SQL SERVER – The Difference between Dual Core vs. Core 2 Duo

I have decided that I would not write on this subject until I have received a total of 25 questions on this subject about dual core.

Here are a few questions from the list:


What is the difference between Dual Core and Core 2 Duo?
Which one is recommended for SQL Server: Core 2 Duo or Dual Core?
Can I upgrade my Dual Core to Core 2 Duo?
If Dual Core has 2 CPUs, how many CPUs does Core 2 Duo have?
Is it true that Core 2 Duo and Dual Core meant the same thing?

Well, let us see the answer. Optimistically, I would be directing everybody to this blog post if I receive a question of the same kind sometime in the future.

To verify the information that I provide, visit Intel’s site. For additional information regarding the subject, visit Wikipedia.

My Answer:

SQL SERVER - The Difference between Dual Core vs. Core 2 Duo dualcore Any computer that has two CPUs or two “cores” is known as Dual Core.
Core Duo is a brand name of Intel for Dual Core.
Core 2 Duo is simply a higher version of Core Duo. (e.g. for Pentium brand, it`s like Pentium I, Pentium II, etc.)

The computer I am using now has Core 2 Duo. Intel has launched a new brand, which they call i3, i5, and i7.  Here, the numbers are not related to the number of cores; rather, they show the range of the CPU. I3 is of low range and i7 is of high range.

Feel free to add more details by adding valuable comments here. And if you still want to ask why I created this blog post, well, I mentioned that I was waiting for 25 questions threshold to hit, before I write about this subject which I didn`t really plan to write about.

Reference: Pinal Dave (https://blog.sqlauthority.com)

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10 Comments. Leave new

  • Marko Parkkola
    May 2, 2010 12:26 pm


    Just a little nitpick. Dual Core means that there’s two CPU cores on a single die (and socket).

    • Thanks Marko,

      As usually I appreciate your comments and they are very accurate.

      Kind Regards,

      • Marko Parkkola
        May 3, 2010 1:25 pm

        Thank you. As I’ve already said couple of times, I like to be pedantic :)

        But anyway, this starts to get little confusing. Things used to be simple: either you got single CPU machine or you got multi CPU machine. I think the acronym MPU told that your machine had multiple CPUs.

        But now MPU, according to Wikipedia, can mean either multiple cores on a single die/socket or multiple cores on multiple dies/sockets. And now when single die can contain one or more cores plus that motherboard can have multiple sockets, things start to get really confusing.

        As a DBA I started to think about processor affinity. Let’s say I have a machine which has two sockets, four cores on each socket. Would it be wise to tell Sql Server to use those four cores on socket 1 on running queries and other four cores on socket 2 on indexing or would it be wiser to mix them? Or is this something that has no affect what so ever?

        Unfortunately I don’t have test environment where I could play with these settings freely. Otherwise I could test this myself (and report the results).

  • John McLusky
    May 2, 2010 1:04 pm

    Isn’t this sort of information freely available on the internet? As helpful as your posts are, I’d have searched for it rather than ask a MVP.

    Same applies to a lot of the questions you seem to get about SQL syntax/features that are documented in Books Online.

    • John,

      You are very correct, there are lots of information are available online and searching them online is sometime much faster to get the data.

      However, the hard reality is that we all do receive questions from beginners and new to this area.

      This is just my humble attempt to help those who are looking for help.

      I have answered many basic such questions. One can also search easily in my blog here : https://blog.sqlauthority.com/search-sqlauthority/

      Many thanks for your observation, you are very correct.

      Kind Regards,

  • Hi, Pinal. I also got similar results when I searched about this question earlier, I would like to add that;
    “Intel’s dual core processors were simply 2 Pentium 3 processors that were fabricated in a single chip. As they refined their product more, they decided to differentiate their second set of processors from the Core Duo and decided to call it Core 2 Duo.”

    And We can summaries that;

    1. Dual core is the generic name given to processors that have 2 cores on the same chip
    2. Core 2 Duo is the second line of dual core processors from Intel
    3. Other dual core processors aside from Core 2 Duo are the Core Duo from Intel and the X2 series from AMD
    4. All Core 2 Duo processors are dual core but not all dual core processors are Core 2 Duo

    Read more: Difference Between Dual Core and Core 2 Duo | Difference Between

  • Alex Simkin
    May 3, 2010 7:22 pm

    “…which they call i3, i5, and i7”

    i7 is quad-core processor.

  • Hi Pinal,
    Thanks for putting out the article. As developers/Architects it is important to be aware of the hardware aspects of sql server, like what kind of server is your dev,test and prod servers are running on. For example OLTP/OLAP environments could have different hardware server configurations.

  • Hi Pinal,

    We are running server 2003 r2 x64 with sql 2008 Enterprise with 12gb RAM and 1 dual core processor.

    We are running a ready heavy query which is using 11.7gb pagefile.

    We are aware that we need to improve performance, the question is do we get more RAM or switch to a quad core processor?

  • Hi all,

    First of all thanks to Pinal Dave for this really useful site.

    I think this matter is worthy to analyze because of the enormous costs of the several socket servers instead of multiple-core cheap servers of today.

    I use today an AMD Phenom II X4BE and an Intel Core2 Duo to test TPM scripts on SQL.

    There are significant differences, the first one is that Intel used two PIII related cpu’s with 2x32k L1 and 4 mb of shared cache on L2.

    AMD X4 use 2×64 kb L1 per core, 512k L2 and a massive 6 MB L3 shared.

    In my humble opinion and using SQL, the cores add only 0.25% of raw performance per core (approximately) on Intel and 0.35 to 0.40% per AMD core (Using a modern OS), It really depends on the cache architecture that benefits clearly AMD because Intel implement a similar model on i3, i5, and i7 processors, but not present in Intel core2 Duo. (Due to cost restrictions I decided to follow the AMD way instead of waiting for the expensive Intel Xeon counterparts).

    One of the differences of the lack of performance in many servers was due to the ancient need of AMD CPU drivers (2003 and below). But to this day this is obsolete thinking because AMD support is native to vista/windows 2008 server clearly closing the gap between the two different architectures in performance but not in cost.

    I recommend a insightful reading to comment:

    HP DL785: ‘The BI Power Server’ by HP
    An architect’s review of HP’s newest AMD-based server for Microsoft Business Intelligence Applications
    By Derek Comingore Senior BI Consultant Scalability Experts November 19th, 2008

    I know the article can be a little biased, but I think that your experiences will be more accurate.


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