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Electron tomography (ET) allows elucidation of the three-dimensional (3D) structure of large complex biological specimens at molecular resolution. In order to achieve such resolution levels, large projection images have to be used to compute the 3D reconstructions. Tomographic reconstruction on this scale requires a tremendous use of computational resources and considerable processing time. Traditionally, parallel and distributed systems, and more recently GPUs, have been the key to cope with this demanding procedure. This work demonstrates that full exploitation of the impressive processing power within modern multi-core processors make them a feasible alternative. The use of parallel computing, vectorization and code optimization allows ultra-fast tomographic reconstructions on standard computers, even outperforming GPUs. Our results confirm that modern processors succeed in providing reconstructed volumes in very little time, which enables them for real-time ET.