All current model AMD CPUs use a dual-core module to build multi-core model CPUs. An FX-6300 has (3) dual cores thus it has 3 x 2 = (6) real cores. All cores are available for use unless your mobo has disabled some cores in the BIOS. How any CPU performs is based in part on the operating system and the software being run. There may be specific settings that improve the performance of game play - depending on the game, O/S, etc. Many games are written for optimal performance on quad core CPUs. The game makers need to recompile their software for use with 6-8 core CPUs for best performance for all users.