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I recently check my system information with ubuntu's app "System Profiler and Benchmark". And I get 1 CPU running at 1200 Mhz and the other 3 running at 800 Mhz. It's correct?, Intel Core i3-2310M CPU 2.10 GHz works like this?

[My laptop is a HP 430]

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Something is definitely broken. All of the Core i3 processors have only two cores (and some of the models have an integrated GPU). Also, I am not aware of any that run at 1.2GHz. –  Nathan Osman Oct 14 '11 at 16:56
    
By the way, my processor name's Intel Core i3-2310M CPU 2.10 GHz –  Diegov Oct 14 '11 at 17:01
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I think it's possible for 2 CPUs to run at different speeds, if the scheduler policy is set to "ondemand". –  waltinator Oct 16 '11 at 1:52

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, it's possible for a (modern) multicore processor to clock the cores with different frequencies.

It's a way of saving power: If the task that is currently executing can't be parallelized, it's useful to conserve power by switching off all the cores that are not currently used.

To the comment saying that there should only be two cores: It's true that the i3 series CPUs have only two physical cores, but they report to the OS as four virtual cores because of hyperthreading (2 virtual cores per physical core).

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Also note that the frequencies will scale dynamically according to system load. If the machine is idle, all four virtual cores ought to be using the lowest supported frequency (800 MHz, looks like). If there are at least four CPU-burning processes running, all four virtual cores ought to use the highest frequency (2.1 GHz). –  Marius Gedminas Nov 25 '11 at 20:08

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