Today’s high-end CPUs are about cores, cores, and more cores. For example, the new Core i9-13900K has twenty-four of them. On paper, it looks better than the high-end Ryzen 9 7950X and its sixteen cores. But keep in mind that while all AMD CPU cores are the same, Intel divides its cores between performance (P) and efficiency (E) cores, in what is known as a hybrid configuration. Confused? Then you should watch PCWorld’s latest YouTube video where Dr Tech TechPotato’s Ian Cutress explains it to us.In many ways, Intel’s performance/efficiency core configuration reflects the most popular mobile chip designs, specifically Arm’s big.LITTLE configuration. And while the “efficiency” cores are certainly less powerful than the primary cores in any CPU, they’re no slouch – the E cores in the new Raptor Lake CPUs have the same power as the Skylake primary cores in the Core 6000 series. multitasking and background operations!
AMD doesn’t have hybrid CPU designs for consumers — it’s full performance, all the time, with “Eco mode” used as an alternative to energy-saving efficiency cores. But its new Zen 4c chips for servers and other industrial applications have “c” cores that are more energy efficient and built into processors with up to 128 cores. We may see some of this development reach the consumer space at some point.
Check out the full video for an in-depth discussion of the current and future state of hybrid CPU designs for desktops and laptops. And when you’re done, be sure to subscribe to PCWorld on YouTube. And check out the TechTechPotato channel for some of the most intense chip reviews on the market!