building dual-proc rig

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by dubstar, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. dubstar

    dubstar format c:

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    i am looking forward to building a new rig. i have not tainted myself with dual processors yet, but am now ready to accept it and never look back to single-proc rigs.

    im not looking for specifics on motherboards and processors yet, just the benefits of having the 2nd processor and ram. as i have been working full time and schooling full time the last few months, i have forgotten a lot of random computer info i used to have.

    so if i could ask for a pro and con list that all you dual proc guys have run into, that'd be great.

    looking forward to hearing about gaming especially!

    specific questions:
    1. would i be able to run 2 operating systems at the same time? both with programs running?
    2. does the 2nd processor get used only if the first is full, or do they equalize and both take pressure?
    3. are there any cool tricks with dual-procs rigs that you cant do with single-proc rigs?

    if this doesnt work well for gaming, would a new 64bit single-proc rig be better for gaming? or would i be better off adding another gig of ram to my current system and getting a higher end video card?
     
  2. ElementalDragon

    ElementalDragon The One and Only

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    not quite knowledgeable on dual-processor PC's, but i highly doubt that 2 operating systems could be run at the same time. Even if they could, how would you be able to switch back and forth between the 2? multiple desktops wouldn't work, since they are controlled from a single OS for that OS. Emulating another OS, maybe, but i don't think 2 OS's running separately on each processor.
     
  3. Xie

    Xie - geek - Subscribed User Folding Team

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    You could run 2 OS's right now if you wanted using something like VMware. With dual processors (if supported) I'm sure it would be a whole lot faster. I also believe that with a dual setup that they 'load balance' (I could be wrong).

    Anyhoo time for me to crash. :p
     
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  4. cryogenic

    cryogenic OSNN Addict

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    As long as you run a dual CPU aware OS (2000 Pro and XP Pro, for example) it will assign threads to cpu's in such a way that both CPU's are carrying equal load. Unless a program is dual CPU aware, it will only use one of the two CPU's itself.
     
  5. Skwowwy

    Skwowwy 1337ness

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    Keep in mind that cryogenic's wording for "programs" also applies to games: if games aren't aware of the dual CPU configuration, you will not see any improvement. Most games hardly support dual CPU anyway, so I recommend that you save yourself the money and spend it on far better equipment. AMD64 CPU's and good quality memory are already expensive enough. ;) Not to mention the graphics cards. >_o
     
  6. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    1. no... the purpose of running a dual setup is basically to run applications in parallel and having 2 processors working on the same thing will obviously reduce the load/lead to faster work being done...

    you have to have software that allows for this to happen however... you cannot expect to play games that do not support SMP and expect a massive performance gain... in such a scenario the load is likely going to be based on a single cpu...

    2. as Xie said there is a load balancing setup... basically both processors, if the software makes use of them, will be in use... the work load will be balanced between them...

    a real-life scenario of this taking place is using a P4 setup with Hyper-threading... you can see the 2 virtual processors load-sharing in many situations though it is not always 50/50...

    3. the cool trick would be higher performance and ability to finish work faster if you are using applications that make use of your setup... mathematical/dbase style setups are probably the best... servers for various needs are also good (ie game servers and the like)

    don't expect it to be a killer configuration for gaming however...

    also keep in mind that in a NUMA setup your performance will be much higher...

    if you build an opteron based system make sure you get a motherboard that has an independent memory bank for each cpu thereby eliminating the memory controller bottleneck... basically in setups with a single memory bank shared between the 2, only one of the cpu's memory controller will be used to handle the workload... in a NUMA setup each of the memory controllers will be working independently...

    ---

    as with any computer setup... before you build you have to identify your needs and then work towards satisfying them to the best of your ability... if you are building a dual-processor config for the heck of it, it may not be the best idea... more cost for not as much reward...

    if you are going to definitely be using the potential processing power of a dualie than go for it and keep us posted :)
     
  7. dubstar

    dubstar format c:

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    looks like a no-go for the dualie. i have no use for a server right now. looks like i'll just add a gig of ram, and a 9800XT AIW.. maybe a nice 2.1 speaker purchase is in order aswell.

    thanks for the advice.

    edit: i know this should be post should be reposted as a new topic in Graphic cards.. but why in the world is the 9800XT and the X800 in the same price range?! figured the 9800XT should be gotten way cheaper by now. :(
     
  8. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    the 9800pro AIW is the highest end you get with the previous gen...

    I would suggest getting either a tv tuner by itself or going with the newer x800 xt model @ 499 (very expensive)

    the AIW 9800pro's are down to approx $270 or so on some websites...
     
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  9. ShepsCrook

    ShepsCrook Red Sox Fan!

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    Ummm what do you mean by highest end?
    Performance? No, that would be the 9800XT for previous gen.
    Price? No, that's still technically the 9800XT also.
    Features? Yes, it has more features to the card mostly because it has the ability to do cable input. Although, the other cards do have SVidio and DVI outs usually.
     
  10. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    there is no AIW based on the 9800XT...