As the high-end computer processor wars heat up once again with Intel and AMD’s new, competing offerings, the new chips will be measured on a variety of factors, from speed to efficiency to price. One measure of performance will be how the Intel Core i9 and AMD Threadripper handle “Multithreading.” But what is multithreading and how does it affect overall computer speeds?
Multithreading allows software or an operating system to share resources and run processes in parallel, making things run faster. On modern processors that contain multiple individual computing cores and with software that takes advantage of that, parallel threading can speed things up considerably. But it requires more careful programming to avoid conflicts. And in some dedicated processes, such as encoding video, multithreading may not improve speed much unless the software to do it is built with that in mind. It’s not to be confused with processor multitasking, which is more like juggling or sharing computing resources than using those resources to process data simultaneously.
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