This isn’t a question that comes up that often, but is a legitimate one for those who maintain Microsoft licensing on enterprise systems, or use servers on a daily basis. For example, the Microsoft CPU licensing schemes are dependent on how many physical processors are on a server, rather than how many processor cores, which is different.
In that scenario it is important to get a count of how many physical processors there are on a given machine.
Modern processors come with two or four processor cores, called dual or quad-core. These cores act as virtual processors and can each handle instructions like a standalone processor. A single quad-core processor will appear in Task Manager or Device Manager as four processors, because they measure virtual processors, i.e. the cores, not the actual sockets.
To find out how many physical processors are present on a server takes a little more work. It isn’t always possible to reboot a machine, or even be in front of it to determine the hardware specs. With remote servers, or high availability machines, a reboot is out of the question. This is why we have to use other methods to find out this information.
For Windows servers, there is the msinfo32.exe command. Which, when run will provide a snapshot view of the system in question, including the amount and type of processor installed. In this case there is a single quad-core processor running at 2.4Ghz.