I recently purchased an Intel i5-650 processor. On the Intel site, this the technical specifications show that the processor should only have two cores.


However, when I check the Performance tab in 'Windows Task Manager', it shows 4 sections under 'CPU Usage history', indicating 4 cores. Can someone confirm if I have two or four cores.

I have seen this behavior with two of my friends Intel i3 processors as well.


1 Answer 1


What you are seeing is hyper-threading. This enables a single core to process 2 concurrent threads of execution. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyper-threading Its not actually as good as having 4 cores, but it provides a speedup.

  • 3
    although the speedup varies significantly depending on the workload, you may expect about 30% speedup in total processor throughput (i.e. it's like having 2.6 cores)
    – netvope
    Nov 29, 2010 at 6:24

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