Here's a Dell story you don't see too often

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Dell driven out of a market by low-cost competition.

http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/040816/tech_china_dell_1.html?printer=1

Yousuf Khan
56 answers Last reply
More about here dell story often
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Hi Yousuf Khan,

    > Dell driven out of a market by low-cost competition.
    >
    > http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/040816/tech_china_dell_1.html?printer=1

    How can Dell compete upon price-performance in these markets when they
    don't sell CPUs that provide better price-performance and features?

    Dell only sells PCs equipped with Intel CPUs, an arrangement not
    expected to change in the near term, Amelio said. Lenovo, Hewlett
    Packard and China's No. 2 PC seller, Founder Group, have all recently
    introduced models in China powered by AMD chips.

    Thankfully Intel's got an astonishing marketing machine in Western
    countries. Check out these objective truths:
    <http://www.infoworld.com/article/04/08/13/33TCworkstation_1.html>

    Intel's Xeon-based workstations are much faster than workstations based
    on AMD's Opteron when it comes to heavy multitasking

    <http://www.infoworld.com/infoworld/article/04/08/13/33TCworkstation-sb_1.html>

    Despite a great deal of hype, AMD's 2.2GHz Opteron 248 CPU -- as
    embodied in the IBM IntelliStation A Pro workstation -- doesn't fare
    well under heavy workloads.

    ...

    In fact, across the range of tests, the Opteron system took an average
    of 15 percent longer to complete the tasks than the Xeon.

    The Opterons are "in fact CPU-bound and running out of processor
    bandwidth." They can't even keep up with last generation Xeons. "The story
    gets worse for AMD when you factor in the newest Xeon processors from
    Intel."

    Infoworld's bottom line:
    "... with heavy processing, the 2.4GHz Opterons show their limitations and
    the A Pro starts to crawl." They're no match for 3.2GHz Xeons which are
    "the performance king."

    The benchmark methodology and paucity of information appears to preclude
    anyone reproducing the results.

    Regards,
    Adam
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Adam Warner <usenet@consulting.net.nz> wrote:
    > Hi Yousuf Khan,
    >
    >> Dell driven out of a market by low-cost competition.
    >>
    >> http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/040816/tech_china_dell_1.html?printer=1
    >
    > How can Dell compete upon price-performance in these markets when they
    > don't sell CPUs that provide better price-performance and features?

    It seems Intel doesn't have enough money to market to the entire Chinese
    market properly like it does in the Western world. Thus it's processors are
    at a disadvantage, simply based on price.

    Yousuf Khan
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Mon, 16 Aug 2004 19:24:03 +1200, Adam Warner
    <usenet@consulting.net.nz> wrote:
    >Hi Yousuf Khan,
    >
    >> Dell driven out of a market by low-cost competition.
    >>
    >> http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/040816/tech_china_dell_1.html?printer=1
    >
    >How can Dell compete upon price-performance in these markets when they
    >don't sell CPUs that provide better price-performance and features?

    The CPU has almost nothing to do with the price. The key phrase from
    the article is right here:

    "Sellers have cut prices to as little as 3,000 yuan ($362) per unit by
    offering models without Microsoft's Windows operating system"

    That is where the price difference is coming from. Windows is the
    ONLY expensive component in a modern low-end computer. The cost of a
    WinXP Home Edition license roughly $100. The cost of service and
    support is another $100+. The cost of ALL the hardware comes up to
    under $200 for a low-end system, and most of that is tied up in the
    hard drive and motherboard.

    When Dell buys Intel Celeron chips they are paying damn near nothing
    for them. Maybe $35 or $40. AMD might be able to sell their chips
    for $30 or $35, shaving a few percent off the top, but even in China
    and other developing markets that isn't going to make a huge
    difference. But cutting $100 off the top by dropping WinXP from the
    price definitely will make a huge difference.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Robert Myers wrote:
    > In any case, the point of the InfoWorld article was that the Xeon
    > workstations excelled on mixed workloads...the kind an actual
    > workstation user _might_ experience...different for different kinds of
    > users to be sure, but a better measure of workstation performance
    > than a database benchmark.
    >
    > Intel hypes hyperthreading every chance it gets because it's something
    > Intel's got that AMD doesn't. There's been much online discussion
    > among people who could be expected to be knowledgeable, and the best
    > conclusion I can draw about SMT is that, as a design strategy, it's a
    > wash...if you consider performance per watt or performance per
    > transistor. That leaves open the question of responsiveness. Anybody
    > who uses a workstation and does CPU-intensive work has had the
    > experience of having the system become annoyingly slow. Does
    > hyperthreading help with _that_? The InfoWorld article suggests that
    > it does, and a database benchmark doesn't seem particularly relevant.

    Actually the problem with the Infoworld article is that it's not even really
    a true test of multitasking performance. If you read the article, and then
    do some checking up on the tools used, it's very shady. First of all, the
    benchmarking application is described on the company's website here:

    http://analyzer.csaresearch.com/

    It's actually called *HTP* Analyzer (i.e. Hyperthreading Analyzer). So it's
    a benchmark specifically designed for and geared towards Hyperthreading.
    Therefore it's aware of how to detect it, and how to make full use of it. If
    you read through the description of this benchmarker a little bit, you'll
    find there are two major components of this benchmark suite. First
    component, it states that it can test real-world applications through a
    test-script functionality; and second, it tests the system's multitasking
    efficiency by running simultaneous background workloads. So you think that
    since it runs real-world apps in a test-script, therefore it must be one of
    those good applications benchmarks and not one of those bad synthetic
    benchmarks. However, then you read about what it uses to load down the
    background tasks with. According to its webpage, it creates "simulations" of
    real-world workloads such as Database, Workflow, and Multimedia. Now these
    aren't real database, workflow or multimedia applications, just simulations
    of them -- so they are synthetic workloads. He's not running multiple
    simultaneous real-world applications; he's running only one real-world app
    thread, but several synthetic app threads to load it down. It's a synthetic
    benchmark cleverly masquerading as an applications benchmark.

    Now, how could this benefit a Hyperthreading processor over a non-HT one?
    Well, in an HT CPU, the benchmark can configure it such that it runs the
    applications test-script in the primary HT logical processor, while all of
    the synthetic load-generating simulations are executed in the secondary
    logical processor. Windows would multitask the applications test script in
    the run queue of one logical processor where nothing else would be running,
    while the synthetics would contend amongst themselves for attention in the
    secondary logical processor. In a non-HT CPU, all of the tasks (whether real
    or synthetic) would contend for timeslices within the same Windows' run
    queue.

    So given three simulated workloads and one real application load, when you
    put the real application in its own logical processor, what you've
    effectively done is given the application test-script a 3:1 priority
    advantage over the synthetic workload simulations. In a non-HT CPU, all of
    the threads go into the same Windows run queue, and they all get equal
    priority according to the default task scheduling behaviour. Only the
    real-world app test-script's elapsed time is ever recorded; the results of
    the
    simulated workloads are never measured and discarded, since they are only
    there to add a simulated workload and therefore they are disposable.

    Now, is this a good measure of a multitasking workload? Only if you consider
    a proper use of multitasking to be running one real-world app in the
    foreground while disposable workload simulators bog it down in the
    background.

    Okay those were just the technical faults about this benchmark. There's also
    some conspiracy theory stuff here. One of the co-authors of this article,
    Randall C. Kennedy, happens to be the designer of this benchmark:

    http://www.csaresearch.com/about.asp

    Mr. Kennedy was once an employee of Intel, according to the above biography:

    "Later, as a contract testing and development engineer for Intel
    Corporation, he led the effort to create tools and resources to articulate
    the company's performance initiatives surround high-end desktops (Constant
    Computing) and Gigabit Ethernet networking."

    Which sounds like he worked in the benchmarketing department.

    Furthermore, this guy is some sort of long-time crusader for Hyperthreading.
    He's written articles favouring Hyperthreading for a long time now, this one
    from about two years ago:

    http://www.networkcomputing.com/1324/1324buzz2.html

    Nothing wrong with being a crusader for the technology and showing to world
    an example of an application that really benefits from Hyperthreading, just
    so long as you don't try to pass that off as a benchmark.

    Yousuf Khan
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Tony Hill <hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote:
    > The CPU has almost nothing to do with the price. The key phrase from
    > the article is right here:
    >
    > "Sellers have cut prices to as little as 3,000 yuan ($362) per unit by
    > offering models without Microsoft's Windows operating system"
    >
    > That is where the price difference is coming from. Windows is the
    > ONLY expensive component in a modern low-end computer. The cost of a
    > WinXP Home Edition license roughly $100. The cost of service and
    > support is another $100+. The cost of ALL the hardware comes up to
    > under $200 for a low-end system, and most of that is tied up in the
    > hard drive and motherboard.

    Dell sells some systems in the US for around $399, so why is $362 such an
    unreachable price point in China? Those systems in the US most likely have
    Windows installed on them too. Microsoft gives OEMs such as Dell a break on
    prices for prepackaged systems.

    > When Dell buys Intel Celeron chips they are paying damn near nothing
    > for them. Maybe $35 or $40. AMD might be able to sell their chips
    > for $30 or $35, shaving a few percent off the top, but even in China
    > and other developing markets that isn't going to make a huge
    > difference. But cutting $100 off the top by dropping WinXP from the
    > price definitely will make a huge difference.

    It's likely that AMD is able to offer those low prices for the highest
    performance Sempron 2800+ or higher, whereas Intel can only offer those
    prices on Celeron 2.2Ghz or lower. Mhz marketing then misfires for Intel.
    The Celerons that would match up against those Semprons would cost much more
    to make for Intel, since Intel would actually have to increase the real-life
    clock frequency, whereas AMD only has to dick around with the clock
    frequency slightly and assign a huge new Quantispeed number.

    Yousuf Khan
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "Yousuf Khan" <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote in message
    news:CEhUc.682$E7T1.226@news04.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...
    > Tony Hill <hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote:
    > > The CPU has almost nothing to do with the price. The key phrase from
    > > the article is right here:
    > >
    > > "Sellers have cut prices to as little as 3,000 yuan ($362) per unit by
    > > offering models without Microsoft's Windows operating system"

    Here's another article that basically puts the blame for Intel's (and
    therefore Dell's) uncompetiveness squarely on the shoulders of Intel, from
    the following article:

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-08/17/content_366242.htm

    <quote>
    Lenovo, earlier this month, launched a much-cheaper consumer PC series,
    using CPUs (central processing units) made by AMD.
    Analysts widely believe the low-price strategy, aimed at tapping the
    township and rural markets, will help Lenovo increase its market share.

    Insiders said Lenovo had asked Intel, without success, to provide low-price
    CPUs for its new PC series.

    Tapping China's township and rural markets is a natural choice, as the
    penetration of PCs in big cities has reached 60-70 per cent, Yang said.

    "If our partner cannot give us support, we will surely choose another," Yang
    said.
    </quote>

    Both Lenovo (largest) and Founder (2nd largest) are doing business with AMD,
    after years of being Intel loyalists. It looks like the price war in China
    is serious stuff and it cannot be influenced by advertising anymore, just
    price.

    Yousuf Khan
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 07:39:25 GMT, Robert Myers
    <rmyers1400@comcast.net> wrote:

    >Who are the readers of Infoworld? Whether the data reflect reality or
    >not, I'm sure they've got data to show that their readers are serious
    >prospective enterprise buyers.

    Back in the old days, Infoworld was partly a pretty hard-tech
    publication, with video card and MB comparisons and such. Some time
    back, maybe a decade ago, they started focusing more on the
    "enterprise computing" arena, eschewing the nuts'n'bolts for
    high-level coverage. Eventually, this became their entire focus.

    I believe their current target readership is more along the line of
    middle-to-upper IT managers, with lots less emphasis on technical
    integrity and more emphasis on systems, support, and marketing trends,
    but I haven't read them much for the last 5 years.


    --
    Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 07:09:21 GMT, "Yousuf Khan" <bbbl67@ezrs.com>
    wrote:

    >Here's another article that basically puts the blame for Intel's (and
    >therefore Dell's) uncompetiveness squarely on the shoulders of Intel, from
    >the following article:
    >
    >http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-08/17/content_366242.htm

    I haven't seen any articles with any data regarding what the
    configurations of these competing systems are. That is, which AMD
    chips are Lenovo putting in their bottom-end boxes vs. which Intel
    chips are Dell putting in their China-targetted bottom-tier PCs? This
    would tell you how much of a price impact the actual CPU has on the
    final system. Of course, even $20 is a fair bit of margin on a $360
    PC.

    The article did note that Lenovo has been losing money, and is
    attempting to narrow losses by focusing on core businesses. It sounds
    to me like they're emphasizing market share over profits, which is a
    strategy Dell has never been too fond of. Dell's China growth
    estimate is still pretty hefty, and they may have decided to focus on
    the middle range where there are still some profits to be had. Time
    will tell which is the right approach for the China market.


    --
    Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net> wrote:
    > Adam Warner wrote:
    > I wonder who the readers of Anandtech really are.

    Apparently, many of them are writers for Infoworld. :-)

    The aforementioned Randall C. Kennedy, the co-author of the Hyperthreading
    benchmark in Infoworld can be found wondering around the forums at
    Anandtech.

    Yousuf Khan
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Yousuf Khan wrote:

    > Robert Myers wrote:
    >

    <snip>

    >
    > So given three simulated workloads and one real application load, when you
    > put the real application in its own logical processor, what you've
    > effectively done is given the application test-script a 3:1 priority
    > advantage over the synthetic workload simulations. In a non-HT CPU, all of
    > the threads go into the same Windows run queue, and they all get equal
    > priority according to the default task scheduling behaviour. Only the
    > real-world app test-script's elapsed time is ever recorded; the results of
    > the
    > simulated workloads are never measured and discarded, since they are only
    > there to add a simulated workload and therefore they are disposable.
    >
    > Now, is this a good measure of a multitasking workload? Only if you consider
    > a proper use of multitasking to be running one real-world app in the
    > foreground while disposable workload simulators bog it down in the
    > background.

    Your key claim (I believe) is that the benchmark software is a
    subterfuge by way of giving scheduling attention to the jobs on the
    hyperthreaded system but not on the Opteron system. That's an
    interesting theory, and it may well be correct, but your analysis rests
    on assumptions about the actual benchmark and about scheduling behavior
    that I don't know how to check.

    One can always, at least in theory, arrange job priorities so that
    background jobs interfere minimally with foreground jobs. Without any
    constraint on how the background jobs are hog-tied, you could probably
    get any result you wanted...if indeed you are fiddling with scheduling
    priorities.

    > Okay those were just the technical faults about this benchmark. There's also
    > some conspiracy theory stuff here. One of the co-authors of this article,
    > Randall C. Kennedy, happens to be the designer of this benchmark:
    >
    > http://www.csaresearch.com/about.asp
    >
    > Mr. Kennedy was once an employee of Intel, according to the above biography:
    >
    > "Later, as a contract testing and development engineer for Intel
    > Corporation, he led the effort to create tools and resources to articulate
    > the company's performance initiatives surround high-end desktops (Constant
    > Computing) and Gigabit Ethernet networking."
    >
    > Which sounds like he worked in the benchmarketing department.
    >
    > Furthermore, this guy is some sort of long-time crusader for Hyperthreading.
    > He's written articles favouring Hyperthreading for a long time now, this one
    > from about two years ago:
    >
    > http://www.networkcomputing.com/1324/1324buzz2.html
    >
    > Nothing wrong with being a crusader for the technology and showing to world
    > an example of an application that really benefits from Hyperthreading, just
    > so long as you don't try to pass that off as a benchmark.

    "Benchmark" is a pretty broad term. The manufacturer benchmarks that
    are published in places like specbench.org, tpc.org, and
    http://www.cs.virginia.edu/stream site aren't perfect, but at least they
    put hardware on a common footing and the rules are spelled out in detail
    for all to see and to complain about. Manufacturers are free to do
    whatever they want, so long as they don't break the rules. That leaves
    alot of room for creativity, and people get pretty creative.

    As to everything else, a benchmark tests the hardware, the software, the
    compiler, and the care, insight, skill, and impartiality of whoever is
    performing the benchmark. That's alot of unknowns, no matter what you
    call the result.

    csaresearch.com has a skewed view of things resulting from a desire to
    sell advertising? The "Seeing double?" stuff right on the web page you
    linked to is probably a better clue than Randall Kennedy's c.v.

    Someone is influenced by his "strong recommendations" despite an
    apparent conflict of interest? Caveat emptor.

    RM
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Hi Tony Hill,

    >>> Dell driven out of a market by low-cost competition.
    >>>
    >>> http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/040816/tech_china_dell_1.html?printer=1
    >>
    >>How can Dell compete upon price-performance in these markets when they
    >>don't sell CPUs that provide better price-performance and features?
    >
    > The CPU has almost nothing to do with the price. The key phrase from
    > the article is right here:
    >
    > "Sellers have cut prices to as little as 3,000 yuan ($362) per unit by
    > offering models without Microsoft's Windows operating system"
    >
    > That is where the price difference is coming from. Windows is the ONLY
    > expensive component in a modern low-end computer. The cost of a WinXP
    > Home Edition license roughly $100. The cost of service and support is
    > another $100+. The cost of ALL the hardware comes up to under $200 for
    > a low-end system, and most of that is tied up in the hard drive and
    > motherboard.
    >
    > When Dell buys Intel Celeron chips they are paying damn near nothing for
    > them. Maybe $35 or $40. AMD might be able to sell their chips for $30
    > or $35, shaving a few percent off the top, but even in China and other
    > developing markets that isn't going to make a huge difference. But
    > cutting $100 off the top by dropping WinXP from the price definitely
    > will make a huge difference.

    You make a great point, thanks Tony. But why would a savvy consumer choose
    an Intel _Celeron_ over most AMD CPU choices? Doesn't Dell need to hope
    that Intel's marketing is so strong in China that consumers will choose
    the Intel brand even if computers are priced the same? If Dell cannot rely
    upon this perception it cannot compete. Period. Even if it starts selling
    "naked PCs". What happens if 64-bit computing becomes a checklist point?
    Or gamers find out that an AMD Athlon64 3000+ beat a P4 3.2GHz _Extreme
    Edition_ running Doom 3?

    Intel has to provide Dell with suitable price:performance options so it
    can compete effectively. Whether this is already hurting Dell is debatable.

    Regards,
    Adam
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net> wrote:
    >> Now, is this a good measure of a multitasking workload? Only if you
    >> consider a proper use of multitasking to be running one real-world
    >> app in the foreground while disposable workload simulators bog it
    >> down in the background.
    >
    > Your key claim (I believe) is that the benchmark software is a
    > subterfuge by way of giving scheduling attention to the jobs on the
    > hyperthreaded system but not on the Opteron system. That's an
    > interesting theory, and it may well be correct, but your analysis
    > rests on assumptions about the actual benchmark and about scheduling
    > behavior that I don't know how to check.

    To play my own devil's advocate, I'll list what we do know about the
    benchmark, and what we are conjecturing. We _know_ that the benchmark is
    Hyperthreading aware, we know that it runs one real-world application
    thread, and multiple synthetic load-generating threads, and that the
    synthetic threads are disposable (i.e. their results are not saved or
    measured). What we are _conjecturing_ is that the benchmark is using its
    Hyperthreading awareness to create an unfair multitasking priority advantage
    for the benchmarked application -- we don't know this for sure; for all we
    know, this benchmark doesn't make use of any of its Hyperthreading knowledge
    (i.e. complete innocence), to create an unfair testing situation.

    The conjecture is based upon the fact that it's easy to detect
    Hyperthreading and to optimize for it. Detecting Hyperthreading can be done
    completely in user-space, it doesn't require any privileged instructions,
    simply a couple of CPUID instructions and you're done. During bootup, Intel
    has specified that all physical processors will be enumerated first, and all
    virtual processors will be enumerated last. So it's easy to figure out which
    processors are real and which ones are virtual. Most OS'es have some kind of
    functionality to allow applications to specify which processors they want
    their threads to start up on.

    Since this was a dual-processor vs. dual-processor shootout, the non-HT CPU
    will appear simply as two CPUs, whereas the HT CPU will appear as 4 CPUs.
    CPUID will tell you automatically how many are real and how many are virtual
    and which ones they are.

    > One can always, at least in theory, arrange job priorities so that
    > background jobs interfere minimally with foreground jobs. Without any
    > constraint on how the background jobs are hog-tied, you could probably
    > get any result you wanted...if indeed you are fiddling with scheduling
    > priorities.

    Yeah, obviously they didn't want to appear to be fiddling with Windows' own
    scheduling priorities that would be too obviously unfair, so they worked
    around Windows' scheduling priorities with the HT loophole. Since each
    logical processor appears to have its own separate run queue in Windows,
    they didn't actually modify any of the run queue priorities, they just
    distributed the workloads strategically, putting their most important
    threads on less busy logical processors. That way they can claim that all of
    the individual run queues were unchanged, which is true, but they have twice
    as many run queues to choose from.

    In an actual multitasking environment, with real work being done both in the
    foreground and background, the applications will get distributed out to the
    run queues in a roundrobin-fashion. Therefore even with twice the run
    queues, an HT processor will have more or less evenly loaded run queues, no
    different than the case on a non-HT processor.

    > csaresearch.com has a skewed view of things resulting from a desire to
    > sell advertising? The "Seeing double?" stuff right on the web page
    > you linked to is probably a better clue than Randall Kennedy's c.v.

    Perhaps, it is a better clue. But I thought the fact he himself says he
    worked for an Intel marketing department was also a pretty good clue. :-)

    > Someone is influenced by his "strong recommendations" despite an
    > apparent conflict of interest? Caveat emptor.

    It's hard to say how much people are going to be influenced by this, since
    this article barely published any of the benchmarks that they said they ran.

    Yousuf Khan
  13. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Neil Maxwell <neil.maxwell@intel.com> wrote:
    > I haven't seen any articles with any data regarding what the
    > configurations of these competing systems are. That is, which AMD
    > chips are Lenovo putting in their bottom-end boxes vs. which Intel
    > chips are Dell putting in their China-targetted bottom-tier PCs? This
    > would tell you how much of a price impact the actual CPU has on the
    > final system. Of course, even $20 is a fair bit of margin on a $360
    > PC.

    I thought they mentioned that they were using Semprons here. I could be
    wrong, a lot of other news stories floating around, can't keep them all
    straight in my head.

    > The article did note that Lenovo has been losing money, and is
    > attempting to narrow losses by focusing on core businesses. It sounds
    > to me like they're emphasizing market share over profits, which is a
    > strategy Dell has never been too fond of. Dell's China growth
    > estimate is still pretty hefty, and they may have decided to focus on
    > the middle range where there are still some profits to be had. Time
    > will tell which is the right approach for the China market.

    I don't think Dell has had any problems with using loss-leader economics in
    the past. Bring people in with products that are so cheap that they lose
    money on them, and hopefully they'll buy some other things that will make up
    for the loss.

    I doubt that the Lenovo model is any different than that. Of course, it
    might have gotten to the point in China that all products are now
    loss-leaders (meaning companies are now producing losses overall). But Dell
    is remaining in the higher-end Chinese markets, like business PCs, etc. So
    if Dell is hanging around for those markets, then perhaps profits are still
    to be had there. That means that probably the locals, Lenovo and Founder,
    are probably still making profits in those markets too.

    The locals want to sell loss-leaders so that they can establish a product
    identity with their customers for the future. If they buy a cheap PC today,
    they'll buy an expensive PC tomorrow.

    Yousuf Khan
  14. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 22:08:53 GMT, "Yousuf Khan" <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote:


    >The locals want to sell loss-leaders so that they can establish a product
    >identity with their customers for the future. If they buy a cheap PC today,
    >they'll buy an expensive PC tomorrow.

    and that expensive PC will probably have a different brand name inside
    and out (Dell/Intel). ;p

    Ed

    >
    > Yousuf Khan
    >
  15. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Yousuf, many thanks for the analysis. Since the Xeon workstations were
    admitted slower to begin with it was extraordinary that they ended up
    having faster throughput while remaining highly responsive (this is
    usually a tradeoff). If the total work done is never recorded the paradox
    is easily resolved ("Only the real-world app test-script's elapsed time is
    ever recorded; the results of the simulated workloads are never measured
    and discarded, since they are only there to add a simulated workload and
    therefore they are disposable.")

    Since you raised the link between the reviewer and the benchmarks suite
    I've come across this Anandtech forum thread:
    `First "real" Nocona vs. Opteron review?'
    <http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.cfm?catid=28&threadid=1348215>

    Randall C. Kennedy starts by simply claiming: "Opteron is really good at
    doing a few things at once. Saturate the CPU, however, and it tanks." In a
    subsequent message he writes: "I meant vs. Xeon. Under complex workloads,
    Xeon - especially the new Nocona-based model - stomps all over Opteron."

    He makes a strong recommendation:

    07/31/2004 11:10 AM

    Typical. Your reaction to a poor showing by your CPU of preference is
    to dismiss the test as being irrelevant. A bit pathological, don't you
    think?

    Unfortunately, in my position I don't have the luxury of becoming
    emotionally attached to products. My customers - who are primarily in
    the financial services sector - have zero tolerance for delays. Time
    is literally money for these people, and my workloads model their
    runtime environment (which is a huge target market for workstation
    vendors).

    Bottom Line: I'm strongly recommending that my customers avoid
    Opteron-based workstations for demanding, multi-process, multi-tasking
    workloads, and I'm echoing these sentiments in my InfoWorld Test Center
    contributions on the subject.

    RCK

    -------------------------
    Director, CSA Research
    http://www.csaresearch.com

    Regards,
    Adam
  16. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Adam Warner <usenet@consulting.net.nz> wrote:
    > Since you raised the link between the reviewer and the benchmarks
    > suite I've come across this Anandtech forum thread:
    > `First "real" Nocona vs. Opteron review?'
    > http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.cfm?catid=28&threadid=1348215

    Yeah, I know about those remarks of his in Anandtech too. He posted them
    almost a month or two before this Infoworld article came out.

    It was enough for me to join Anandtech's forums and post a message asking
    him to explain his benchmark methodologies. So far I haven't received any
    response from him. But likely he might not be following the thread right
    now.

    Yousuf Khan
  17. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    > http://analyzer.csaresearch.com/

    Error: Incompatible Browser Detected

    We're Sorry! This Performance Portal site requires Microsoft Internet
    Explorer 5.0 or later (IE 5.5 or later recommended). You can obtain the
    latest version of IE from the Microsoft Internet Explorer web site.

    Note: For a complete list of system requirements, please see our
    Performance Portal product information page.
  18. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Adam Warner wrote:
    >>http://analyzer.csaresearch.com/
    >
    >
    > Error: Incompatible Browser Detected
    >
    > We're Sorry! This Performance Portal site requires Microsoft Internet
    > Explorer 5.0 or later (IE 5.5 or later recommended). You can obtain the
    > latest version of IE from the Microsoft Internet Explorer web site.
    >
    > Note: For a complete list of system requirements, please see our
    > Performance Portal product information page.

    If they can't even do a decent job with their web site,
    how the heck is anybody supposed to believe they have
    successfully tackled the more difficult job of creating
    a valid benchmarking app ?
  19. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 10:15:28 -0600, Rob Stow <rob.stow@sasktel.net>
    wrote:

    >Adam Warner wrote:
    >>>http://analyzer.csaresearch.com/
    >> Error: Incompatible Browser Detected

    >If they can't even do a decent job with their web site,
    >how the heck is anybody supposed to believe they have
    >successfully tackled the more difficult job of creating
    >a valid benchmarking app ?

    Might not be their fault... they used FrontPage... a software company
    used to deliberately make their apps break when ran on a rival
    operating system back in the DOS days you know :PpPP

    --
    L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me :)
    Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
    If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
    But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code
  20. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    The little lost angel wrote:

    > On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 10:15:28 -0600, Rob Stow <rob.stow@sasktel.net>
    > wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Adam Warner wrote:
    >>
    >>>>http://analyzer.csaresearch.com/
    >>>
    >>> Error: Incompatible Browser Detected
    >
    >
    >>If they can't even do a decent job with their web site,
    >>how the heck is anybody supposed to believe they have
    >>successfully tackled the more difficult job of creating
    >>a valid benchmarking app ?
    >
    >
    > Might not be their fault... they used FrontPage... a software company
    > used to deliberately make their apps break when ran on a rival
    > operating system back in the DOS days you know :PpPP
    >

    They're dumb enough to use FrontPage but we are
    supposed to trust them to be smart enough to make
    a valid benchmarking app ? "Does not compute."
  21. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Hi Yousuf Khan,

    > Now, is this a good measure of a multitasking workload? Only if you
    > consider a proper use of multitasking to be running one real-world app
    > in the foreground while disposable workload simulators bog it down in
    > the background.

    If the amount of work done in the background is never taken into account
    then the technique is grossly misleading. Here's how the testing technique
    could be improved:

    1. Measure the amount of work completed by the Xeon workstation in the
    simulated workloads.

    2. On the Opteron workstation reduce the priority on the simulated
    workloads until the Opteron only completes as much work in the simulated
    workloads as the Xeon.

    3. Compare the responsiveness and throughput of the foreground real-world
    application while each workstation is approximately completing _the same
    amount of background work_.

    Everyone who multitasks cares about how much work is being done in the
    background.

    Regards,
    Adam
  22. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Adam Warner <usenet@consulting.net.nz> wrote:
    > If the amount of work done in the background is never taken into
    > account then the technique is grossly misleading. Here's how the
    > testing technique could be improved:
    >
    > 1. Measure the amount of work completed by the Xeon workstation in the
    > simulated workloads.
    >
    > 2. On the Opteron workstation reduce the priority on the simulated
    > workloads until the Opteron only completes as much work in the
    > simulated workloads as the Xeon.

    This is quite possible to do in the Opteron using just Windows task
    switching mechanisms. Raise the priority of the foreground process, while
    reducing the priorities of the disposable workloads.

    > 3. Compare the responsiveness and throughput of the foreground
    > real-world application while each workstation is approximately
    > completing _the same amount of background work_.
    >
    > Everyone who multitasks cares about how much work is being done in the
    > background.

    Yes, exactly, if you're multitasking in the background, then chances are
    that the programs running in the background are just as important to you as
    those in the foreground. In both cases, you're trying to get some useful
    work done, otherwise you wouldn't be running the secondary processes.

    If this guy had only made the benchmark have the ability to run a second
    test-script with a real-world application running in there too, then measure
    its completion time, it would be a real worthwhile application. It would be
    useful to know how fast it could run all tasks it is running, not just one
    task.

    Yousuf Khan
  23. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 11:11:07 -0600, Rob Stow <rob.stow@sasktel.net>
    wrote:
    >They're dumb enough to use FrontPage but we are
    >supposed to trust them to be smart enough to make
    >a valid benchmarking app ? "Does not compute."

    Well, even though I personally am biased against people who uses
    FrontPage, a lot of people does simply because they don't know any
    better or can't be bothered to learn anything else. Don't forget,
    often the web developer isn't a permanent staff of the company, it's
    usually a contract job. So there may be no relation between the
    capabilities of the web designer and the company itself. :)


    --
    L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me :)
    Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
    If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
    But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code
  24. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Ed wrote:
    > On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 22:08:53 GMT, "Yousuf Khan" <bbbl67@ezrs.com>
    > wrote:
    >> The locals want to sell loss-leaders so that they can establish a
    >> product identity with their customers for the future. If they buy a
    >> cheap PC today, they'll buy an expensive PC tomorrow.
    >
    > and that expensive PC will probably have a different brand name inside
    > and out (Dell/Intel). ;p

    Maybe, that future PC might have an Intel inside it, but I don't think it'll
    be a Dell. The locals are trying to build brand loyalty to themselves with
    these loss-leaders.

    Anyways, the really high-end PCs are now Athlon 64-based. Pentium 4 PCs are
    now mid-range.

    Yousuf Khan
  25. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Adam Warner wrote:
    >> http://analyzer.csaresearch.com/
    >
    > Error: Incompatible Browser Detected
    >
    > We're Sorry! This Performance Portal site requires Microsoft
    > Internet Explorer 5.0 or later (IE 5.5 or later recommended). You
    > can obtain the latest version of IE from the Microsoft Internet
    > Explorer web site.
    >
    > Note: For a complete list of system requirements, please see our
    > Performance Portal product information page.

    So which browser did it die on, Mozilla or Opera?

    Yousuf Khan
  26. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 15:58:04 +1200, Adam Warner
    <usenet@consulting.net.nz> wrote:
    >Hi Tony Hill,
    >> When Dell buys Intel Celeron chips they are paying damn near nothing for
    >> them. Maybe $35 or $40. AMD might be able to sell their chips for $30
    >> or $35, shaving a few percent off the top, but even in China and other
    >> developing markets that isn't going to make a huge difference. But
    >> cutting $100 off the top by dropping WinXP from the price definitely
    >> will make a huge difference.
    >
    >You make a great point, thanks Tony. But why would a savvy consumer choose
    >an Intel _Celeron_ over most AMD CPU choices?

    I'd buy a Celeron + i865 combo over some piece an AMD CPU stuck in a
    POS VIA KM266 setup any day. There's much more too it than just the
    processor, and Dell is able to sell fairly high-end platforms for VERY
    cheap prices.

    > Doesn't Dell need to hope
    >that Intel's marketing is so strong in China that consumers will choose
    >the Intel brand even if computers are priced the same? If Dell cannot rely
    >upon this perception it cannot compete. Period.

    Not so much that they can't compete, just that they'll have to compete
    on features instead of just brand-name. However Dell is capable of
    doing that.

    > Even if it starts selling
    >"naked PCs". What happens if 64-bit computing becomes a checklist point?

    Presumably at that stage Intel will have a 64-bit desktop processor.

    >Or gamers find out that an AMD Athlon64 3000+ beat a P4 3.2GHz _Extreme
    >Edition_ running Doom 3?

    That isn't going to mean much of anything to the consumers in
    question, many of whom can't even think about affording either one.
    It's all well and good that the Athlon64 3000+ is fast, but when
    you're choice is an AMD Sempron 2400+ or a Celeron 2.4GHz, that point
    is kind of moot.

    >Intel has to provide Dell with suitable price:performance options so it
    >can compete effectively. Whether this is already hurting Dell is debatable.

    Given Dell's recent history (ie the last 5 years) of making FAR more
    profit than any of their competitors, I'd say that no, it's not
    hurting Dell much at all.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  27. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 22:49:20 +1200, Adam Warner
    <usenet@consulting.net.nz> wrote:

    >> http://analyzer.csaresearch.com/
    >
    > Error: Incompatible Browser Detected
    >
    > We're Sorry! This Performance Portal site requires Microsoft Internet
    > Explorer 5.0 or later (IE 5.5 or later recommended). You can obtain the
    > latest version of IE from the Microsoft Internet Explorer web site.
    >
    > Note: For a complete list of system requirements, please see our
    > Performance Portal product information page.

    If you're using Mozilla Firefox the useragentswitch extension does a
    nice job of bypassing this stupidity. Not surprisingly everything
    displays perfectly using non-IE browsers (with the exception of his
    rather pointless "demo", which is in ASP).'

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  28. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 06:26:41 GMT, "Yousuf Khan" <bbbl67@ezrs.com>
    wrote:
    >Robert Myers wrote:
    >Actually the problem with the Infoworld article is that it's not even really
    >a true test of multitasking performance. If you read the article, and then
    >do some checking up on the tools used, it's very shady. First of all, the
    >benchmarking application is described on the company's website here:

    Yup, some VERY shady deals going on here, especially considering that
    the author of the article is also the guy selling the benchmark and is
    also a paid consultant for companies trying to demonstrate the
    performance of their systems

    Having read through the article it *STRONGLY* reminds me of all those
    Microsoft-funded "studies" that clearly demonstrate Windows has a
    lower cost of ownership than <insert any other OS here>.

    Somebody is definitely getting paid here to show a particular result,
    regardless of whether that result corresponds to reality or not.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  29. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Tony Hill wrote:

    > On Tue, 17 Aug 2004 22:49:20 +1200, Adam Warner
    > <usenet@consulting.net.nz> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>>http://analyzer.csaresearch.com/
    >>
    >> Error: Incompatible Browser Detected
    >>
    >> We're Sorry! This Performance Portal site requires Microsoft Internet
    >> Explorer 5.0 or later (IE 5.5 or later recommended). You can obtain the
    >> latest version of IE from the Microsoft Internet Explorer web site.
    >>
    >> Note: For a complete list of system requirements, please see our
    >> Performance Portal product information page.
    >
    >
    > If you're using Mozilla Firefox the useragentswitch extension does a
    > nice job of bypassing this stupidity. Not surprisingly everything
    > displays perfectly using non-IE browsers (with the exception of his
    > rather pointless "demo", which is in ASP).'
    >

    The problem with browser spoofing like that is that it
    lets the web developer get away with his stupidity.
    In the long run I think you are far better served by
    requiring the developers to do a good job instead of
    looking for work-arounds on your end when they screw up.
  30. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Rob Stow wrote:
    > The problem with browser spoofing like that is that it
    > lets the web developer get away with his stupidity.
    > In the long run I think you are far better served by
    > requiring the developers to do a good job instead of
    > looking for work-arounds on your end when they screw up.

    I even pointed out to my ISP's tech support about the fact that it comes
    back with this kind of error message on Opera browsers, even with browser
    spoofing in place. Their standard answer was that they don't support Opera.
    But if you look at their policies, they say they don't support IE or
    Netscape/Mozilla either, yet they had no problems in making this stuff
    compatible with their products. If they don't support anything, then they
    should have equal opportunity "no support". Even "no support" means quite
    different things depending on products. :-)

    Yousuf Khan
  31. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Hi Yousuf Khan,

    > Adam Warner wrote:
    >>> http://analyzer.csaresearch.com/
    >>
    >> Error: Incompatible Browser Detected
    >>
    >> We're Sorry! This Performance Portal site requires Microsoft
    >> Internet Explorer 5.0 or later (IE 5.5 or later recommended). You
    >> can obtain the latest version of IE from the Microsoft Internet
    >> Explorer web site.
    >>
    >> Note: For a complete list of system requirements, please see our
    >> Performance Portal product information page.
    >
    > So which browser did it die on, Mozilla or Opera?

    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.2) Gecko/20040810 Debian/1.7.2-2

    Konqueror has a friendly feature to set a custom user agent string that
    matches, say, MSIE in order to gain access to poorly designed websites.

    $ whois csaresearch.com
    ....Administrative Contact:
    Kennedy, Randall ...

    Regards,
    Adam
  32. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Adam Warner wrote:
    >> So which browser did it die on, Mozilla or Opera?
    >
    > Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.2) Gecko/20040810
    > Debian/1.7.2-2
    >
    > Konqueror has a friendly feature to set a custom user agent string
    > that matches, say, MSIE in order to gain access to poorly designed
    > websites.

    So did Konquerer work with this page? Opera has a similar feature.

    However, recently some pages on my ISP homepage became even a little
    unfriendly to Opera, though it works with Mozilla.

    Yousuf Khan
  33. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Hi Yousuf Khan,

    >> Konqueror has a friendly feature to set a custom user agent string
    >> that matches, say, MSIE in order to gain access to poorly designed
    >> websites.
    >
    > So did Konquerer work with this page? Opera has a similar feature.

    Yes, after reconfiguring it to send a MSIE 6.0/Windows XP user agent
    string to the domain's web server. It rendered 100% correctly.

    > However, recently some pages on my ISP homepage became even a little
    > unfriendly to Opera, though it works with Mozilla.

    It has probably been years since I've struck a MSIE mandatory website.
    They're rather uncommon. Flash content is common but I just ignore any
    sites that enforce it for navigation. I'd say the web is more platform
    neutral than ever.

    It's great news that AOL have just released Netscape 7.2. I've found a
    known corporate brand can help break down the resistance of some users to
    upgrade.

    I've never used Opera. It's good to see the company coming out against
    software patents in Europe, especially by undermining Nokia's pro-software
    patent stance as the supplier of browser software in their mobile phones.
    That takes guts.

    Regards,
    Adam
  34. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "Yousuf Khan" <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote in message
    news:ByhUc.635$E7T1.234@news04.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...

    <snip>

    > Now, how could this benefit a Hyperthreading processor over a non-HT one?
    > Well, in an HT CPU, the benchmark can configure it such that it runs the
    > applications test-script in the primary HT logical processor, while all of
    > the synthetic load-generating simulations are executed in the secondary
    > logical processor. Windows would multitask the applications test script in
    > the run queue of one logical processor where nothing else would be
    running,
    > while the synthetics would contend amongst themselves for attention in the
    > secondary logical processor. In a non-HT CPU, all of the tasks (whether
    real
    > or synthetic) would contend for timeslices within the same Windows' run
    > queue.

    Are you speaking from experience about ability of a Windows application to
    allocate one logical processor solely for itself, or this is your
    conjecture? Last time I heard (and it was today, from a big
    manager from a very relevant company), MSoft has no hardware concept
    of asymmetrical multitasking, but I might misinterpreted the issue...
    Could you clarify please?

    - aap
  35. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "Adam Warner" <usenet@consulting.net.nz> wrote in message
    news:pan.2004.08.17.12.52.33.543548@consulting.net.nz...

    > Everyone who multitasks cares about how much work is being done in the
    > background.
    >

    Not true for everyone. For example, playing music is a background task, but
    as long as
    the stream is delivered isochronously, the amount of work doesn't matter
    much
    and hard to quantify, only to the extent it affects timing of the foreground
    task.
    Same for video playback, or CD burning without buffer underrun.
    Also, some non-time-critical tasks like backups, virus checks, or
    multi-megabyte
    movie downloads are of little concern about time as compared to some
    foreground
    time-critical task.

    - aap
  36. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    alexi wrote:
    > "Adam Warner" <usenet@consulting.net.nz> wrote in message
    > news:pan.2004.08.17.12.52.33.543548@consulting.net.nz...
    >
    >> Everyone who multitasks cares about how much work is being done in
    >> the background.
    >>
    >
    > Not true for everyone. For example, playing music is a background
    > task, but as long as
    > the stream is delivered isochronously, the amount of work doesn't
    > matter much
    > and hard to quantify, only to the extent it affects timing of the
    > foreground task.

    You just gave an example of why background multitasking performance *DOES*
    matter, while trying to show the opposite. People care about the playback
    quality, they don't want the music to jump or skip while working in the
    background. Fortunately, this is not a huge performance hurdle to achieve,
    so most people are happy if the machine is simply able to keep up with the
    music stream in the background, and if it can do even better than that, they
    don't care or even notice.

    > Same for video playback, or CD burning without buffer underrun.
    > Also, some non-time-critical tasks like backups, virus checks, or
    > multi-megabyte
    > movie downloads are of little concern about time as compared to some
    > foreground
    > time-critical task.

    All of those do have some very loose performance criteria too. A movie
    download or a tape backup that takes too long will be noticed by people,
    eventually. Every one of these have an upper limit criteria beyond which
    people start to worry about what's going on.

    Anyways, these are not the sorts of background tasks we were talking about.
    The background tasks in this benchmark were entirely fake simulated
    workloads whose entire purpose was to slow down the processor from executing
    the the foreground tasks fast enough. They served no other purpose, and once
    the foreground task finished, these tasks also finished.

    Yousuf Khan
  37. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    alexi wrote:
    > Are you speaking from experience about ability of a Windows
    > application to allocate one logical processor solely for itself, or
    > this is your conjecture?

    There is code available from Intel itself which can show you how to
    determine how many physical and logical processors there are in a system.
    Doable completely in user mode, without OS assistence.

    > Last time I heard (and it was today, from a
    > big
    > manager from a very relevant company), MSoft has no hardware concept
    > of asymmetrical multitasking, but I might misinterpreted the issue...
    > Could you clarify please?

    What do you mean by asymmetrical multitasking?

    Yousuf Khan
  38. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "Yousuf Khan" <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote in message
    news:WZWUc.1807802$Ar.628457@twister01.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...
    > alexi wrote:
    > > Are you speaking from experience about ability of a Windows
    > > application to allocate one logical processor solely for itself, or
    > > this is your conjecture?
    >
    > There is code available from Intel itself which can show you how to
    > determine how many physical and logical processors there are in a system.
    > Doable completely in user mode, without OS assistence.

    I can detect how many processors are there, not a problem. However,
    I believe there is a huge problem to allocate any specific processor
    to a specific task in Windows. Correct me if I am wrong.


    >
    > > Last time I heard (and it was today, from a
    > > big
    > > manager from a very relevant company), MSoft has no hardware concept
    > > of asymmetrical multitasking, but I might misinterpreted the issue...
    > > Could you clarify please?
    >
    > What do you mean by asymmetrical multitasking?

    Opposite to Symmetrical MT: Ability to assign a process/task to a specific
    processor (possibly optimized in a specific way) in Windows environment.

    >
    > Yousuf Khan
    >
    >
  39. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    alexi wrote:
    >> There is code available from Intel itself which can show you how to
    >> determine how many physical and logical processors there are in a
    >> system. Doable completely in user mode, without OS assistence.
    >
    > I can detect how many processors are there, not a problem. However,
    > I believe there is a huge problem to allocate any specific processor
    > to a specific task in Windows. Correct me if I am wrong.

    I am no Windows programmer, but I've glanced over code from Intel that
    basically does allow you to change your CPU context to whichever CPU you
    like. I didn't pay it too much detailed attention, so I can't give you the
    details. I believe it's buried somewhere in here:

    http://www.intel.com/technology/hyperthread/

    >>> Last time I heard (and it was today, from a
    >>> big
    >>> manager from a very relevant company), MSoft has no hardware concept
    >>> of asymmetrical multitasking, but I might misinterpreted the
    >>> issue... Could you clarify please?
    >>
    >> What do you mean by asymmetrical multitasking?
    >
    > Opposite to Symmetrical MT: Ability to assign a process/task to a
    > specific processor (possibly optimized in a specific way) in Windows
    > environment.

    Don't know. The Intel examples certainly seem to be able to jump from
    processor to processor to processor.

    Yousuf Khan
  40. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Hi alexi,

    > I can detect how many processors are there, not a problem. However,
    > I believe there is a huge problem to allocate any specific processor
    > to a specific task in Windows. Correct me if I am wrong.

    You're wrong. The technical term is "processor affinity".

    <http://www.google.com/search?q=%22processor+affinity%22>

    Regards,
    Adam
  41. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "Adam Warner" <usenet@consulting.net.nz> wrote in message
    news:pan.2004.08.19.06.55.01.56157@consulting.net.nz...
    > Hi alexi,
    >
    > > I can detect how many processors are there, not a problem. However,
    > > I believe there is a huge problem to allocate any specific processor
    > > to a specific task in Windows. Correct me if I am wrong.
    >
    > You're wrong. The technical term is "processor affinity".
    >
    > <http://www.google.com/search?q=%22processor+affinity%22>
    >
    > Regards,
    > Adam

    Thanks Adam, yes, there is a concept of processor affinity, and apparently
    some means to control the task. With this regard, Yousuf is right. However,
    this mechanism is related to allocating logical processors, not physical
    processors. As far as I remember, enumeration of physical processors (in x86
    world) is
    a random process. Different physical processors may have some asymmetry in
    the way
    they are hooked up in the system (different configuration of Hypertransport
    links for example),
    therefore they may have different advantages and disadvantages with regard
    to
    different I/O-loaded tasks, while Win OS treats processors symmetrically.

    Regards,
    -aap
  42. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Adam Warner wrote:
    > Hi alexi,
    >
    >> I can detect how many processors are there, not a problem. However,
    >> I believe there is a huge problem to allocate any specific processor
    >> to a specific task in Windows. Correct me if I am wrong.
    >
    > You're wrong. The technical term is "processor affinity".
    >
    > http://www.google.com/search?q=%22processor+affinity%22

    That's the ticket! I remember seeing examples in the Intel website about how
    to set the processor affinity under any operating system.

    Yousuf Khan
  43. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    alexi wrote:
    > Thanks Adam, yes, there is a concept of processor affinity, and
    > apparently some means to control the task. With this regard, Yousuf
    > is right. However, this mechanism is related to allocating logical
    > processors, not physical processors.

    The examples in the Intel website certainly made no distinction between
    physical or logical processors. In fact, as far as Intel is concerned, all
    of the processors are just logical processors. It's just that there would be
    two logical processors per physical processor. Intel's Hyperthreading
    mechanism makes allows for upto 256 logical processors in a physical
    processor (there's an 8-bit counter for logical processors).

    > As far as I remember,
    > enumeration of physical processors (in x86 world) is
    > a random process. Different physical processors may have some
    > asymmetry in the way
    > they are hooked up in the system

    Nope, not random at all, it's all governed by the APIC specifications how
    processors are enumerated. It may have been random prior to the advent of
    APIC, but now there's a specific enumeration order. Part of the spec is that
    the secondary logical processors are counted well after all of the primary
    logical processors have been counted.

    > (different configuration of
    > Hypertransport links for example),
    > therefore they may have different advantages and disadvantages with
    > regard to
    > different I/O-loaded tasks, while Win OS treats processors
    > symmetrically.

    Almost all operating systems have the ability to allocated certain tasks to
    certain processors or processor groups. Windows and most other OSes will
    simply allocate them round-robin by default, but there are administrative
    commands available to set the processor affinity. Therefore if there are
    administrative commands that can do it, then other programs should be able
    to access the same facilities.

    Yousuf Khan
  44. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    In article <g1WUc.807$v86.244@fe2.texas.rr.com>,
    alexi <apredtechenski@austin.rr.com> wrote:
    >Are you speaking from experience about ability of a Windows application to
    >allocate one logical processor solely for itself, or this is your
    >conjecture? Last time I heard (and it was today, from a big
    >manager from a very relevant company), MSoft has no hardware concept
    >of asymmetrical multitasking, but I might misinterpreted the issue...
    >Could you clarify please?

    I don't think the OP was saying that the benchmark was forcing Windows
    itself to run on one processor and apps to run on another. Instead, the
    benchmark's main thread was set to run on one processor and its various
    background threads were set to run on the other. The SetProcessAffinityMask
    system call lets you restrict a process and its subthreads to run on the
    processor(s) you specify:

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dllproc/base/setprocessaffinitymask.asp

    One app I can think of offhand that uses this feature is Prime95...on an MP
    system, you can run multiple instances of Prime95, each set to run on a
    different processor.

    _/_
    / v \ Scott Alfter (remove the obvious to send mail)
    (IIGS( http://alfter.us/ Top-posting!
    \_^_/ rm -rf /bin/laden >What's the most annoying thing on Usenet?

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    iD8DBQFBJjmLVgTKos01OwkRAnOgAJ9+R5Uh1TBolPoJL9VZGvM1o0rl2QCgrWE7
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    =hR51
    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
  45. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Yousuf Khan wrote:

    > Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net> wrote:
    >

    <snip>

    >>The details of the benchmark can't be repeated, but the conclusion can
    >>be confirmed or refuted. Design your own bogus benchmark, see what
    >>happens to the Processor Queue Length and publish your results. You
    >>know ahead of time you will have readers. As a freelancer, you could
    >>probably sell it, although probably not for enough to pay for your
    >>time.
    >
    >
    > The 16% higher average processor wait queue length comes back to my
    > conjecture that the benchmark has simply shuffled off the unmeasured
    > synthetic load-generating scripts into a separate logical processor, while
    > running the measured real-app script in its other logical processor. In a
    > non-HT processor, all of those threads would have run inside a single
    > processor queue, but in an HT processor they run inside two queues. So it's
    > the difference between running one thread in one queue and three threads in
    > the other queue, vs. running all four threads in one queue.
    >

    Easy enough to demonstrate if you have the appropriate hardware. I don't.

    RM
  46. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    alexi wrote:
    > Let me try to understand your assertion. You have two systems. One
    > system is (dual Opteron). It appears as two logical processors at the
    > OS logical level. The other system is dual Xeon, and it appears as 4
    > logical processors to the OS. You are saying that the "measured
    > real-app script" allocates a dedicated logical processor to itself,
    > while the other background loads are running on what is left, right?
    > More, the other assertion was that the rest of background tasks are
    > ran unmeasured, right? I this case, the benchmark on the dual Opteron
    > system would run the measured app in one queue, and all other
    > (unmeasured) threads in another queue. I don't see how it is
    > different from the system of 4 logical processors, given that the
    > background performance goes unmeasured as well. It looks like you
    > keep forgetting that the Opteron system was also a multiprocessor
    > system. Am I missing something here?

    It doesn't matter if the Opteron system was also a multiprocessor system, it
    still has half as many run queues to work with than the HT system. If you
    group all of the background processes onto the virtual processors through
    processor affinity, that means you have those background processes will only
    fight it out for timeslices amongst themselves, leaving the foreground
    process free to occupy its own private run queue. It doesn't matter if there
    were one processor, or two processors, or 4 or 8, in each case the SMT
    system will have twice as many run queues.

    Yousuf Khan
  47. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Rupert Pigott wrote:
    > I've used (early) Solaris boxes that had 50+ students banging away
    > with C++ compilers that remained very responsive... I have even used
    > a Pentium Pro 200 on WinNT 3.51 that had one CPU maxed out, and yet
    > it remained responsive although it was a bit slow on the screen
    > repaint I guess. ;)
    >
    > This is why I suspect his methodology is broken...

    Solaris is actually an interesting case. Solaris unlike most other
    multiprocessor OSes, has only a single run queue for all of the processors.
    Therefore Solaris takes a global view of the overall system performance and
    responsiveness. You can have 1 processor or a 100 processors, but a single
    Solaris image will still only have one overall run queue. It just allocates
    threads to processors as it sees resources becoming free (although it will
    attempt to preserve affinity between processes and processors too). So in a
    system such as this, you can't get away by adding additional run queues just
    by adding virtual processors to a system.

    Yousuf Khan
  48. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Yousuf Khan wrote:

    > alexi wrote:
    >
    >>Let me try to understand your assertion. You have two systems. One
    >>system is (dual Opteron). It appears as two logical processors at the
    >>OS logical level.

    No. The two physical Opteron processors appear to
    every x86 OS as two physical processors.

    >> The other system is dual Xeon, and it appears as 4
    >>logical processors to the OS.

    Maybe. It depends on whether the OS knows how to
    tell the difference between physical and logical
    processors.

    NT4 and W2K can't distinguish between physical and
    logical processors, so those OSes will think each
    HT-capable cpu (assuming HT is enabled in the BIOS)
    is really two physical processors - for a total
    of four physical processors. They will be blissfully
    unaware that in reality you merely have four logical
    processors running on two physical processors.

    XP (with SP1) and W2K3 Server *can* distinguish between
    physical and logical processors, so they will correctly
    identify that you have two physical processors but
    those OSes will still identify and use all four logical
    processors.

    Somebody else will have to comment on what Linux
    and other OSes do with HT capable Xeons - I have
    never tried Linux with HT capable P4s or Xeons.
  49. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Rupert Pigott wrote:

    >
    > I've used (early) Solaris boxes that had 50+ students banging away
    > with C++ compilers that remained very responsive... I have even used
    > a Pentium Pro 200 on WinNT 3.51 that had one CPU maxed out, and yet
    > it remained responsive although it was a bit slow on the screen
    > repaint I guess. ;)

    Aren't a bunch of users remotely logged in somewhat analagous to the
    nicely partitioned and/or embarrassingly parallel problems that lend
    themselves so nicely to clusters? ;-).

    Deal with one at a time: Application 1 on Display x doesn't interact at
    all with Application 2 on Display y. Any single user can bring his own
    display to its knees? Sure. They soon learn not to do that.

    I can learn not to do that to my display when I'm the only user at the
    console, too, but the whole point is that I'd like a box powerful enough
    that I don't have to think about such things.

    RM
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