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Mulit-core proc OS problems worth it?

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January 20, 2006 1:17:13 AM

With all the problems with the dual core CPU’s from AMD and Intel (untested registry edits, software) are they worth it? I figured that I would update to a dual core CPU and be ready when true dual proc and/or multi-thread game and application engines arrived. It seems premature, or am I overreacting? I'm about to send back my X2 3800+ and get the plain Jane 90nm AMD 4000+ single core proc for the same price.

My case is that so many issues seem to gravitate towards multi-core CPU’s in XP-SP2. Does the cool and quiet feature affect single core CPU’s too? I don’t run a lot of desktop apps that would need a multi-proc system, I just thought that the upgrade would allow me to get the system settled a little sooner and just live with it. But, maybe it would be better to just step aside with multi-core until the new socket(s) and OS wash out the wrinkles. Maybe wait till a newer OS know's what to do with them? Opinions?
January 20, 2006 1:40:21 AM

Well, the more dual core that will be sold, the faster the apps will become compliant and the lesser problem they will have.

But I'm not sure if you have tried the CPU or not, and just think about getting problem without having got one yet..
January 20, 2006 2:01:04 AM

Well, if I'm afraid to sleep with a prostitute because I might get AIDS, I guess I am. I know I won't have problems with the single core proc. But, what are tha odds of getting AIDS in my system If I use the dual core proc? I have a 3800+ X2 on order, but am somewhat unsure if I should unwrap it and see if I can get away with it or not. I'd rather not throw it in a desk drawer and get the single core proc.

I'm too familiar with the odds. I have a PC power and cooling supply thay sounds like a pack of chickens off to slaughter. OK, what are the odds of that? I asked for a replacement fan TWICE and never got an answer from the reported excellent cutomer service. What are the odds of that? Small, but it happens.
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January 20, 2006 2:07:54 AM

Let say that..1000000 user are using dual core sucessfully. and then there is you.. Would you say.. "if they can, I can" or "I'm too much of a looser to even try it"??? Put in this perspective, I would get the X2 for sure and definitively use google to get any info about patches and updates for apps and game I'll be using, and try to gather as much info instead of being here.. asking what should I do.. But it is me..
January 20, 2006 2:17:29 AM

The only issue I've had with my dual core processor (an AMD X2 4200+ Manchester) is with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. But Pat helped me fix that and it works fine now. If you run into an issue w/ some software and dual core, you can make it use just one processor by hitting CTRL ALT DEL, right clicking on the application processor, and setting the affinity to just 1 CPU; that should fix almost any issue. But like I said, I've only had to do that with GTA: SA. Every other game runs just fine. Apps too.

-mpjesse
January 20, 2006 2:23:07 AM

So, you were not that much of a looser because you tried, but rather more a lazy one, as you did not search for patch and updates... :wink:

Funny.. I don't have an X2 yet.. but plans one soon.. maybe with AM2 or with some leftover 939..
January 20, 2006 2:31:46 AM

Some games have issues with dual cores, Chronicales of Riddick was one I came accross.

Setting up affinity to use one cpu in tasks manager is one solution. I've downloaded an AMD cpu driver and windows hotfix for dual cores. That solved my problems with games not working properly with dual cores.
January 20, 2006 2:39:34 AM

I have NO regrets with my 4400+ at all. It was worth everypenny, and i have not experienced any problems (except for when i downloaded the Intel Dual core patch for Call of Duty 2).
January 20, 2006 2:53:04 AM

Im Currently Using Dual-Core With Absolutely No Problems (And Some Awsome Speed Boosts Might I Add) So Id Reccomend Dual-Core For Everybody Else If The Have The $$

Tip: Windows XP x64 Edition (Wich Im Currently Running) Handles Dual-Cores Even Better Than Standard XP
January 20, 2006 11:04:17 AM

In all due respects, "then there is me" times how many users? No, it isn't just "me". The software is well behind the hardware. I doubt that XP will be made to run dual core, and the improvements will be pushing to the next OS before dual core is truly effective.

The CPU affinity isn't a fix because you have to reset the proc affiinity after every boot on a lot of apps. Some seem to keep their affinity. That's garbage main stream computing in my book. I used to use hyperthreading except it didn't work with IE6 or outlook Express. So if I want to use Email or the net I just had to disable thyperthreading in the PC's BIOS. Ya, right. It didn't work, and it still doesn't work after all this time. Single thread proc is 100% fine. Why would I want to be "not a loser" and buy a proc that is more troublesome (I can't disable it 100% to a single core like hyperhtreading)? Why would I want to load countless dual core fixes for all kinds of individual apps? Count them, Doom 3, Quake 4, ETC. I' keep getting more and more of "the only app I have" apps, and all with their own registry and counsel patches. Well, if you start to add them up, dual core does have compatibility issues.

You say that I don't know about the patches? Why do you think I'm here? I know all too well about all the patches. If it was just the X2 AMD driver patch and the hot fix, that isn't even a fix in my book since you manually have to edit registries, that leaves out about everybody that isn't a geek, I'd be on my way with the AMD X2. But it isn't, and the posts here support that it isn't.

The only new news I hear is to play a game of software chicken trying to make unstable software work. I know that's fun for a lot of you, but my wife doesn't partake in my geekiness. It works, or it's broke to her. A PC has enough issues without unresolved software issues.

I say yes to the dual core frontier, but I just can't get along with it yet. When you can snap a dual core proc in, maybe load a fully automated driver patch, and it works just like ANY single core proc, sign me up. SLI is a good example. Yes, you have to flip a few software switches (on current motherboard designs) and load the SLI drivers. But that's it. The "conversion" never stops on dual core procs.
January 20, 2006 12:48:56 PM

I Never Had To Change Anything In The Registry When I Installed The AMD X2 Fix And It Fixed The (Few) Problems I Did Have
January 20, 2006 2:14:42 PM

Okay, first off, if you're so damned paranoid, and (think that you) know so much, then why did you order it in the first place? If this is your attitude, send it back and get a single-core for flirk's sake.

Now, on to your misinformation.

Quote:
I doubt that XP will be made to run dual core
Since when. XP Pro, as far as I know, can run two dual cores. As far as software is concerned, one dual core is hardly different than a hyper-threaded P4 or two single-cores, and XP Pro runs those just fine.

Quote:
The CPU affinity isn't a fix because you have to reset the proc affiinity after every boot on a lot of apps.
1) A lot of apps? You should hardly ever have to touch affinity.
2) I thought that there were supposed to be softwares that you could use to automatically set afinities for you so that you never have to touch them twice.

Quote:
I used to use hyperthreading except it didn't work with IE6 or outlook Express. So if I want to use Email or the net I just had to disable thyperthreading in the PC's BIOS. Ya, right. It didn't work, and it still doesn't work after all this time.
Where did you get that idea? I've been using hyper-threading (P4 2.6 NWC) for years now and never had problems with IE6 or Outlook Express. In fact, I've never had any problems from hyper-threading. It's pretty darn handy in my book.

Quote:
Why would I want to load countless dual core fixes for all kinds of individual apps?
Considering how many times you have to update games after you buy them (like every single one) I don't see where that's any concern. A patch is a patch is a patch, and they all need patches, dualcore or not.

Quote:
You say that I don't know about the patches? Why do you think I'm here? I know all too well about all the patches.
No offense, but from the sound of it, you really don't seem to know as much as you think you do.

Quote:
If it was just the X2 AMD driver patch and the hot fix, that isn't even a fix in my book since you manually have to edit registries
See what I mean? Who has to manually edit registries. AFAIK the patch does that for you.

Quote:
The only new news I hear is to play a game of software chicken trying to make unstable software work.
Umm ... I haven't heard of a single app or game yet that can't be made to work, and the list of them to even have to do anything special for is really small.

Quote:
A PC has enough issues without unresolved software issues.
1) The software issues are resolved.
2) My PC has no issues. I've yet to ever build a PC that does have issues. The only PC I ever owned that did have issues was a cheap eMachines PoS with a power supply that couldn't meet the demands of my upgrades to the box.

Quote:
I say yes to the dual core frontier, but I just can't get along with it yet.
It sounds to me that you just don't want to get along with it yet. Which is fine. But if that's the case, why did you order one? And why are you bitching about it now instead of just sending it back and getting a single-core proc?

Personally, I'm thinking that maybe you just enjoy the drama or something.
January 20, 2006 3:08:54 PM

There are not patches or updates to fix GTA: SA w/ dual core processors. I even asked Rockstar personally on their support line.

They don't give a crap.

-mpjesse
January 20, 2006 3:16:17 PM

If you feel so strongly about dual cores not working right then why in GOD'S NAME did you post your original thread?!?!

Every single program you mentioned works fine w/ my X2 4200+. And when I had a 3.4Ghz P4 w/ HT, Outlook and IE6 ran just fine. So I don't know what ur on, but it must be pretty good.

In fact, I'm sitting here on my office machine (3.0Ghz Prescott w/ HT enabled) running outlook and IE6. It works fine!

Quote:
rower30 wrote:
I say yes to the dual core frontier, but I just can't get along with it yet.


Slvr's right. You don't want to get along with it.

-mpjesse
January 20, 2006 3:25:33 PM

Yes, it does depend on what you have in your PC for dual core, or hyperthread. Neither is as stable as a single core, by a long shot.
We all like to think that since "our" PC works, so should yours. Funny, every person at work that has a dual core AMD has issues with instability. There is a difference between a patch to make something WORK, verses make it work BETTER. Games WORK without a patch, they work BETTER with one.

I have to ask, what do I need to do to make a single core Athlon work? NOTHING!

My OPINION that XP is still not, nor will ever be as stable as a single core app is not "misinformation". It is my opinion, and continues to be based on my PC. I do use my PC, and I know what it does, and with what. Hyperthread not working is not an "idea"? It doesn't work. So far, no amount of "correct" information has made it work on my PC.

I'm not sure YOU want to know the issues with this processor. It isn't a damning set of issues, but they are issues that make a PC not family friendly, that's for sure. Games can be made to "work" but not work as well as with a single proc. Quake 4, for instance. You don't have to look far to find the software issues, and they ARE NOT FIXED! The software fixes are NOT SUPPORTED by AMD or Microsoft, and have to be sleuthed of off the Internet. Does my OS auto-update install them? No, Does the CPU ship with patches? No. This isn't fixed software this is search and rescue. A lot of you like this, my wife and kids don’t.

The proc is great, but software just isn't sure what to do with it yet. If you can "disable" the proc to a single core until after a more stable dual core OS is out, that would be great. That way, you can dive in to the pool when you want to without hitting your head on the bottom.

Everybody here has their own set of issues with their PC. Not everybody is so awesome as to build things without problems. Are we to believe you’re so wonderful as to do so, or just lucky? Trust me, we all would like your luck, but better PC builders than I have had more than a few issues with hardware/software compatibility.

Enjoying drama is great for geeks, but the average user isn't a geek. They shouldn't be required to be one for prime time on dual core. It should be a transparent change, it isn't.

Just because someone doesn't want to ride out front and get bugs in their teeth isn't a deriding remark to those that do. You guys get things to where they work, and everyone appreciates it. But, you don't have the patience to see that my objective is to transition to a better PC that is more fully developed, and not spend my weekends searching the Internet for unsupported software patches. No mention of this CPU's problems were evident in the reviews. I dug a little deeper to find issues, and they are there. The fixes are too numerous to be considered a "fix". They are unrelenting "fixes". Sucking up to these issues doesn't make it as transparent as a single proc.

Oh I'll get a dual proc PC, just not now. And for those that are using them as early adopters, keep the pressure on. I appreciate it.

As for SLI? I ordered a second card today. The verdict seems good on SLI with supported software, drivers and hardware from Nvidia. Games that don’t support SLI ignore it. And, I can tell it to go away when I want to.
January 20, 2006 3:47:23 PM

Games benefit from dual core when any one of these factors apply...have more than one applying, benefits are greater!!!

Game is multi-threaded...
IE...
Call of Duty 2
City of Villains
F.E.A.R.
World of Warcraft
Age of Empires III
Black & White 2
Peter Jackson’s King Kong
The Movies
Battlefield 2
Battlefield 2: Special Forces
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3
Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland
Quake 4
Vangauard Saga of Heros

the list is ever growing also...

or

Video Card driver is multi-threaded... IE, ATI and nVidia...

or

Gamer is running background services while gaming... IE, Anti-Virus S/W, S/W firewalls, downloading torrents, etc...other core can handle these processes while devoting main core to gaming...


BTW, my first dual processor PC was a Dell Precision 550 workstation, dual P3 550mhz with 2gigs RAM running on WinNT 3.51 then ver 4.
No problems with that PC nor with my dual core Opteron now.
Get a single core if it makes you feel more secure and stable, I just happen to see it the other way. [/snickers at single core dude]
:lol: 
January 20, 2006 3:57:35 PM

rower30, it sounds like you've just really had some bad motherboards, or power supplies, or something. Because your experiences don't even remotely translate to the median (or would that be mode?) of the real world. With your HT problems, did you ever flash your BIOS? You are using Win XP, right? Something really doesn't add up there.

But more to the point, again, if you're so bloody well dead set against going with a dualcore proc right now, then why did you order one?
January 20, 2006 4:08:28 PM

Sorry but your shortcomings sound like user error and not the direct fault of hardware. Updates/patches/etc are part of BUILDING YOUR OWN, if you can't live with that, go buy a dell. Seriously. Since XP has been out I've run a P4 w/HT, single core A64, dual single core Opterons and now a dual core x2 4400. And I'm far from being alone, people don't have a problem running multiple cores with XP. I"ve also built numerous computers for friends and family over the past couple years with setups ranging from the above and not a single problem, all running XP Pro or Home. Anyone that's setup and run a multicore system properly (and this doesn't include a p4 w/HT) knows that computing in general is a lot more smooth and snappy with them.

Look around at any "workstation" class computer, whether home built or pre built. Guess what kinda hardware it's running? Multiple cores, whether it's a dualcore, dual dualcores or dual single cores. And guess what OS almost all of them run? I'll give you a hint, starts with Windows, has an XP in the middle and ends in Pro. Yep you guessed it.

You're right, these are your opinions. But would you agree that we generate our own opinions from our personal experiences? Because from your opinions I get the feeling you're not that experienced when it comes to computers, thus doesn't make your opinions that informative, more like blathering.

From what I've seen dualcores in most cases haven't been the issue, the issue has either been the "Cool&Quiet" function or people thinking they can just pop a dualcore chip in without reinstalling the OS or in the least, updating the BIOS. There is no reason why XP would have issues with dualcore chips as, as far as the OS is concerned a single dualcore chip is no different than a traditional dual cpu setup, which have no problems running Windows.

If you want your opinions and concerns to be taken seriously come with a more informative approach, not; "OMFG I can't get a dualcore chip to run so obviously no one can run multicores with XP!!! And XP wasn't made ro run multicores! THIS SUCKS!" Granted this isn't a direct quote from you, but it's the basic message I get from your posts.
January 20, 2006 4:57:03 PM

That's so strange! I have an X2 4800+ and have never run into a problem like that. I run Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, and Windows XP Professional x-64 edition.
January 20, 2006 7:11:31 PM

First, I've built PC's from the AMD 80 days. Second, it is indeed a hardware / software '"error" that disables multithread to run on my PC. That's exactly the point. It is UNIQUE to dual core. The PC functions FINE without it, so "multi-thread" IS NOT transparent.

Workstations AVOID THIS by limiting apps and hardware to USE MUTI CPU / DUAL CORE SPECIFICALLY, and the apps are approved to work with the hardware.

Why are the AMD X2 drivers and hot fixes out there if everything is fine? It isn't. All PC's are configured differently and as such, NOT ALL will have issues. I have three users on my PC, and only one will mess with Internet sluething to find and use unsupoported patches. I know PC's have issues, and I want the least common denominator of issues to deal with, not unsupported patches to go along with them.

"Anyone that's setup and run a multicore system properly (and this doesn't include a p4 w/HT) knows that computing in general is a lot more smooth and snappy with them." is fine when it works. I have no issue with that. No one had issues with 1970 American cars when they ran, either. Then they went japanese. Well, I want Japanese PC's not a dual core American one, figuratively speaking. Cars have issues, I want fewer issues.

For now, when we're "faster" with a dual core proc is wait and see. Two SLI video cards and a single 4000+ will outstrip a dual core 3800+ and single video card in games for about the same combined price. I don't care about desktop apps. The 2Gig of memory and a 4000+ is plenty able to handle that. When VPU's and CPU's both go dual core, and XP is patched to be more transparent, I'll be in line at that time.

To say all PC issues is "the user" is plain nonesense and I won't even bother to explain this silly gaff.
January 20, 2006 8:57:47 PM

Do you remember when Intel brought hyper threading to its CPU ? All the mess that this has created? Some apps would gain, but others would either slow down to a crawl or simply refuse to work. XP even had to be patched in some circumstances??? Sometime, disabling HT in BIOS would be the only fix. So.. apps has been patched, Intel didn't have to remove Ht from its processor, or people didnt hve to stop buying Intel.

The same thing is happening with dual core. So, do AMD and Intel should stop making dual core CPU? I don't think so. because they have a clear advantage over single core CPU in some apps. Sure, gaming right is not one of those, but, now, with nvidia and ATI starting to optimize their drivers for dual core, and some game developper too, maybe that in 6 month, even a 3800+X2 or a 830D would game faster than your 4000+? And then, what will you do?
January 21, 2006 1:09:23 PM

Pat, thanks for the sensible reply. I agree 100%. Here is what I think I'll do...

OK, here is the deal breaker, if I can permanently disable the X2 3800+ CPU in the device manager, and make it act like a single core CPU, I can live with it till the software is better able to manage the CPU. I’ll initially run it as a dual CPU and see what happens, and if it gets to be a pain, I’ll dumb it down and as a single 3800+, it should still be plenty fast, and still faster, than my current system’s 533MHz FSB 3.06GHz Intel CPU. If not, I will get an Athlon 4000+ and wait out the rough spot in software.

Can anyone with an AMD X2, any model will do, try this and report back? Disable the second CPU in your device manager and see if it works in applications that have issues? It would be great if someone has a game that is stuttering such as W.O.W or Quake 4. If the issue()s is/are resolved by disabling the second CPU in the device manager, I can make the PC family friendly when they use it, and make it a geek machine when I use it with a few simple mouse clicks in the device manager.

There is nothing wrong with AMD’s X2 CPU, it is the multi-thread ignorant software that spoils a small part of the party. But, if there is an easier work around than adding numerous patches until such time that the software eventually recognized dual core, I think it will be fine. The future is dual core.

I don’t think that I have any hardware that will be an issue. Any recommendations to look out for? I think that this system will run for a few years with little need for upgrades.

AMD 3800+ X2 with A64 Arctic Freezer 64 PRO cooler (real quiet)
ASUS A8N– SLI Premium
Two Gig Corsair PC3200 Value RAM (I don’t overclock)
Two SLI VGA 7800GT 256-P2-N517
BFG 600W Power Supply
WD2500KS SATA hard drive
CDRW/DVD Liteon SOHC-5236K
One 1.44MB floppy
XPSP2 Home
Cooler Master Praetorian PAC-T01-E1 Case.
January 21, 2006 5:40:20 PM

I have never played world of warcraft on this pc, however I have played Quake4 and it worked fine with both cores enabled. I have no idea what's going on with your PC, but most people don't seem to have these probelms.
January 21, 2006 6:06:13 PM

You are assuming that you'll have problem, but maybe you won't get any too. The microsoft fix for XP might be the only thing needed. And I think that even THG has develloped an app that allow better control of affinity, so may search the site and have a look.

What I suggest you do is built the computer, try it, and if you find dual core being much of a problem, tell me and I'll arrange something to buy you dual core and you'll get the single core you want ..
January 21, 2006 6:22:51 PM

The answer to this is simple. its the fact that you have XP HOME. Home is not designed to handle multipule processors, pure and simple. If you used XP Pro, your problems would all end.
January 21, 2006 6:28:21 PM

You need to chill out.
There are millions of dual core machines out there and you have evidently read some articles about the problems with dual core, how many articles have you read 50 or 100, this means that there might be >1% of the people who are using dual core are having problems. From the way you have presented yourself here I am sure you will be in that 1% group.

As others have said here they are using dual core with no problems, we are using over 22 machines with both intel and amd processors, and they are no less stable than a single core, and perfrom as good or better.
Your comments about XP not running dual core really shows your lack of knowledge on this. XP has supported dual processors, quad processors, hyperthreading, and now dual core. How many people are running opertons that don't use xp?
January 21, 2006 6:47:48 PM

Quote:
The answer to this is simple. its the fact that you have XP HOME. Home is not designed to handle multipule processors, pure and simple. If you used XP Pro, your problems would all end.


Humm are you sure. I've heard that XPhome could run dual core but not dual cpu system. I never bothered to search for that too ..
January 21, 2006 7:06:38 PM

Quote:
The answer to this is simple. its the fact that you have XP HOME. Home is not designed to handle multiple processors, pure and simple. If you used XP Pro, your problems would all end.
Actually no, XP Home is restricted by licensing. It can support any number of cores as long as they are contained in one socket. P4 w/HT cpus have no problem with XP Home (my parent's machine is this exact setup). Before dualcores were released there was some big hoopla regarding what XP Pro and Home would support, I believe MS restructured their license for sockets.

Quote:
Workstations AVOID THIS by limiting apps and hardware to USE MUTI CPU / DUAL CORE SPECIFICALLY, and the apps are approved to work with the hardware.
Would you mind pointing me to some of this hardware and software that's not approved to be used in a dual cpu/multicore environment? I've never heard such a thing. The only thing I can recall that ever had a problem running in a multiprocessor environment was Creative Labs products. Their drivers for some reason would cause random crashes all the time. Though this was about 4-5 years ago, I believe they have everything sorted now. Sure I do believe there might be some software/games that have issues running on a multicore system (which would include traditional dual cpu systems) but that's hardly the fault of the OS or hardware manufacturer. It's the people that made the software/game. Look at q4 for example, 2 patches now supposedly supporting mutlicore systems. People running both dualcore chips and traditional dual cpu machines report this patch does next to nothing. I don't see it as a hardware fault. There is plenty of software out and has been that takes advantage of mulitple cores.
Quote:
To say all PC issues is "the user" is plain nonesense and I won't even bother to explain this silly gaff.
Strange I don't think I said all PC issues are user error, I said was from your posts I get the feeling that in this case it is though.
Quote:
Second, it is indeed a hardware / software '"error" that disables multithread to run on my PC.
What error is this? Do you have a link? I don't know of anything that will shut off one of the cores. If you mean that both cores aren't always being used, well that's just the nature of the beast. If that's the case you should reevaluate why you need a dualcore system then. It's the same thing that applies to traditional dual cpu machines, not everyone needs them.
Quote:
It is UNIQUE to dual core. The PC functions FINE without it, so "multi-thread" IS NOT transparent.
It's strange because XP is using the exact same HAL for dualcores as it does for traditional dual cpu systems, this is not the same? I'm pretty sure if dualcore had to be treated differently by the OS, MS would had to of released a whole new Service Pack to be compatible with dualcores. As you can see, this isn't the case.

And for the record I have an x2 4400+ with XP Pro. Never installed one patch regarding dualcores, either from AMD or MS. No problems. I've played q4, d3, HL2, q3 and use a couple different Adobe apps daily.
January 21, 2006 8:14:41 PM

Haro,

Try the dual core Opteron (939) if the X2 doesn't quite live up to its benefits.

Opteron's wether single core or dual core can OC better, runs cooler, lwoer wattage, and comes in 1mb cache. They cost more than 4000+ or the X2 3800, but you are getting FX-calibur quality for less than FX.
January 21, 2006 10:15:16 PM

I don't think XP Home is limited to single core, or any worse than XP pro with dual core CPU's. Pro has a multitude of LAN and security tools that XP home doesn't have, or really need. I run a 4 PC LAN on a simple HUB just fine.

"It includes all the great features and new visual design of Windows XP Home Edition, plus premier security and privacy features, advanced recovery options, improved ability to connect to large networks, and much more."

And, the Dave Letterman edition at;
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/evaluation/whyup...
January 21, 2006 10:43:42 PM

The original NT OS was designed and limited to certain approved software and drivers to avoid compatability issues with hardware. It was a pain, but it did avoid stability issues on servers, workstations, ETC. Oh it would run unapproved software, but it wouldn't be guaranteed to be fully compatible. This isn't saying it actually has anything to do with "dual core" per say, but the total included "system" of hardware and software. By default, this includes dual core. XP came from NT, so it had the dual core layer from the beginning. But, when you use unapproved drivers and software for home PC's in any manner of configurations, conflicts will arrise. Our IS depatment forbid anything that wasn't fully Microsoft NT approved on our systems, and they still don't.

There is obviously software needed to fully exploit dual core. Reportedly, to write dual core enabled software is more difficult, and the programs are bigger. This is the supposed reason why critical mass by software developers are a bit behind (pun untended).

"What error is this? Do you have a link? I don't know of anything that will shut off one of the cores." - I never said it shut anything on or off, it locks up the system with Hyperthreading enabled. Fine without it. If you disable Hyperthread in the BIOS, it effectively shuts off the second thread. I'd like to know if a method exists for the AMD X2 CPU's.

Micrsoft and AMD are releasing service packs to improve muti core CPU's. The X2 driver and the hotfix are indeed software intended to resolve software related conflicts. They exist, and are being addressed. Just because the hardware applications layer is the same is the REASON there are conflicts. It doesn't include some current hardware to software driver conflicts. Besides, XP came from NT, and the HAL has ALWAYS been dual core as a result. But, NT was stable ONLY with NT approved hardware drivers and software. XP users stick anything in there. Me included. What I stuck in there that kills hyperthread in Explorer and Outlok express...I don't know.

There will be a service pack that replaces the "hotfix" as soon as Microsoft feels that it fully addresses all of the known issues, and not just the few they could address as quickly as possible.
January 21, 2006 11:01:14 PM

Chill out? Isn't that what Chevy said before everyone went Japanese in the early 1980's? We got no stinking problems. Seriously, I'm fine...and I'd be finer, but not chilly in Hawaii!

No one wants, or should, build a PC blind. Getting the right stuff is all too obvious to address in print, but harder in practice. If I can avoid issues up front, I will. I'm not so sure why I'd need to chill out for that. As gruff as a lot of you are here, you do know a lot more than any one person does at a time.

I appreciate all you comments, and yes, the users are small in number who has problems. My question was simple, If I am one of those few, what has been done to address the problem(s), and did it work? Why is that so terrible?

News group members can use me to impress their friends all they want with insults add nausea. That's fine. I can scrub it for information just the same. And, some of the stuff at least adds some color to sometimes boring stuff.
January 21, 2006 11:10:35 PM

Pat,

The hardware is ordered. I'll give dual core a shot, and hope for the best. I have a question in to AMD if one proc can be disabled like hyperhthread. This way, I can just set it to single proc if it gets in other people's way.

So far still no takers on the second CPU device manager disabling? Come on you guys...insult me all you want but I need information!!
January 22, 2006 12:18:33 AM

Hello you all!

I took the time to go through all this 'maddening conversation' and - really - i think you already got the answer, here.

Anyway, this is my 'nobody-asked-you' opinion:

a. Deny this: Definitely, there's no issue with WinXP SP2, regarding [any kind of] multiprocessing;

b. Deny this: Actually, [any kind of] multiprocessing might be overkill for non-multithreaded games/applications; however, there's a very compelling advantage in a dual core set-up: simultaneous multitasking. And, it's certainly a secure bet, in the short term;

c. Deny this: Every hardware manufacturer/software programmer, is willing their products to be successful and to follow the actual [technological] trends... and, one of those, is multiprocessing. "Issues" always arise; that's for sure.

Hope this kind of reasoning helps. The conclusion shall be yours, of course.

Cheers!
January 22, 2006 2:18:13 AM

[/quote]Can anyone with an AMD X2, any model will do, try this and report back? Disable the second CPU in your device manager and see if it works in applications that have issues?
Quote:


I'd love to try and do that... but everything works fine. LOL. And I use a lot of different crap.

BTW, dunno if this was discussed or not- but ur gonna need to upgrade to WinXP Pro if u wanna use dual core. WinXP Home doesn't support more than 1 CPU.

-mpjesse
January 22, 2006 2:20:06 AM

No. Really. WinXP Home doesn't support dual or multiple CPU's.

Google it.

EDIT: take a look at this well respected website. http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_home_pro...

It's older, but they compare differences between Home and Pro.

Quote:
Pro features that aren't in Home Edition
The following features are not present in Windows XP Home Edition.

Multi-processor support - Windows XP Pro supports up to two microprocessors, while Home Edition supports only one.



-mpjesse
January 22, 2006 2:28:51 AM

I have 650GB of drive space, and programs loaded up the yen yang on my Opteron 175 system. Absolutely every program I run, lots of freeware, AutoCAD Land Development, Games, ecetera all run problem free and fast.
I never have to disable a core or even set processor affinity to run something.
Which programs are you hung up on, I will download it and run it too just fine...been doing dual chips since 1997, and it worked fine in NT4, 2000Pro and now on XPpro...
January 22, 2006 2:52:28 AM

Home only has a single processor support, Pro has upto 2 and then you will need to go to Windows Server after that. The next question will be, can Vista support more than 2 processors? With the manufacturers making dual cores, then quad cores and XP Pro not supporting more than 2, I hope that Vista will be able to handle quad cores when they come out in the next few years......
January 22, 2006 4:23:16 AM

World of Warcraft does not stutter on my machine, nor have I had even the slightest problem at all with my Opteron 165. The problems you claim that are so commonplace, well, I haven't experienced them at all. Not a single one. Is it my luck? Nah, can't be that, I've built entirely too many machines that haven't exhibited these problems to call it luck. My GF (who is not a PC geek by any stretch of the imagination) loves her new X2 4400. On her machine I simply took out her A64 3500+ and dropped the X2 in.....no patches, no problems, nothing but excellent multitasking (which is something the single core AMD 64's have a problem with). I personally don't care whether you buy a dual core, single core, or whatever, but if you are afraid of all these supposed problems you haven't even experienced, why are you even posting here about it? It seems, since you are so sure they are problematic, why not just order the 4000+ and be done with it? You asked for opinions, well, my opinion is that regardless of what your friends at work tell you, an AMD dual core proc is simply a better-performing drop-in replacement for a single core.
January 22, 2006 6:44:14 AM

Quote:
Okay, first off, if you're so damned paranoid, and (think that you) know so much, then why did you order it in the first place?

Fully agreed...
January 22, 2006 9:16:53 AM

For anyone else, go to MS's site and in the search field at the top type in "dual core". You'll get plenty of info and documents on where MS stands as far as licensing and what they consider a "processor". They consider a processor and cores as two different things. Home supports 1 processor, which can include n-cores. Pro supports up to 2 processors, again which include n-cores.
If you also pay attention to numerous docs they have regarding dualcore chips, you'll see XP Home listed as one of the effected OSes, that should tell you something. I know plenty of people running dual dualcore Opterons with plain old XP Pro w/SP2 just fine. If MS didn't allow multiple cores per socket in their license, they would have 2 very angry cpu manufacturers to deal with, I don't think that would be good business.
January 22, 2006 9:42:28 AM

I honestly think the real problem is one of the below:

- Has power supply unit problems making all these X2's unstable when their 2nd core is active and at load.

- Lacks the correct BIOS on the mainboards.

- Has (a large batch of ?) faulty and / or misconfigured hardware.

- Has installed the incorrect (or non at all) chipset drivers for these X2 systems. eg: nForce4 chipset drivers, or SiS drivers, or Via, etc. Even single core systems required drivers for their various chipsets but where less likely to have issues if a clueless person just installed Windows & Video drivers and assumed it would work. (and to some degree it would, but this is an area I would look at).

- Might have a undetected virus infection / similar issue causing the problems.

- Is incapable of isolating faults. Nothing specific was mentioned above only "it has issues" and "single core is more stable".... both of which are very vague, the second statement is totally false. (unless the machines are massively misconfigured or the office lacks enough juice to power all the 'new' PCs, etc).


FACTS:

The Windows NT 5.1 kernel supports up to 32 processors mate. Windows XP is based on this very kernel.

You do not need to set affinity to get something to work, playing with affinity is a damn good way to fuck 'some' software over. The Operating System (be it Windows, Linux, MacOS X, BSD, Unix / Solaris, etc) will manage the affinity and task scheduling of running processes for you.

The problems you are describing sound more like a home PC, Quake, other games, etc would not be used in an office environment. MSIE and Outlook work fine on a correctly configured PC (I am running them both now on a Opteron 270 - 4 core system without issues.)

Windows XP Home limits it to 1 CPU socket / 2 cores, Pro/x64 limits it to 2 CPUs / 4 cores. If you need support for more than 4 CPU cores (which it sounds like you don't) then move to Windows 2003 Server versions.

I suggest calming the hell down, and doing a little more reading on the subjects above. Shouldn't take anymore than 24 hours to solve, or at least find the cause of the issues.
January 22, 2006 9:52:51 AM

Quote:


I'd like to know if a method exists for the AMD X2 CPU's...



OK, one of your problems is you do not disable CPUs, cores, virtual CPUs (HyperThreading or otherwise) using Device Manager, you just are not meant to do this. That is how it is. This is how Microsoft and 90%+ of users want it.

If BIOS is annoying you (and depends on BIOS, some will let you disable Dual-Core and/or HyperThreading, other BIOS on another mainboard won't, As you didn't specify what hardware your are running all the help above hasn't been so.... helpful, we can only make educated guesses)...

So you want to disable a CPU / core / X2 / HT, etc right, even if the BIOS does not support it, and have "certain applications" "just work" right ?

OK, try this:

Run MSCONFIG. (via, Start, Run, MSCONFIG, OK).

Go to the BOOT.INI tab, and click ADVANCED OPTIONS.

From there you can limit the number of processor cores the Windows OS can use (virtual or otherwise, eg: HyperThreading) then just reboot the system.

This is better than the BIOS method, as it can be done via a software release to work PCs (since you are so paranoid and it can be replicated to 1000's of PCs in minutes) and then just release to each machine via your software distribution system if at a workplace - (You do have one right ?).

You can search for each /<function> seen in MSCONFIG (and find even more) on the http://www.microsoft.com website for more information on each one. Heck you can even limit the memory if certain drivers are having issues with a high memory ceiling* - Also documented on MS website, unlikely an issue if the PCs do not have above 3 GB RAM.

The beauty of the above method is, if you truly need single core (vs affinty), then you can just do the above, then when all the issues are sorted put out a release to the "work PCs you mentioned" that enables the 2nd (or all) cores on the workstations.

Contact Info available from: http://users.on.net/~darkpeace


I find most PC issues (over 90%) are either:

- Dodgy designed software. (Doesn't follow the OS guidelines, lacked design forsight, etc).

- User based / Lack of training. (eg: Failing to be trained, knowledge isn't sinking in, etc).

- Management based. (eg: One poor decision, or poorly worded memo, etc from management, can reverse years of work within 24 hours). This usually occurs for managers that lack IT experience, which is quite common as the concept of management predates the concept of computing.

Make of my above posts as you will, hopefully something helpful for you in there.
January 22, 2006 10:06:20 AM

Quote:

The CPU affinity isn't a fix because you have to reset the proc affiinity after every boot on a lot of apps. Some seem to keep their affinity. That's garbage main stream computing in my book. I used to use hyperthreading except it didn't work with IE6 or outlook Express.


Exactly what problems are you getting with HyperThreading enabled using MSIE 6 and Outlook (Express) ? (and other apps ?).

It sure helps being prepared with the exact error messages and/or associated problems with full descriptions on how to recreate the problem.

If CPU affinity is being a pain for you (no idea why, likely paranoid affinity setting) just download TomsHardware good old CPU affinity program, you set affinity once for an application, and it remembers it. It has only been around well.... over 12 months, quite likely more.

Not as old as the Abit BP6 mainboard (Dual CPU Celeron/MMX core, years old now), but budget users have been using dual CPUs/cores for years, and yet only you seam to have "all these undocumented problems". (eg: what exactly happens when using MSIE / Outlook on your P4 systems with HT enabled ?).

Plenty of people here who are ready and willing to help, but we need information first, not just "it doesn't work rants" or "speculation that it wont work before even trying".
January 22, 2006 11:57:31 AM

I play WOW rower30 and it doesnt stutter on my x2. Anyway if you don't feel comfortable with an x2 get a single core amd 64 3800 or 4000 it's still gonna be a good system.
a b à CPUs
January 22, 2006 1:59:08 PM

"I doubt that XP will be made to run dual core, "

Ooops...It has been since it's inception...., as has Windows 2000, and Windows NT 4.0....; this is not Wndows 98.
a b à CPUs
January 22, 2006 2:04:09 PM

"WinXP Home doesn't support dual or multiple CPU's."

It supports a single "physical" processor socket/slot, but multiple cores.
January 22, 2006 3:56:40 PM

OK XP home doesn't treat dual cores and hyper-threading the same way that xp pro does. If you look at hardware manager, it will only show a single core. Now due to the functioning of the hyperthreading and the dualcores, it will run a single program on a single core, but its not as fast becuase the programing inside windows xp home doesn't allow the spliting of the threads. In windows xp pro and server, it can actually split the threads of a single program before it hits the processors, making it that much faster by pushing one half a program on each side. I'm not saying Home can't use the hyperthreading or dualcores, it just will not use the dual core to its full potential, and or may bring out bugs in progams running on home.
January 23, 2006 12:38:46 PM

You also have to look when HT and dual cores came out. HT started in 2002, but windows xp came out in 2001, and dual cores last year. Here is the problem, in XP pro with HT enabled, it shows 2 seperate cpu's in the task manager, even though only one is present, and the same goes with 2 cores also. So I believe that since we didn't have these technologies when XP came out, the OS believes that their are physically two seperate CPU's inside the machine and so XP home would not use the second core. Just my thoughts on the matter.

EDIT: since posting this I have done some reading and it looks like you need SP2 for dual cores to work on XP home.
January 23, 2006 4:17:30 PM

When HT first came out, there was a patch needed for WinXP. (I don't think M$ ever even released it for Win2K.) This patch wasn't even needed to make XP run with HT because XP can handle two procs. It was needed because HT is technically one processor pretending to be two and XP wasn't treating a HT proc any different from two procs. So the patch improved XP's scheduling on a HT processor (because it's not two actual procs, there are some better ways to distribute tasks for it than just an equal split), to use the HALT command to help prevent HT procs from sitting around doing nothing when idle, and to use the YIELD command to avoid spinlock contention. Oh, and the patch convinced XP (home and pro) that HT procs were only one proc for licensing use. (Because XP Home specifically wouldn't let it run with HT until it thought of it as only one proc for licensing.) And thus HT worked on WinXP just peachy keen ever since.

Likewise, XP probably needs the new dualcore patch to convince XP that a dualcore proc is still only one proc for licensing. (Though maybe not. Handling multiple logical procs in one physical proc might have all been worked out with the HT patch.)

But still, these things are worked out now. To the Windows scheduler (and to any software apps running) dualcore is no different than two individual CPUs, and that's worked fine in Windows since, what, NT3? So any problems that exist with dualcore are the fault of 3rd party software developers, such as drivers, or apps. There's nothing there to fix in Windows anymore. (At least as far as I know.) And any such problems existing in 3rd party software would exhibit themselves the same on a two-CPU system, a HT-CPU, or a dualcore-CPU.

Are there some softwares that have problems with multiple logical or physical CPUs? Sure. Usually the problems arise when the software developers code specifically at a very low level to use CPU0 but the scheduler throws a task onto CPU1, and suddenly parts of the code are trying to access the wrong processor. My company has struggled with some drivers that were written in Assembly code to do that. But these kinds of problems are extremely rare, as almost no one codes on such a low level anymore. And simply setting the affinity to CPU0 will solve the problem. Patches that remove this kind of bad coding also fix the problem. But because these problems are in the 3rd party software, they have to be fixed in the 3rd party software. There's no global fix that M$ can provide to fix people's bad code. (Which was pretty well proven when M$ fixed the memory scheduler in the NT5 kernel to reuse freed memory before using new memory memory, thereby causing all sorts of hell with programs that were coded badly to free a memory location but keep on using it anyway.)
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