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Re: Multi-core processors

From: Danial Thom <danial_thom@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 12:23:07 -0700 (PDT)

--- Erik Wikström <erik-wikstrom@xxxxxxxxx>
> Danial Thom wrote:
> > I find it rather interesting that all of the
> > intel-bashing "testers" are now reporting
> that
> > there is "no performance gain" from dual-core
> > processors which has always pretty much been
> the
> > case with DP systems. It seems that its going
> to
> > take quad-core processors to see real gains
> over
> > "designed for UP" operating systems, how long
> do
> > you think its going to be before such animals
> are
> > available?
> The gains of dual-code is very dependent on the
> type
> of applications being run and how many of
> those. But
> generally speaking most applications today are
> single-
> threaded and thus does not gain anything from
> dual-core
> However if you run two or more applications at
> the same
> time they can both execute at the same time
> which gives
> a performance gain. However it will not be as
> big as
> when using two processors if they are
> memory-intensive
> since both cores share the same bus.
> The difference can easily be noticed if you are
> heavily
> multitasking, the GUIs of applications will
> become more
> responsive and the computer will feel snappier
> over all.
> You might want to take a look at AnandTech for
> a
> comparison of single- and dual-core:
the problem with technical analysis is that a
case can be made for or against any product
depending on what tests you do, and most sites,
like most techies, are anti-intel-biased. The
comment at the end of the article is a perfect
example: they blantently ignore the possibility
that you might, just might, be doing 2 or more
things at once on your desktop. With multi-core,
the benchmarks have to be multi-tasked not just
multi-threaded. I don't only want to know how
fast application A is on single and dual core,
but also how fast it is when application B is
also hammering away. 

There is a cost of threading an application, and
my point was that with "only" 2 processors you
barely if at all make up what's lost. Linux with
2 processors is still a bit slower than FreeBSD
4.x with one for most networking tasks.

Intel is putting tremendous resources into
multi-core, well beyond 2, in fact they are
talking about "dozens" of cores. Dual-core is
just marketing. Just a breadcrumb so that people
can start to do just what you guys are doing.


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