Find the answer to your Linux question:
Results 1 to 4 of 4
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
  1. #1

    Dual core or single core 64 bit processing question

    I'm looking at either CentOS or FreeBSD for an OS on a dedicated server and would like to know what the benefit would be to go from a single core CPU like a P4 2.8GHz to a dual core P42.8GHz. Also what benefit am I going to see from 64 bit processing?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by tc211
    Also what benefit am I going to see from 64 bit processing?
    At this point in time, not much. Most 64-bit software available for Linux and BSD is just a straight recompile of the 32-bit stable branch, nothing more. For you to notice any significant performance increase, the software would have to be rewritten to take advantage of the new 64-bit registers and instruction sets, which to the best of my knowledge has yet to happen.

    That's not to say that buying a 64-bit processor is a bad idea. Far from it. AMD64s and Intel EM64T processors run 32-bit software just as well if not significantly better than their 32-bit counterparts, and if you buy 64-bit now you'll be ready when 64-bit software catches up with the hardware.
    Registered Linux user #270181

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer drl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Saint Paul, MN, USA / CentOS, Debian, Slackware, {Free, Open, Net}BSD, Solaris

    You have asked an interesting and important question. Part of the answer -- the dual-core part -- may be moot before long, however, because I recall Intel saying that the majority of the CPUs that they ship by the end of 2006 will be dual-core. I have not heard any such news from AMD, but they seem to be farther ahead in user-likable 64-bit CPUs.

    For the 64-bit, I can give you two data-points. I installed Ubuntu and Ubuntu/64 on an AMD. While both ran well, the 64-bit had some troubles, and I did not think it worth my time to see why, since the performance did not seem to justify further involvement.

    On the other hand, I ran a single benchmark on several software and hardware combination platforms. I used this to model a large Fortran code on which I was working. The code was always compiled in 32-bit mode, using vanilla g77. The best result by far was on SuSE/64. I was concentrating on IO performance, so that may be of interest to you. Although you didn't say what kind of server you were thinking about, if it's a file server, then perhaps a stable 64-bit OS may be useful, and if you're doing a lot of server-side computation then 64-bit may help there as well. For IO, I would look for boxes built as servers -- with the highest IO rates that are in your price range (all other things being equal, of course, good network connections, etc. -- which they never are ). I purchased a Dell server last year and the IO performance is really good compared to boxes that are "desktops".

    There needs to be work done comparing such characteristics of machines, but it is a formidable task because there are so many combinations.

    However, it's hard to go wrong purchasing a 64-bit CPU, as techieMoe says. The question about dual-core is slightly more open, although I have always sought out multi-CPU boxes (the machine on which I am writing this is a custom dual-AMD server running -- at the moment -- CentOS 4.3).

    If you find any relevant studies, please let us all know about them.

    Good luck ... cheers, drl
    Welcome - get the most out of the forum by reading forum basics and guidelines: click here.
    90% of questions can be answered by using man pages, Quick Search, Advanced Search, Google search, Wikipedia.
    We look forward to helping you with the challenge of the other 10%.
    ( Mn, 2.6.n, AMD-64 3000+, ASUS A8V Deluxe, 1 GB, SATA + IDE, Matrox G400 AGP )

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux User DThor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    My personal experience has been that 64 is nice, but nice only at this point, dual core is better, but dual cpu is best. Servers tend to get hammered with lots of processes, so being able to split those up between two processors has a huge impact on performance. I still haven't found that dual core behaves as snappily as dual cpu, though.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts