What Is Logical Processor

Logical Processor: Understanding Its Role in Computing

As the world of technology continues to evolve, new concepts and terminologies keep emerging, making it challenging for non-experts to keep up. One such term is the logical processor. Most people who have basic computer knowledge are familiar with the physical processor, which is also known as the central processing unit (CPU). However, not everyone understands what a logical processor means, what it does, and how it works. This article provides a deeper insight into logical processors, explaining how they work, their benefits, and their relevance in modern computing.

What Is a Logical Processor?

A logical processor is a virtual processor that your operating system creates to improve the performance of your computer. Note that a logical processor is not a physical processor and does not have its dedicated hardware. Instead, it is a software concept designed to help a computer’s performance. The operating system uses threading and scheduling techniques to divide a physical processor into multiple logical processors. Once your operating system creates a processor core, it splits it up into processing elements that can independently execute multiple instructions at the same time.

One important thing to note is that the concept of logical processors is not new. Logical processors have been around for a long time, even before the introduction of multi-core processors. In single-core processors, operating systems used logical processors to improve CPU efficiency, allowing the system to run multiple programs simultaneously. As multi-core processors became common, the use of logical processors became more important than ever before, enabling software to fully utilize multiple cores efficiently.

Logical Processors vs. Physical Processors

It’s important to differentiate between logical processors and physical processors before discussing how they work. A physical processor is a piece of hardware that is responsible for executing instructions in a computer system. For example, if you fire up a video game, the physical processor in your computer reads the game’s instructions and executes them to produce the game’s output.

On the other hand, a logical processor is a virtual processor created by your operating system to allow multiple programs to run simultaneously on a single physical processor. The operating system divides the physical processor into multiple virtual processors, allowing multiple programs to run at the same time.

How Logical Processors Work

To understand how logical processors work, it’s essential first to comprehend how multi-core processors work. In a multi-core processor, the physical processor contains two or more processor cores that can work independently, each with its own cache memory. When a process is run on the computer, the operating system decides which processor core to use for executing that specific process. In other words, the operating system schedules each process on the computer’s available processor cores as efficiently as possible.

However, processors have a limited number of computational pipelines or registers through which data and instructions can pass. Logical processors help address this limitation by allowing multiple threads to share the same registers, pipelines, and processing resources simultaneously.

For instance, suppose you have a quad-core processor. In that case, the operating system can create eight logical processors, where each physical core can split up into two virtual cores. This means that the CPU would appear to have eight processing units instead of four, leading to better efficiency and improved performance.

Benefits of Logical Processors

Logical processors have several benefits, some of which include improved performance, lower latency, and better utilization of resources. By allowing multiple threads to share the same processing resources, computers can get more work done in a shorter amount of time, leading to improved overall system performance.

Additionally, logical processors can help reduce latency by distributing workloads over multiple cores, ensuring that each thread can receive adequate processing time. This reduces the chances of bottlenecks that usually occur when a single core is overwhelmed with too much work.

Logical processors are also useful in situations where workloads vary extensively, and CPU usage needs to be efficiently managed. The operating system can use logical processors to give priority to tasks that require the most processing power, while simultaneously allocating lesser resources to tasks that can run efficiently on a single core.


Logical processors are an essential component of modern computing, and they play a vital role in ensuring that a computer system runs efficiently. Whether you’re browsing the internet, running complex applications, or playing video games, logical processors help to ensure that your computer performs optimally. Understanding logical processors is crucial for anyone who wants to know how computers work and how to optimize their performance. As computing technology continues to advance, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with the latest concepts and terminologies to improve your ability to take full advantage of the latest hardware and software developments.