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Why do all the Windows 7 Desktop Gadgets tell me my 4 core processor has 8 cores? I have an Intel i7 870 with 4 cores. Yet every gadget I try tells me I have 8. Whats up?


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up vote 13 down vote accepted

Your processor has HyperThreading, giving it two virtual/logical cores per physical core.

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+1 for the link. – Not Kyle stop stalking me Jan 20 '11 at 21:58
3 answers less than 32 seconds apart, has to be a record. – Moab Jan 20 '11 at 22:07

Sounds like your processor is hyper threaded which means each core will have two threads, Windows will see these threads (logical cores) as additional cores.

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This is most probably because the i7 870 has hyperthreading (~2 hardware threads by core), my Core i5 760 shows only 4. For each processor core that is physically present, the operating system addresses two virtual processors

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Looks like the applications are detecting what is called Hyperthreading. This feature effectively allows a single core to behave as two cores. See the wikipedia article if you want to know more.

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