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P4 single cpu vs dual cpu: multitasking

  • CPUs
  • Multitasking
Last response: in CPUs
June 23, 2003 4:07:19 PM

I do some relatively heavy computations on my current computer (AMD 1800+) and most of the time it is under full load for 12-24 hrs straight. I have 1 GB of RAM, but most of the computations aren't RAM hogs. My current system is very responsive even under full load. I surf the net, burn CDs, etc, while under full load with no problem.

I am starting a new job and I have about $6000 to buy a new box. I am going to go Intel bc right now they have the upper hand. So I need to choose btw single 3.2 or dual 3.06.

My question is to those that have a dual P4 Xeon or a P4 "c". I have heard that a single P4 isn't that good at multitasking under full load (I don't know if this is true. Maybe the person didn't have a HT processor). I want a setup that will allow me to run these computations, but still be responsive. I know I wouldn't have a problem if I went with dual 3.06, but how good is 3.2 "c" and multitasking under full load? Is is very resposive or does it bog down when you try to do other tasks?

Thanks for the input. It is greatly appreciated.

More about : single cpu dual cpu multitasking

June 23, 2003 5:55:17 PM

If your heaviest tasks are burning CD's and surfing the net, save your money and keep the current box, it is more then beefy enough to handle what you are doing. If you are running heavy apps, even if you only run one at a time, a dual chip box will be better.

With Windows you are always multitasking. When you are running any app, windows is still running and using resources, so if you run a heavy app one CPU can handle the app and the other one can be set to handle the windows overhead and I/O load.

A slower clocked dual chipped box will serve you better then a speedy one chip box. I even still have a production PIII 1Gig dual box that can easily do the tasks you described. (It is currently a SQL Server)
June 23, 2003 6:25:49 PM

My heavy task(s) are MATLAB computations on large (2048*2048*10) 3-D matrices and interative procedures in S-Plus. My secondary tasks are running LaTeX, SAS, surfing, etc.

I will go with the dual 3.06. I figured that was what everyone would tell me anyway :) 
I just didn't know if the P4 "c" with HT was so good at multitasking (which I know is always going on in windows) that it would be a cheaper alternative to dual CPUs.
June 23, 2003 6:29:43 PM

matlab pwns - what do you do for work that requires these huge matrices?

"Don't question it!!!" - Err
June 23, 2003 6:36:38 PM

I am an assistant professor in statistics, so I need that for my research. My areas are wavelets, time-frequency analysis (this is where is use the 3-D matrices), and bioinformatics. The data matrices are as large as 33000x30 in some of my bioinformatics work.
June 23, 2003 6:45:29 PM

sounds a bit over my head - I'm a math major but have taken very little statistics. I talked to some people that work for the company that makes matlab a while ago and the effort continues to make calculations on large matrices more efficient. I was specifically talking to someone about sparsly populated matrices and making operations on them more efficient. I've done a bit of numerical analysis and it seems pretty complicated. Maybe in some newer versions of matlab things will run quicker on your new machine - Good luck with your dual cpu system, I'm sure it will rock.

"Don't question it!!!" - Err