Will Windows Vista Use Both Cores In An AMD Turion 64 X2

by on November 15, 2007

Q: Is Windows Vista Home Premium compatible with an AMD Turion 64 X2 CPU. By this I mean will Vista use both processors, or will it only use one?

A: Be careful! The AMD Turion 64 X2 is what is known as a dual-core processor. A dual-core processor is a single “package” with two parts inside. Now, there is also a configuration called dual-processor. Notice that the word core is gone! A dual-processor configuration is two “packages”, each with only one part inside. Don’t feel bad. Even geeks get these terms confused. According to the Microsoft webpage Windows Vista recommended system requirements:

While all editions of Windows Vista can support multiple core CPUs, only Windows Vista Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise can support dual processors.

This means that all editions of Vista should be able to use both of the cores in your AMD Turion 64 X2. I have confirmed that this applies to 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista.

Speaking of 32-bit versus 64-bit Vista… Retail versions of Windows Vista Home Premium are 32-bit operating system by default. If you want to make full use of your 64-bit AMD processor, you need a 64-bit operating system. Visit the Microsoft webpage Windows Vista Alternate Media to learn more about ordering the 64-bit version of Vista Home Premium. As stated on that page, some programs are incompatible with 64-bit operating systems at this time. Just for your information, retail copies of Apple’s Mac OS X include 32-bit and 64-bit on the same disk. Additionally, there is only one consumer version of OS X — less confusion.