A core is a basic unit of computation in CPU. It can run multiple programs at once (depending upon the hardware) by maintaining the correct program state and its execution order.
Nowadays, Computers do not come with a single core. There are multiple cores in modern computers so that execution time can be reduced and multiprogramming can be achieved to a greater extent.
More the number of cores, more computing power the system has. Hence a better user-experience as well s a better product.
The core is the basic computational unit of processing. It receives instructions from the users or other programs and performs an action based on them. Communicating with hardware threads, hyper threading, feeding instructions to ALU are all done by a core.
Suppose CPU has 11 tasks to execute at a given time and there are 4 cores in the system which is capable of handling 2 tasks at once, then only 8 tasks:
(number of cores * program per core)
will be executed and remaining 3 will be scheduled for later execution (when pending tasks completes)
How you find out how many cores your windows/Linux system has?
There can be many methods of finding the number of cores in the underlying hardware. Here are the most commonly used 2 methods.
Proc is a file system (commonly called as proc file system) in Linux contains a hierarchy of special files which represent the current state as well as other hardware level information of the kernel.
It is an architecture level file system in Linux also contains all the information relevant to the kernel.
The number of cores in a Linux system can be found by just accessing the cpuinfo file in Linux.
Type this command in your terminal and you will find the number of cores in the system.
One can grep output with whatever relevant info is required from it. Just like:
cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep "^cpu cores" | uniq
It is a command whose work is to bring out the useful info into human readable form. It will show you the required details from the /proc/cpuinfo file.
Finding the number of cores in windows is pretty straight forward. Since windows is GUI centered Operating System, one doesn’t need to fight a lot for finding the number of cores in his/her system.
Go to your task manager by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC.
Select the performance tab from the navigation bar. All the CPU related data will be shown including the number of cores in the system.
This is the second method of finding out number of cores in your windows operating system.
Just type run in the search bar of simply press windows button + R for opening the run prompt.
It will open up a wizard for you with System Summary selected. Here you can see the number of cores and logical processes in your system.