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Multiple processors?


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
Anyway I am just curious, having beefed up my PC's memory and HD, everything seems processor bound now. I realise the mothorboard prohibits much scope to simply change processor without a new machine.

But I cannot help thinking about what has been commonplace in commercial large scale computing for a while - the idea of having more than one processor. Does anyone here know if this is something that happens? It strikes me that the OS and Applications would need to be right, but with two (or more even) processors you could have a machine that really flew...

Any thoughts?
well first of all XP doesnt support more than 2 processors, why would you want more anyway if you aren't running a heavy duty server?
second, for home use, it is a waste of $$$ to get more than 1 processor unless you are into VERY heavy stuff like rendering 24/7 or SICK video editing. So the anwer to your question is: it depends...most home users will never get much use out of the second processor in their overpriced baby, and even if this is the case, it is wayy too expensive. If I were you, I would just get a good motherboard and a good processor.. Or you could wait for the athlon 64 mmmmm


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
Yeah - I understand about XP and dual processors.... and strangely today I was reading a rather cool advertisement for the new Apple G5... I like some of their ideas (and they DO have twin processors, alongside separate cooling areas and what looks like a very fast bus).

I have not (nor do I want to) see the price!

And I understand about this forum.... It is really single processor oriented.

I am certainly not into any sick editting personally and assume the soment carried irony - although I do have a newish MDV camera and that has led me to discover my systems shortcomings (I run a mere 1.6 GHZ AMD).

Where I was coming from is more like this - I hate to junk a decent piece of hardware - processors seldom wear out! Why could I not take my old mobo - get another 1.6 AMD (they'll be dirt cheap now!) and with a new mobo and my old HD etc etc ...

voila - a machine that rises like a phoenix and flies again?

of course I am dreaming and it would never fly under the labour of XP.... it would need something else.... (Linux?)

That is the area I was probing - and it was probably all idle fantasy (please do tell me if I am wrong!)


Retired Mod
Political User
Make sure that you get Athlon MP Processors. XPs do not work in dual processor rigs (it may be possible with mods or hacks similiar to the 'multiplier unlock')

well, for AMD processors to be run as twins, from what I understand, they would have to be Athlon MP processors (I could be wrong). The Apple G5 is actually a very PHAT machine and not as overpriced as one would think. The Mac G5 is actually around the $3k range with dual processors (2ghz). Somewhat cheap considering that some 3.2 P4 machines go for about the same price and this Mac blows those out of the water (sad to say).
No hacks to run the XP's as MP that I ever heard of.

In addition, it is recommended that you get a pair of MPs out of the same lot to make sure they play together stably. The higher the clock speed the more important a matched pair of MPs is.

Now the bad news. Last time I saw any benchmarks under Windows 2000, XP, etc there was no significant speed improvement. I think it was like 30% but could be wrong.

The OS just isn't designed to take advantage of a dual processor set up. You need server software for that. I don't know if "Windows Server" makes full utilization of dual processors or not. The unix server software does.

You have to remember the focus. The x86 world is "personal" computers not servers. You say server and the decimal point jumps 1-2 places in the price tag. On the other hand Intel is already talking about sticking 2 CPU's on one substrate.

We're hitting a lot of technology limtis in PC land. The worst is front side bus. You can do 3 gig on a chip because distances are measured in microns. You leave the silicon for a substarte and the speed drops because parasitic losses skyrocket. Leave the substrate for a PCB and another big jump so there will have to be a shift to parallel processing.

Lee's crystal ball says:
If they want to keep increasing throughput long term look for a radical departure. Something like the old slot approach except using CPU(s), GPU(s) and RAM(s) modules plugging into a substrate instead of a PCB.

The other approach is all software. Split the work up between multiple computers. The whole PC is on a daughter card that plugs into a motherbaord. The MB holds many "PC cards". Ooops, too late, that is a server. Damn they beat me to it!


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
well thanks Goatman - excellent link - just what I was daydreaming about really, what I need to do now is buy a spare Athlon to pair with mine and the board ready to take it - then when my present mobo can no longer cope or something goes phut I can make that leap.... thinks to self - and while I'm doing all the building - I better buy myself another machine... HMMmmmm does this really work?

But I was really glad to see this thread take me where I wanted (eventually).

PS If the G5 is "crab" does that mean it can process shift left/right logical faster? Just a geek joke, I guess it was a polite typo... on the other hand you cannot dispute their Ipod is a rather neat piece of kit and firewire was out there a long time before we got USB 2.0? I have said enough, not for this thread...

I shall not read advertising again for a while...


Nissan Powered
Originally posted by Goatman
the Ipod is over priced....

omg THANK YOU! I thought I was the only sane person that thought that. bunch o' apple wierdos 400 bucks for an mp3 player is out of the question.
What you have to keep in mind is that You can have a dual processor system but unless the specific application supports dual processors you will not see any performance increases.

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