Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 12th Sep 2005 21:41 UTC, submitted by Jeremy
AMD In part 1 of this two-part series, ExtremeTech examines the performance of Windows XP Pro x64 and 32-bit Windows on a dual-core CPU. This part features the AMD Athlon 64 model on both operating systems. The next part will feature Intel's best dual-core offering.
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Dual Core
by tony on Mon 12th Sep 2005 22:28 UTC
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I've been running Windows XP SP2 on my new dual core AMD Athlon 64 x2 4200+ for a few weeks now, and I must say it really does make a difference, but in a way I hadn't anticpiated (having run dual processor Linux and Unix systems for years).

It really helps the responsiveness of the system. Even when I load up Unreal Tournament 2K4, I can still alt-tab over to another app and the OS is snappy. If there's a desktop app that freaks out and starts churning 100% of the CPU, like a java or I'm still in good shape since there's another CPU to handle my requests.

I've noticed it's even more beneficial for Windows than it is for Linux, because of this responsiveness (I rarely ever had any responsiveness lockups with Linux, had them all the time with Windows).

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RE: Dual Core
by on Mon 12th Sep 2005 22:35 in reply to "Dual Core"
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How's the responsiveness between Linux and Windows compared on the same machine? Can you provide full versions of each?


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RE[2]: Dual Core
by tony on Tue 13th Sep 2005 00:46 in reply to "RE: Dual Core"
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It's difficult to compare, since the tasks I perform are usually quite different when I boot into Windows as compared to when I boot into Linux.

When I boot into Windows, it's a weeks old install of XP SP2. With Linux, it's a fresh install of Ubuntu 5.10. It's got 2GB of RAM and an nVidia 6800GT (dual DVI, x16 PCI-Express. 256 MB RAM).

Basic video responsiveness is better in Windows because of the video drivers. Even with the official nVidia drivers installed on Ubuntu, it's still slower in general (page scrolling, refreshes, redraws) although not by a huge amount. It's still noticable though. I don't do any 3D apps with Linux, so I can't talk on that performance compared with Windows (where I play some shoot-em-up games).

I never had responsiveness problems with Linux. In general, if an app were to freak out, the others would be fine and it wouldn't hurt system responsiveness. In Windows, an app freaking out could bog down the entire system. With the dual core, Windows is much more responsive to various workloads. With Linux, I don't notice that much of a difference between dual core and single core. I'm sure it'll help if I'm doing any intense compiling or something of that nature.

Also, the default kernel from Ubuntu doesn't support the dual core Athlon chips yet. You'll have to compile your own kernel, or it won't see two cores (check /proc) and run in single proc mode. There's also a problem with running the later kernels and trying to mount extra paritions, which I haven't worked out yet.

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