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I understand that all linux versions can utilize quad-core. and so can Vista. but Vista's performance improvement, using quad-core over dual-core, is negligible. will linuxes's performance increase significantly with quad-core?...
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  1. #1
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    Quad-Core and Linux and Vista (and W7?)


    I understand that all linux versions can utilize quad-core.

    and so can Vista. but Vista's performance improvement, using quad-core over dual-core, is negligible.

    will linuxes's performance increase significantly with quad-core?

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer GNU-Fan's Avatar
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    Depends.
    Linux provides the means to run applications on more then one core. It is up to the application how well it utilizes this facility.
    Debian GNU/Linux -- You know you want it.

  3. #3
    oz
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    You have to be doing things that put your machine under some stress to really notice the difference. If you are doing simple things like surfing the net and word processing, you probably won't see much of a boost.
    oz

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    I have a dual quad-core system with 2 Xeon E5450 3GHz processors (8 cores). I run 64bit CentOS (RHEL) 5. On programs that are heavily threaded I get pretty much a linear speedup in performance over single or dual core systems. For example, using ffmpeg to transcode a video from mpeg4 to dvd mpeg2 format using 8 threads, a file that takes 2 hours one one core, or 1 hour on 2, takes about 15 minutes on 8. Top shows that it is consuming a fair percentage of the CPU on all 8 cores when I do that.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    what programs are heavily threaded and will stress the system? i was led to believe that applications that utilize 64-platforms -- a fortiori with hyperthreading -- will not be significantly emerging for 1-2 years; you are telling me here that this is not the case. do you think that quotidian applications may become so complex in the near future that they may stress the system?

    will hardware stress the system -- such as running os's off of peripherals?

    i will need to know this if i decide to replace my aging intel e6400 dual with i7.

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    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
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    applications are starting to become more multithreaded, but for the most part most of them aren't (except server applications). Like rubberman said, encoding videos is a good use for multiple CPU/core, but this is one of the very few apps that do this.

  7. #7
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by nweissma View Post
    i will need to know this if i decide to replace my aging intel e6400 dual with i7.
    I recently upgraded from the E8400 dual-core to a Q9550 quad-core and do notice a slight increase in performance now and then. Of course going from the E6400 to the i7 is a bigger leap, so you might notice more of a performance increase than I have.

    The thing about going with the i7 is that it requires a new motherboard and DDR3 RAM, which are both still a little expensive. You might be able to go with one of the lesser quad-core CPUs that can take advantage of your current main board and RAM. Of course, a motherboard BIOS upgrade might be required.
    oz

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    From what I've read, the i7 with its new memory architecture is a lot faster GHz to GHz than even the latest Penryn family chipes like my E5450 ones. These days, with applications using so much RAM, memory bandwidth is becomming the major bottleneck in system performance, which the i7 has gone a long way to addressing (so to speak) for the Intel processor family. Note that AMD chip sets had a similar memory architecture to the new i7 chip sets which is why they were better server chips than the Intel Xeon were until the i7.

    As for upgrades - whether you should or not depends upon a number of factors.
    1. Is your current system more than 3 years old?
    2. Does it perform adequately to your needs?
    3. If performance lags, will just adding memory (RAM) improve it enough to get another couple of years out of the system?
    4. Do you HAVE to have bleading edge hardware?
    5. What is the application mix you need to run on your system(s)?

    All of these things, and more, should be factored into your decision making process. About 2 years ago I had to decide what to get for a new system. I was starting a new consulting business, wanted to migrate all of my work to Linux, my system was over 3 years old and needed more memory, I wanted to run 64bit software which my old CPU would not do so I could take advantage of >4GB RAM in order to run large databases and multiple virtual machines. So, I looked at what was available, what was just being released, costs, etc. This is what I came up with:

    1. Custom built workstation/server w/ 750VA power supply.
    2. Intel dual quad-core capable motherboard (S5000XVN).
    3. Dual E5450 3GHz Penryn processors (just released and best performing Intel chips for the price at the time).
    4. 8GB of fully-buffered ECC RAM (ECC == reliability).
    5. Removable 320GB sata boot/system drive with backup carrier and drive.
    6. 4x500GB sata system data drives
    7. nVidia 8800GT video board w/ dual 24" HD monitors (so I can run a VM or remote system on its own display with the other dedicated to local tasks).

    All in all, this has been a great system for my uses. I run 64bit CentOS 5.x, Sun VirtualBox VMM w/ Windows XP and Solaris VMs, Oracle 11i database server, etc. As to why I chose Intel vs. AMD CPU's it's just that I have always been happy with Intel stuff and I wasn't convinced that AMD will be around for the long run, even though they seem to hang in there. Also, I'm a bit prejudiced toward Intel since a number of my best friends have been their CPU designers over the years, like Bruce Ravanel who was one of the original principal architects of the x86-x87 processor family. He and his family have been friends of mine for over 40 years - so I just go with what/who I know...
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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