Multi core processors and speed requirements

If you want to use a program with a minimum processor speed of 2.4ghz, does it still have to be 2.4ghz if your processor is dual or quad core?

Also, bonus questions: If I have one broken laptop with an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.00ghz processor, and another laptop with a single core Pentium M 2.13ghz processor, can and should I put the processor from the broken one into the working one?

Or maybe I could put the hard drive (that’s what’s broken on the broken one) from the working one into the broken one, because the broken one has better RAM (different type so it can’t be moved) and video card.

Final question, I swear. OR could I just put the video card from the broken one into the working one? I’m just trying to figure out how to fit these two laptop pieces together in the best way!

  1. It depends. Most programs that have processor speed requirements are a) just suggestions and b) assuming a single processor. If the program isn’t well multithreaded, having multiple cores isn’t going to help.
  2. Those two processors use different sockets, so you can’t just swap them.
  3. The hard drive will probably swap OK.
  4. Possibly, but many laptops don’t even have removable video cards…

Also, FWIW, that Core 2 processor is much better than the Pentium M processor, even though the Core 2 has a slightly slower clock speed. The Core 2 is multi-core, which helps whenever you are multitasking or using a multi-threaded program… Also, it’s a newer design that (roughly speaking) can do more computations per clock cycle, so even single-threaded programs will be faster.

Replacing the hard drive on the Core 2 machine is probably your best bet. However, there’s a chance that the working hard drive isn’t compatible with your broken laptop - it *might *have an older parallel ATA plug, while the broken laptop almost certainly has a newer serial ATA plug.

Another problem - you likely can’t swap processors. I’m not up on processors but the plug and layout, not to mention the settings on the motehrboard, pprobably don’t allow the swap.

programs that were not written to multi-thread probably don’t take advantage of multiple cores. OTOH, you would see a speed-up since the other processes (There are a helluva lot of processes running just to keep Windows alive0 would benefit from the extra core, allowing you program more quality time with a core.

Thanks for all the answers, everyone! So I guess I really can’t switch anything :frowning: I checked and the HDs are different. This sucks because I bought the working laptop the other day refurbished for $150 and it would have been worth that for the HD with Windows 7 Professional on it alone. I don’t have a Windows disk.

If I’d thought of this ahead of time I could have held out for a refurbished laptop with a SATA drive (they’re all $150 and all have Windows 7 Professional).

Would it work to buy a new SATA HD for the broken laptop and then clone the PATA HD onto it? Or would I need a new copy of Windows or some extra equipment to do the cloning or something? If that worked then at least I’d have two working laptops for just the additional cost of a HD.

Yeah, Mhz numbers haven’t meant anything for a little while. Partially because of multi-core, but for other reasons too.

You could get an enclosure for the IDE drive. Knock yourself out. I would recommend a new install, but cloning might work okay. Especially if it’s the same computer, although sounds like you want to (and should) go with the Core2Duo.

Check if the HD has a warranty. Usually you can find that by typing in the serial on the manufacturer’s website.

I don’t think I can do a new install because I don’t have a Windows disk. You can’t just burn one and install it on another computer, can you?

Do you mean getting the enclosure to use the PATA in the SATA computer permanently? Would connecting via USB affect the speed?

I think I may as well clone the PATA HD to a new SATA HD for the Core2Duo, so then both laptops would be usable (I can get a new HD cheap because all I need is like 40GB). To clone the HD, would I hook the new HD to the working laptop with a SATA-to-USB adapter or what?

It’s 5 years old so I’m sure it’s not under warranty.

You can’t burn a Windows disc. Technically, it is possible, but not legally/according to EULA, and information would not be found on SDMB.

I’m not sure if you can even run Windows off of a external drive, but it would help you get the data or clone. Speed? If it’s USB 2.0, what you likely, you will see a good slowdown. Depending on your computer(s) connectors, a better bet would be get a enclosure with eSATA or IEEE 1394 (“Firewire”). USB 3.0 is an option, but I’ll guess you don’t have that. Many eSATA/FW drives I’ve seen have a secondary USB connection for when you don’t have a computer that has those.

For the record, eSATA is much faster than USB 2.0, faster than IDE/PATA, and equal to internal SATA rev 2.0. Firewire 800 is faster than USB 2.0, but a lot slower than eSATA. Firewire 3200 is a tiny bit faster that eSATA.

I’ve never cloned anything, but I am guessing that will work.

HDs commonly have 1, 2, or 3 year. Some fancy ones have 5 or so, but yes, it is likely yours is not.

Okay, thanks for the info,** thelurkinghorror**. I always just assumed that you could run things on an external drive like normal, but now I know that isn’t true.

So here’s what I’m tentatively planning to do now, and please someone tell me if it might not work for some reason!

Buy an internal SATA HD and a SATA-to-USB adapter cable.
Plug the SATA HD into my working laptop using the cable.
Use cloning software that comes with the HD or cable to clone the PATA drive to the SATA drive.
Install the SATA drive into my broken laptop and use like normal.

Should that work? I read something about how what people commonly call cloning is really making an image or something, which doesn’t allow you to just use the drive normally?

Actually it is possible and perfectly legitimate. I purchased Windows 7 through a student discount program, and the retailer sent me the key and a link to download an image. Here’s a guide on how to do a fresh install, along with links to legit DVD images that you can burn yourself. You can also just borrow a Windows 7 disk from a friend or whatever.

Now, you still need to acquire a legitimate license key. The license key from your refurbished laptop might be printed on the bottom, or on one of the bits of paper that came with it. I think you can use that license on another computer, but not while it’s still installed on the original computer. Or depending on license terms, it may not be OK to transfer it to any other computer.

I’ve gone the cloning route a few times, and it’s frankly more of a hassle than doing a fresh install. So if you can get your hands on an install disk, and you can transfer the license, that’s what I would do.

Sorry, I meant I don’t think you’re supposed to install on multiple computers using the same key, unless it’s some sort of business license that allows it. Yes, DVD is not tied to the license. As it’s essentially the same computer, I don’t think there should be a problem, but if it’s the other laptop’s OS then there is technically a problem.

In the past, for me, what worked with the least pain, was an Apricorn external enclosure (bought at Fry’s for $40) then bought a new harddrive. Apricorn comes with cloning software that is easy to use, just go with that.

I think there is something to be said for more cores. For instance, a resource-intensive program can be shoved onto an idle core so it get 100% of the core’s processing power instead of having to share with your background applications. In addition, I think Windows might do something that at least attempts to treat multiple cores as a single core in rare circumstances.

Either way, though, two 1.2GHz cores aren’t going to be as fast as a single 2.4GHz core no matter which way you slice it, and it’s really, really hard to tell when the GHz/core tradeoff is worth it.

  1. The registration key on a sticker doesn’t always work for reinstallation unless it’s from a retail copy of Windows. Most computers (especially laptops) come with pre-installed OEM versions of Windows with more restrictive licenses, typically only allowing installations/activations on the same brand of machine (Dell, HP, whatever). Often times they are activated through alternate mechanisms only available to those big OEMs, and trying to install and activate on a different machine with a key alone won’t always work.

It’s worth a shot, nonetheless. If the key on the sticker doesn’t work, you can also use a program like the Magical Jelly Bean (seriously) on the Windows 7 computer to recover its key… but again, that may or may not work depending on how the OEM decided to handle registration and activation with Microsoft.

  1. It IS sometimes possible to run Windows off an external drive. It depends on your computer’s BIOS and (sometimes) the particular drive/enclosure/USB stick you run it from. It’s worth a shot if you don’t mind the speed disadvantage of USB (at least pre-3.0) versus internal connections.

  2. Cloning might work, but only if it copies the boot sector as well (meaning a file copy alone isn’t sufficient) and only if there isn’t some device driver incompatibility between the old and new laptops. Often it’s easier just to install a fresh copy.

This probably will not work. PATA based Windows systems generally do not have the drivers for SATA available. And the Windows license mechanism will detect the transfer (due to hardware changes) and you will have to relicense the system anyhow.

Identify the appropriate Windows version from the COA sticker on the nonworking laptop, obtain an OEM or Universal install disc (from the laptop manufacturer if you need to), burn and reinstall using the COA. You will have far less pain and it will be quicker. If the version is not to your liking, buy an upgrade.


The OEM licence is not technically transferrable, but it is very possible and is not restricted to specific make or models. Machine specific versions of the OS and or tatooing has pretty much been a non issue since WindowsME. The restore disks will not work on other PC’s, but a proper OEM windows CD does not care.

Hmm, unless my memory is mistaken, whether you succeed at this is mostly a matter of luck (depending on the specific machine/license, what the user before you has done, the similarity of parts between old and new machines, etc.)

Some forum threads seem to back this up, so I don’t think I’m making it up:

Not IME. I found that Dell and HP versions of XP would not work on other machines.

I had a friend whose Dell XP machine died. I transferred the hard drive to another Dell computer and it replaced a few drivers and worked fine.

Well yes, that was from one Dell machine to another, and after having successfully passed the license key check. I found that I could not install a Dell-supplied version of XP on a non-Dell machine. And similarly with HP.

I’ve never had a problem transferring license keys for OEM copies when I’ve replaced critical components. I just rang MS, explained the situation, and they validated me over the phone.