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[all variants] How are newer CPUs handled?

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linux-howto

http://ubuntuforums.org – It's come to my attention that I very much lack understanding of how Ubuntu/Linux handles newer CPUs with multiple cores, multi-threading, and "turbo speeds". Case in point, my laptop is currently running an Intel i5-2410M. The vendor lists it as having 2 cores, 4 threads, a clock speed of 2.3GHz, and a turbo speed of 2.9 GHz. When I open System Monitor, it shows percent usages for 4 CPUs. Is that because of 4 threads?? Also, lshw returns this: Code:   *-cpu                        description: CPU (Hardware)