What is the Difference between Dual Core and Quad Core?

Like if this Guide is helpful
What is the Difference between Dual Core and Quad Core?

Smartphones and tablets become ever more sophisticated in their capabilities and technology. Despite this, many prospective buyers have difficulty deciphering the differences between the huge array of models on offer. It doesn’t help that manufacturers market their devices on the basis of their technical specifications that are hard for non-technology literate buyers to understand.

Processor speed is one distinction that is used to compare smartphones and tablets. High-end devices usually come equipped with a quad-core processor while mid-range and budget offerings use older dual-core processors. The short answer to the question is straightforward; quad-core processors can carry out computational tasks at twice the speed. However, consumers may wonder why this actually matters for day-to-day usage.


Why Mobile Device Processors Matter

While it is easy to enticed by the design of a mobile device, the novelty quickly wears off if it is sluggish in performance and can’t install popular apps. When choosing a new smartphone, it is important that buyers know what they are getting and processor speeds are a critical factor in determining the performance of mobile devices. They will also indicate how well they could work in the future. While most Android and iPhone apps are still designed for single or dual-core devices, inevitably they will be updated to take advantage quad processing in future.


Quad Core Processors Features

Most high-end mobile devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Nexus 5 include quad-core processors. This simply means they have four individual cores. A good analogy is that a single-core processor is like having just one brain compared to four brains in a quad-core processor. Regarding real world usage, this means quad-core smartphones or tablets have several advantages over less powerful models such as:

  • Ability to load web pages faster
  • Lower power consumption
  • Ability to play games with detailed 3D graphics
  • Smooth and stable performance when running complex applications
  • Increased video call quality


Dual Core Processors Features

While dual-core processors have been around longer than quad core ones, they can still handle most tasks such as web browsing and video playback without any lag. Although dual-core smartphones posses half the processing power of a quad-core device, there are not many instances where more than two processing cores are important for the majority of smartphone or tablet usage. Also, phones and tablets with dual-core processors are usually much cheaper, making them an appealing option for budget conscious buyers.


Other Important Factors

It should also be noted that not all quad or dual-core processors function in an equal manner. There are other factors that can affect speed and performance of a mobile device such as:

CPU (Central Processing Unit)

The CPU is an element that makes up a dual or quad-core processor. Therefore a quad-core processor has four CPUs. However, buyers should pay attention to how fast each CPU is. A good example of that is the Motorola Moto X, which has a dual-core processor that is more powerful than the quad core found on the cheaper Motorola Moto G. The speed of the CPU is measured in gigahertz (GHz) and a higher number indicates a faster CPU.

GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)

The GPU will help process any visual information such as graphics or video playback on a smartphone or tablet. It is essential for smooth performance of graphics-heavy games.


The memory, or Random Access Memory (RAM), on a smartphone enables it to keep multiple applications open simultaneously. A good analogy is that it is the short-term memory of a mobile device while the long-term memory is the storage space. If there are too many applications running in the back then this will slow down the performance of a device.

Internal storage

The internal storage of a mobile device determines how many apps, albums, movies, games, and files can be stored internally. Phones with fast processors but low storage will suffer from sluggish performance if they are filled to capacity because the CPU requires use of some free storage space in order to function optimally. However, some smartphones have micro SD card slots that allow the internal storage to be increased significantly.


Buying a Dual Core or Quad Core Mobile Device on eBay

Once prospective buyers have decided upon either a dual core or quad core smartphone/tablet, they can head to eBay for for a wide range of mobile devices at excellent value prices. To get started, they should head to the main eBay landing page. From there, they can proceed to either to the Smartphones & Accessories or Computers & Tablets sections. On both these pages it is possible to refine results by typing “Quad Core” or “Dual Core” in the search bar located at the top of the page. This will bring up seller listings for smartphones or tablets with either type of processor.

Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides