When shopping for a dedicated server, you may face the decision between a dual-processor server and a dual-core server. The two terms can be confusing, and newcomers to the industry could easily confuse one for the other.
A dual-core processor is one CPU with two separate parts. The operating system treats each core as a separate processor, but the cores may often share a cache. Think about it like a hamburger with two pieces of meat.
A dual processor server, on the other hand, has two physical CPUs. Just a two hamburgers are more expensive than a hamburger with two patties, dual processors are generally more expensive than dual core.
To make things even more confusing, nowadays many high-end servers have two dual-core processors. That is, dual dual-core processors for a quadruple CPU configuration! Processors are also available with three and four cores, meaning that it is possible to have an eight-core server in a dual processor configuration. Six and eight-core processors will be available soon.
As to performance, is dual core or dual-processor better? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this. It all depends on the applications used and processors themselves.