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L3 cache and multitasking

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August 5, 2012 11:07:42 PM

I'm trying to figure out the impact of L3 cache size for a personal laptop, one that I'll use for software development and lots of other work. I usually multitask a lot -- for example a database server, Photoshop, a scripting language, and 50-60 tabs at once, plus maybe other programs. The tabs in Chrome are actually the biggest drain.

I know a bigger L3 cache can be helpful for heavy duty programs, but none of the programs I run is super heavy duty like video editing or compiling a lot of source. There's just a lot of smallish threads going, especially from all the tabs.

I'm trying to figure out if a higher L3 cache would help with this multitasking. I do a lot of work on my computer so performance is important, but I also don't want to get ripped off.

In this particular case I'm comparing the 2.6GHz i7 (6MB L3 cache) and the 2.7GHz i7 (8MB L3 cache) in the new Macbook Pros, so the difference is modest. The price difference is $250 so I won't do it unless it's likely to help a lot.

More about : cache multitasking

August 6, 2012 12:04:16 AM

When you use tab a lot to travel thourgh applications not even 8 Gbytes ram can help you the CPU is starting to use the swap file on the disk to free some ram.

The l3 cache is fulled easilly with this IO activity and you can see the system cache ram dissapears fast. Try a full windows defender scan to see it or norton 360 scan whille viewing the memory activity in the the task manager to see it happening.

Sugestion speed up dramaticaly your hard disk using 2 ssd's in raid 0, satta iii ports 6 Gbit/sec is possbile to get close to 1 GBytes/sec speed it helps to bypass all the lagging problems.
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August 6, 2012 12:04:55 PM

The L3 isn't going to make a huge difference one way or the other. Much less 2MB of it.
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August 6, 2012 10:40:42 PM

the larger L3 cache will slow you down as it will need to be swapped out often and it would take, i dunno, 0.1nanosecond longer to fill the extra 2mb's.

ie - I doubt it would ever be noticable on a user level.

Giatrakis - he is refering to the integrated L3 cache of the processor, not the system cache you are describing. I dont mean to call you out I just dont want anyone thinking they can monitor the processors various caches from task manager.
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