose a burden for the single-core processor. The performance will slow down as it reaches close to the maximum capacity. In the case of the dual-core processor, the workload will be distributed properly to both cores. This will prevent slowing down.

When you compare the dual-core CPUs to that of the quad-core models, the quad-core models excel in different fields of performance.

Intel’s Pentium G4560 is among the strongest dual-core processors available. It has four digital threads and the base frequency is 3.50 GHz. It was amazing even a few years ago. With the advent of the quad-core processor, this dual-core processor can be overcome by a quad-core one. The quad-core CPU with 1.8 GHz per core can easily beat the dual-core CPU.

In short, compared to the dual-core ones, the quad-core CPUs are stronger.

Quad-core vs Hexa core

Casual gamers, soft editing works, or content writers can be achieved with dual-core or quad-core processors. However, for the programmers and the serious gamers, they will not suffice the needs of the individual.

For serious gamers, four cores are required. The four cores help in providing a strong performance for most of the works done on the laptop. A quad-core processor in the laptop ensures that the laptop will run smoothly. Recently launched games or several editing and programming apps can be easily launched with the quad-core processor.

However, many CPU-intensive works cannot be handled by a quad-core processor. The tasks include 3D rendering, compression and decompression tasks, video encoding, and so on.

To handle such complicated tasks, you require a Hexa-core processor. Though one can complete the above-mentioned tasks using the quad-core processor, this will slow down the laptop. You will also have to invest in a cooling system to prevent the laptop from overheating.

Hexa Core vs Octa Core

CPU-intensive applications, specific tasks, and modern online games need an octa-core processor. The first benefit that you can get from the octa-core processor is that it is extremely reliable. The user can depend more on the processor for heavy-duty tasks as these processors provide great compartmentalization options for the users.

You might have multiple tabs open in the browser simultaneously. The octa-core processor will help in balancing the work easily. It will neither slow down the laptop nor overheat it.

How to choose the right processor? Dual-core vs Quad-core Vs Hexa-core Vs Octa-Core

Choosing the right processor can be a tricky question. There are multiple options available in the market and purchasing one can be a bit of a problem. For this, we have classified the processors based on the cores and their suitability for various tasks. Read on to know which core is ideal for what kind of works.

Dual-core processors for casual computing

Dual-core processors used to be much popular before but now they are no longer in demand. Some users will need the laptop simply for surfing the internet or creating excel or word files, listening to music, or watching films. Then the dual-core processor will suffice your needs perfectly.

These processors are cheap and ideal for completing basic works. The user however will not be able to play any complicated games or edit videos. If the laptop is needed for the reception area of the office or for sending emails or for data entry works, then this dual-core processor laptop will work well.

These processors are available with two or four threads. It is better to select the dual-core processor that comes with four threads as that will perform better than the ones with two threads.

Quad-core processors for programming, gaming, and computing works

The entry-level laptops in recent times have quad-core processors. These processors can deal with regular works and can also be used for gaming. They are also cheaper than the hexacore and the octa-core ones. However, they are adequately sufficient for handling serious gaming.

The processors come with four or eight threads. The four threads processors do not provide multi-threading and hence are less priced. The eight-thread processors provide better performance and have a multi-threading option.

For those who need a laptop for regular work at the office or home or for gamers who need a budget laptop, one can choose the quad-core processor without multi-reading.

Gamers, programmers, and developers who require a powerful laptop will need a quad-core processor that has multi-threading. They are ideal when one compares the price and performance of the laptop.

Hexa-core processors for full-stack application development and CPU-intensive games and work

They are high-end processors for laptops. The six cores help deal with works in a modern office or home setting. One can use them for full-stack application development, producing videos, or for playing CPU-intensive games especially multiplayer online games.

These processors are available with multi-threading and without multi-threading. Users who need multi-threading can consider using a processor that will help them to play the game. Some games do not need multi-threading. One can then play the games on a Hexa-core processor that does not have multi-threading.

Octa-core processors for 4K editing, streaming, rendering, and gaming

These processors are devised for those users who want to run CPU-intensive works and for serious gamers. The eight cores will help in the easy handling of any office or homework. these processors are very expensive.

These processors are ideal for gamers who live stream their games. The octa-core processors are also ideal for multiple CPU-intensive tasks. If you render videos in 4K resolution, then you can consider these processors. They are available in both multi-thread and non-multi-thread options.

Conclusion – Dual vs Quad vs Hexa vs Octa Core

With this, we come to the end of the article on how many cores are needed for your laptop. We hope that with this guide, you have been able to select the right processor for your needs. If you have a good budget, then choose the best processor for your needs.

However, choosing the number of cores you need for the laptop will strictly depend on the work you want to do on the laptop. If you want to watch films and do simple works, then a dual-core CPU is enough. The content writers and the casual gamers can opt for the quad-core CPU. Programmers and serious gamers need a laptop with a Hexa-core processor. And lastly, the Octa-core processors are ideal for individuals who do CPU-intensive jobs like video encoding, data mining, and others.

One important thing to keep in mind is that laptop processors are less powerful than their desktop counterparts. This is so because the laptops are designed for saving power and increasing battery backup. Management of heat is difficult in laptops as it has a limited flow of air. Hence the processors in laptops work at low frequencies when compared to desktop processors.



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