Dual Processor

What Does Dual Processor Mean?

A dual-processor (DP) is a system that includes two separate physical processors in the same framework. In systems containing dual processors, each physical processor may be located on the same or different motherboards. Both physical processors may include multiple cores.


DPs are primarily used to increase speed and perform virtualization and multitasking tasks.

Techopedia Explains Dual Processor

Key benefits of dual processor are as follows:

  • Speed: As the main advantage, speed improvement while using a second processor is remarkable, compared to the performance of a computer that uses a single processor. However, the operating system (OS) should be compatible with dual processor configuration, or the related software application will not work properly. The use of a dual processor considerably improves overall speed but does not double the processor’s power.
  • Multitasking: A key advantage when configuring a dual processor, this allows users to concurrently perform multiple tasks. For example, users may easily encode a video in the background while playing a video game or performing a graphic-rich task.
  • Virtualization: Refers to the process of simultaneously running multiple OSs on a single computer. For example, OSs like Windows, Mac and Linux may be simultaneously used on the same system without rebooting. Virtualization is a performance-rich process that requires high processing speed. Using dual processors helps maintain normal computer speed, even though multiple OSs run at the same time.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.