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CPU Speed for a single task.

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November 11, 2012 8:50:13 PM

I am wondering what would you look for in a processor if you want it to accomplish a simple task as fast as possible. A lot of what I see has to deal with how fast the processor can handle a large amount of data in as short amount of time as possible.

I have tried to find information on what to look for but I have not come up with much.

More about : cpu speed single task

November 11, 2012 9:16:14 PM

Simple tasks*(What tasks? Excel?hello world?Calculating the 10000 digit of Pi?) get done quickly on any CPU so comparing them would not give any meaningfull data. A good rule of thumb, a good CPU for large task is a good CPU for small task.
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November 11, 2012 9:29:47 PM

I have some simple code running in C+. It ranges from about 100KB to 3MB in file size with several of them running at once. I am currently running it on Dells R620 with Intel's E5-2690 X2 with 4GB RDIMM, 1600 MHz X8.

I'm specifically looking at the E7-4870 in comparison.
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November 11, 2012 9:57:30 PM

The clock speed of the processor is the main factor in running a single process. Unless you are limited by budget you would just pick the latest series of intel processor with the fastest turbo speed.

Earlier in the history of multi core processors there were more decisions to be made. You could buy a dual core processor with a high clock speed, or a quad core processor with less clock speed. Depending on your apps and your use you had to decide which was best for you. If you wanted the fastest execution of a single task you probably were better off with the dual core processor with the fastest clock speed. More recent generations of the intel core processors have gotten away from this because they tend to make all of the fastest ones with at least 4 cores. My own computers are a Q9400 quad core at home at 3.4GHz and an E8500 dual core at work at 3.8GHz. Newer generations of intel processors can overclock to 4.5GHz or more, plus the processors are more efficient internally. The latest intel processors, if running at the same clock speed as my older processors, would still be around 30% faster, but they are capable of clock speeds at least 20% higher. A newer intel processor that isn't overclocked is still a pretty good deal for a single task because with just a single task it can probably run at its maximum turbo speed.

If your budget is tight you can get intel i3 dual core processors that don't overclock but will still run a single thread pretty fast.

The ram size and speed has very little affect on the speed of your program. Ram speed can have a small affect on the program speed but cpu clock speed is still much more important.
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November 11, 2012 10:09:29 PM

I am sensing the stench of a troll. Question! How can you afford 10000$++ Server and ask stupid questions?

What does mister simple code do? Increase a single counter until it overflows? Sorts a 2 item list? Multiplies 2 matrices made of random numbers? Simulates the birth of the universe? Parses HTML that it gets from the net? You are not giving us enough info.
What instructions does it use? AVX? Streaming extensions? Simple integer cores with no optimisations?
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November 11, 2012 10:25:46 PM

Cadder - That was exactly what I was looking for.

braincruser - I am not being specific because I prefer not to mention the industry I am working in. The reason I am not very knowledgeable in this area is because I outsource most of my IT needs.
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November 11, 2012 10:29:35 PM

FroggerMan said:
I have some simple code running in C+. It ranges from about 100KB to 3MB in file size with several of them running at once. I am currently running it on Dells R620 with Intel's E5-2690 X2 with 4GB RDIMM, 1600 MHz X8.

I'm specifically looking at the E7-4870 in comparison.


Well if dual 8 core SB-E Xeon's isn't doing it for you then I don't know what will! Good luck!
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November 11, 2012 10:41:19 PM

braincruser said:
A good rule of thumb, a good CPU for large task is a good CPU for small task.

Not necessarily.

Some server-oriented chips ditch the complex instruction decoders, schedulers and reservation circuitry to favor simultaneous multi-threading instead. This allows them to reach higher throughput per watt on massively multi-threaded server applications but also means they fare miserably in single-threaded code.
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November 11, 2012 10:43:30 PM

The application that I am running is multi-threaded.
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November 12, 2012 10:53:10 AM

If its that simple program with little data and arithmetic heavy, Have you tried GPGPU? For simulations and other embarasingly paralel tasks, GPGPU can bring 5-10X speedups easily against an equivalent CPU. Sometimes up to 50X for something that suits them well. Though they are known to be pain in the ass to program, despite current improvements.
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November 12, 2012 11:05:44 AM

Best answer selected by FroggerMan.
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