Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 28th Oct 2005 11:17 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Herb Sutter, a software architect from Microsoft, gave a speech yesterday at In-Stat/MDR's Fall Processor Forum. Addressing a crowd mostly consisting of hardware engineers, he talked about how the software world was ill-prepared to make use of the new multicore CPUs coming from Intel and AMD.
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bah
by chrish on Fri 28th Oct 2005 12:26 UTC
chrish
Member since:
2005-07-14

s/software world/Windows world/

But even on Windows, nobody is running one application at a time. The OS has things to do periodically, most people run real-time virus scanners, spyware filters, etc. They have their IM clients going, email, etc.

As soon as you've got more than one application trying to do something at the same time, you're benefitting from multicore, just like you would from old-style multi-CPU SMP. Assuming your OS can schedule threads across cores, which the NT series (NT, 2000, XP) can.

Most non-trivial applications use threading internally, too... instant multicore boost.

Next question... does XP handle 4 or more cores sanely, without having to buy a "server" edition? Apple's just proven that OS X handles 2x CPUs with 2x cores each, without changes or drivers or a "server" license. I eagerly await their x86 boxes.

- chrish

Reply Score: 3

v RE: bah
by on Fri 28th Oct 2005 12:38 in reply to "bah"
RE: bah
by japail on Fri 28th Oct 2005 13:05 in reply to "bah"
japail Member since:
2005-06-30

Multithreading is much more pervasive in the Windows world than it is in desktop Unix software. Most nontrivial programs are not multithreaded, and definitely not in a manner in which to exploit parallelism in a high-performance manner. And this is what matters as the ability for increases in clock speed to provide performance increases slows. This isn't a matter of seeing a nonzero performance increase over the entire span of your computing experience through SMP, it's no longer finding the explosive growth in the performance of any single task's performance that you've come to expect.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: bah
by n4cer on Fri 28th Oct 2005 21:16 in reply to "bah"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Next question... does XP handle 4 or more cores sanely, without having to buy a "server" edition?

Yes it does. Windows is licensed based upon the physical CPU (not taking into account their VM licensing). Windows can tell the difference between virtual CPUs (i.e., hyperthreading or multiple cores) and the physical CPU that sits in the socket. XP Home is licensed for one physical CPU, but supports any number of virtual CPUs. Likewise, XP Pro is licensed for 2 physical CPUs with any number of virtual CPUs. This extends up through their server editions as well, Datacenter currently topping out at 128 physical CPUs (32 on x86).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: bah
by on Sat 29th Oct 2005 02:15 in reply to "RE: bah"
Member since:

"This extends up through their server editions as well, Datacenter currently topping out at 128 physical CPUs (32 on x86)."

Nope, as I stated in an earlier post, Windows Server can only enumerate a max of 64 CPU cores in a single OS instance due to the use of a simple 64bit CPU mask. This can and likely will be changed in the next release.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE: bah
by Robocoastie on Sat 29th Oct 2005 06:43 in reply to "bah"
Robocoastie Member since:
2005-09-15

I don't have one of these new multicores but I do have a P4-HT w/EM64T and the difference in multi-tasking is simply amazing to say the least. What the future holds for multi-core/SMP is wide open I believe is what this proves.

Reply Parent Score: 1