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The effects of CPU cached memory

Last response: in CPUs
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August 11, 2004 8:09:32 PM

I'am attempting to learn more of the features of the various CPU's and their effect in real world applications and to help me unravel the relevance of certain chips when used in benchmarks etc.
One of the main things i read about during benchmark set ups without really understanding a lot about it is the onboard cache size of the various chips.Both L1 and L2 and what they set out to achieve and the importance of an on die memory controller.
When reading up on game,Cpu and Mobo benches i hear things like - "this game likes cache" - "clock speed is irrelevant" - "increased cache memory" etc.
I know a quick google search would throw up a whole list of sites explaining this but i's just like to hear from people in the know who take into account these features when making choices about what chips to buy.
Any replies or links to reading material that you would consider a worthy read for someone wishing to learn more about this would be greatly appreciated..
August 11, 2004 10:31:52 PM

Here is an excellent link for you:
<A HREF="http://www.systemlogic.net/articles/00/10/cache/print.p..." target="_new">http://www.systemlogic.net/articles/00/10/cache/print.p...;/A>

The article might be slightly old but the ideas/principles are just as true nevertheless.

BTW, its good to want to learn, but there are no simple rules like "cache beats clockspeed" or "cache is better than memory bandwith". Its all tradeoffs, and every cpu and every program behaves differently. No matter how much you know about this, purchasing should still be done based on benchmarks of the apps you care about. Not simplified blanket statements about cache, clock or whatever.

CPU designers at Intel or AMD could probably make better educated guesses as you and me on performance implications of certain cache configurations, but even those people have to rely on performance simulations and actual benchmarks to see what works best, and they usually come to different conclusion/solutions even, so don't expect to be able to do better than them on just a few quick specs :) 

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
August 12, 2004 12:33:20 AM

Thanks very much for your time and suggested thread.I will read this straight after posting.
I know reading up on the subject will not make me an expert and i dont devalue the use of benchmarks in helping to make a choice regarding new chips/mobo's but i just want to get away from buying on the results of benchmarks that i dont fully understand.
At the moment i find my buying choices are akin to choosing the best looking numbers on a graph without really knowing what the x+y axis represent.
I will take your post advice onboard and have a thorough read through your supplied link.Many thanks again P4man,Its greatly appreciated....
August 12, 2004 11:27:00 AM

I have read through the page you suggested on your post.Excellent stuff really...
It will take a few re reads for it all to sink in but i already know 10 times more than i did....Thx again...
!