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Alias (5735)

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Journal of Alias (5735)

Saturday December 15, 2007
03:16 AM

Quad core desktop upgrade finally affordable

[ #35105 ]

I've just placed an order at my local whitebox shop for my long-awaited new desktop, a quad-core beast.

Pending some major change to the way that we create software, quad core seems to me like the first major sweet spot for multi-core.

You have enough power to overcome the overheads of doing parallism and still get a major speed boost.

On a typical Win32/desktop/whatever PC, you also have enough spare CPU for doing two CPU-hogging tasks, spare room for OS maintenance stuff, and another for random mp3 players and so on.

The next major sweet spot after 4-way, judging by the Wide Finder competition, is 32-way parallelism. Both the most competitive programs in that competition are faster 32-way than they are 64-way.

I assume that certain overheads in dealing with the quantity of CPUs starts to bite harder at that point.

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