PC & Tech Authority - - FEATURE -

Both AMD and In­tel use clever mul­ti­thread­ing tech­nolo­gies to al­low a sin­gle CPU core to do the work of two. AMD’s ap­proach, in­tro­duced in its lat­est Ryzen CPUs, is called SMT (si­mul­ta­ne­ous multi-thread­ing), while In­tel’s goes by the name Hyper­Thread­ing.

With th­ese chips, each phys­i­cal core ap­pears to…Win­dows as a pair, ca­pa­ble of run­ning two pro­cesses at once. In re­al­ity it only ac­tively works on one at a time – the trick is that it can switch al­most in­stantly back and forth be­tween two as­signed tasks. So when­ever there’s a de­lay in ex­e­cut­ing one task – for ex­am­ple, if a value has to be fetched from mem­ory – the core sim­ply gets on with han­dling the other.

If you’re run­ning fairly light­weight tasks, which don’t tax the CPU too heav­ily, Hyper-Thread­ing works bril­liantly, and can pro­vide a real boost to re­spon­sive­ness. How­ever, that breaks down with more de­mand­ing tasks, which leave the core with­out enough ca­pac­ity to prop­erly ser­vice a sec­ond process. As our bench­marks ex­pose, Hyper-Thread­ing pro­vides ben­e­fits, but it’s no sub­sti­tute for real sil­i­con.

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