RAM usage on dual core pentium

This is a curiosity question. I recently bought a 2.8 ghz dual core pentium system with 1 gig or RAM. Is half of the RAM allocated to each core; ie do i really have a system that has effectively 512 meg of RAM or does the processor use all of the RAM regardless of whether one or both cores are processing data.

  Or is the truth that most current software does not really use the dual core feature ?

Thanks

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Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
The two cores work just like two independent CPU's.   The memory is assigned by the operating system (XP I presume), and is not "tied" to either CPU => XP will assign it as required, and either core can use any of the memory.

Many individual applications are not yet dual-core "aware" -- and those applications will not run any better with your two cores;  HOWEVER, if you're running multiple applications, you'll still get a big boost in performance, as XP will assign different processes to different cores.

There are some applications which will not work properly on a dual core system -- typically they have multiple threads, and if XP assigns different threads to different cores, that can cause problems.  To resolve this, you simply right-click on the process within Task Manager, and "Set Affinity" -- which will allow you to force the process to only use one of the cores (you can choose which one).   Many games run better in this mode.

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Titanium_SniperConnect With a Mentor Commented:
well half the ram is NOT allocated to each core, think o the 2 cores as a single processing unit that can run 2 instructions at the same time on different threads. If the application was written to be multithreaded, it can run better on dual core processors. Many applications are not, like most games and the performance benefit is in how with a single core processor the processes are loaded in and out and share the time although they appear to run at the same time they are not. With dual core, the processes like a game and a virus scan can run without sharing time so they are as fast as if running by them selves on the computer but they can now both get that same performance. If the application was written to take advantage of the 2 cores, it would get a performance gain also.

here are some applications written to take advantage of your processor even when running alone on your comnputer, Maya, Blender3D, Quake 3 & 4, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, 3DS Max, Adobe Photoshop, Windows XP Professional, Windows 2003, Mac OS X, Linux

in taskmanager, (ctrl + shift + esc pressed simultaneously) will show 2 processors that represent your 2 cores and in the processes section you may even be able to assign processes to different cores like in dual processor pcs but I do notown a dual core processor anmd I hvent tried assigning processes to different cores.
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Titanium_SniperConnect With a Mentor Commented:
on the following page fclick the graphic in the upper right to see intel's presentation on dual core technology

http://www.intel.com/business/technologies/dual-core.htm?iid=search
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kickbackAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all of the comments

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