Comments on the hyper-threading processor in the new Macbook Pro.

Episode 883 (56:42)

Jeff from Los Angeles, CA

Jeff is part of the Apple Consultant's network and he says the new Macbook Pro has a redesigned hyper-threading processor which can handle more small packets of data. Leo says we've had hyper-threading since the Core 2 Duo, and that's nothing new. The new processors in every PC and even some phones are quad-core. Intel has the i3, i5 and i7. One of the differences between the i5 and i7 is that the i7 has hyper-threading turned on. That means each individual chip (or core) can do two things at once. So the processors in the new Macbooks can do eight things at once.

There is a fairly strong case to be made that it's completely useless though. First of all, it requires an operating system that can actually take advantage of this. If the operating system can, then it can run eight different programs all on their own thread. But processors have already been fast by doing something called "time-slicing" where they would do a little bit of each thing one after another. Since processors are so fast, even a single-core processor can do several things at the same time this way. Leo doesn't think the general public would see a big difference between that and the quad-core hyper-threading processors out today.

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