Myth: The number of cores will multiply the processor frequency

October 2016

I have a dual core processor 2.3 GHz (with 2 cores), this gives it a total frequency of 4.6 ghz?




The number of cores and the frequency of a processor are independent.
Thus, a dual-core processor at 2.3 GHz has a total frequency of 2.3 GHz.

2 key factors determining the power of a processor:

-The number of cores.
-The frequency (GHz).

A processor is able to execute multiple tasks simultaneously. For example you can surf the web while listening to music on your computer. However, to achieve

this effect of "multitasking", the core processor alternates the execution of your process by giving them each a small execution time of the order of a

millisecond. It is so fast that you really feel that they are executed at the same time.

A processor having a high frequency, will gain in rapidity. However, if you have several tasks to execute simultaneously, the number of cores will be the

critical factor.


A dual core at 2.6 ghz is much more powerful than a single processor core running at 3.0ghz.

Note: the cache also affects slightly on the processor:

It reduces the access time (read or write) a processor core to its data.

One difference:

- First-level cache (L1)
- Second level cache (L2)
- Third level cache (L3)

Thus, most caches are larger, your processor will be powerful because it will require less interation with the RAM memory which is slower than the caches.

All processors are not equipped with L3 cache. Those who benefit are often more powerful.

Related :

This document entitled « Myth: The number of cores will multiply the processor frequency » from CCM ( is made available under the Creative Commons license. You can copy, modify copies of this page, under the conditions stipulated by the license, as this note appears clearly.