I see processor count listed as 1 in a laptop I am looking at buying and was wondering how important it is? the laptop is an i7-7500U with 12GB RAM, 1TB HDD and Window 10. I see other laptops have i3s and i5s with 2 to 4 in the processor count.
Thanks for the detailed specs because according to Intel, the i7-7500U is a dual core processor, not a single-core processor. There’s a big difference between multiple processors and multiple cores, but we’ll get back to that shortly. The CPU itself also has, as Intel is happy to share, a “Recommended Customer Price” of $393.00 so that’s a pretty expensive CPU, not one you’ll find on an entry-level computer. 12GB RAM, 1TB hard drive, sounds like a pretty solid option for a laptop if you ask me. It could be sped up by upgrading the hard disk to a solid-state drive (SSD), but those can be mucho expensive even at the 512GB size, let alone a 1TB SSD. Remember you need to match size, power requirements and heat signature if you do upgrade the drive.
But as with any computer configuration’s suitability for someone, the real question is how are you going to use it? If you’re just an email and Web surfer type, this computer will offer plenty of power, possibly even being a bit overkill. Then again, if you’re sequencing genomes or playing the most intensive video games, this might not be powerful enough! The best way to ascertain if it’s going to work for your particular usage requirements is to actually try it. If you’re a big Web surfer, go to some of your favorite sites and see how fast pages are rendered and how easily you can scroll around or launch embedded videos, etc.
If you’re a gamer, grab a demo of your favorite game, let it launch and self-configure, then go into settings and see what it’s decided to disable to get good performance. Now enable everything and try to play the demo. That’ll give you a really good sense of how powerful the combination of CPU and graphics card are, and whether that 12GB of RAM is sufficient for your needs.
But let’s circle back to the question of multiple processors vs multi-core. A multiprocessor system contains more than one physical CPU and they work in parallel. These are built around a special type of computer motherboard with multiple CPU sockets and ultra-fast memory pipelines. It’s also pretty darn expensive. Much more commonly are multicore systems which contain more than one execution core, but all integrated into a single CPU. Multicore systems are much easier to work with from a hardware design perspective because all of the data pipelines are on the chip.
So I’d be darn surprised if you could find any laptops that are truly multiprocessor units, and if you did, they’d be pretty expensive. Multiple core CPU systems, however, are quite common nowadays. The Apple MacBook Pro I’m writing this answer on is powered by an Intel Core i7-6820HQ processor with four cores.
Finally, circling back to your configuration, sounds like a pretty solid laptop option for most users. If you can afford it and it’s in good cosmetic shape and all the ports and drives are functional, it might be a great laptop for the next few years…
Pro Tip: We have a lot of Windows 10 tutorials, from hardware configuration optimization to changing desktop wallpaper. Please check it all out while you’re here on the site!