A quad core CPU is a computer processor that contains four different processing "cores." Each core is a distinct processor, so quad cores are like having four separate processors bundled in one unit. Quad core processors are not necessarily "faster" than single core processors; they just have four different cores to do work instead of one. This means that they can handle large volumes of processes and multitasking very well, but it does not mean they can do a single process four times faster than a single core processor. Still, there are several ways to optimize a computer system to ensure that the quad core processor is able to work as fast as possible.
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Perform routine system maintenance. To ensure your processor can run as fast as possible, you need to make sure it can access data from the hard drive efficiently. Fully scan your computer with an updated antivirus software and antispyware program; then use the disk cleanup and disk defragmenter utilities. These utilities can be accessed by clicking "Start," "My Programs," "Accessories" and then "System Tools."
Increase CPU cooling. Processors run much faster when they are cool than when they are warm. The more cooling you can provide to the processor, the faster it will run. Keeping your computer in a cool space out of direct sunlight will increase speed. Installing additional case fans, a more powerful CPU fan and a better heat sink can help increase CPU speed. Running the computer with the case open and using an external fan to blow across the motherboard can also help the computer run cooler.
Install more RAM and/or faster RAM. RAM stores data from the hard drive and transmits it to the processor. The faster the RAM can transmit data to the CPU, the faster the quad core CPU can process it. RAM is usually cheap, and installation is not difficult. Use a screwdriver to remove the left side of the computer's case; then simply press the new RAM sticks straight down into the RAM slots on the motherboard until they lock in place. If you are replacing old RAM, press down on the two plastic locking clamps on the RAM slots to pop the old RAM modules out.
Overclock the CPU. Overclocking is setting a CPU to run faster than its normal speed in the computer's BIOS. Overclocking can cause system instability, so it is wise not to overclock unless you are experienced with computers and have good cooling in your case to prevent overheating. To overclock, restart your computer and press the appropriate key to enter BIOS setup. (The screen should prompt you to press a certain key.) Then navigate through the setup menus, find a field for CPU frequency and increase the number in the field by 10 to 20 percent. This will make the processor run at a frequency faster than it is normally set to run. You can also overclock the front side bus (FSB) speed and memory to allow the CPU to access data faster. Remember to save changes before exiting BIOS setup.
Tips and warnings
- There is often not a noticeable increase in processing speed when switching from a dual core to a quad core processor, since either is able to handle large loads of processing quickly. Quad core processors can actually be slower than dual or single core processors for carrying out a single process.
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