The latest buzz in the processor industry is about dual core processors. AMD may be the first to take the limelight with their announcement of dual core AMD Opteron processors set to launch in mid-2005 but Intel and IBM are cueing up their dual core processors as well. ...
Dual core AMD (or Intel, for that matter - smithfield in particular) processors will not be nearly as revolutionary as some might think. Firstly, it will carry the FX price tag, which is, after all, some $800-850. Secondly, it'll probably run at slightly lower frequencies than the single-core varieties. Thirdly, Toledo (AMD's dual-core) will have one shared memory controller, like Intel's solution. Lastly, compare the two rigs:
Hypothetical dual-core Toledo @ 2Ghz-2.2Ghz (?)
Socket 939-mobo to go with it
Two Opteron 244s: 305x2=$610
Dual socket 940 mobo to go with it: $~200?
In what do these configurations differ? Would the CPU integration on a die be so much better to interprocessor arbitration and communication as to even out the negative side effects of having a shared memory controller?
Add to that that only very few applications will truly benefit as of now, and dual-core is more interesting to servers and workstations.
It's also interesting in the mobile field - the thought of enabling/disabling the second core gives a lot of flexibility.
But it's not that much of an "overkill" like some people think it is for the desktop. <i>Not at launch</i>, anyway... Of course, enter 2006/2007, multithreaded apps should be able to reap more benefits, even for the desktop.
SMP will eventually become incorporated into all software, and a number of processors instead of gigahertz number will be the measurement... very generalizing, but it seems the way it is going.. more GIMME! think quad-quad-core cluster setup
You're right, but that's still a very, very long way off! That won't happen overnight and that most certainly won't be the case in a year from now. It will be the case some 2-3 years from now, maybe. Within the next 5 years, to be sure...
Programmers are lazy. Multithreading requires a lot of effort. You do the math. Benefits will appear only very, very gradually...
I agree with you, but wouldn't that also leave a us with a "performance vacuum" since the actual software support lacks? I love the idea of multi cpu-dies.. I am sure the "GIMME" pictures would make remarkable marketing material
Absolutely. After all, hey, the single-threaded market hasn't seen that big performance increases overall at all, if you compare to previous times? Will single-threaded performance actually stall? I don't think so, but if you think dual-core too hard, it might...
...as an example, I've got a dual P3 933Mhz, but I sometimes wish I had a single, faster processor with better overall features, i.e. better memory system, and so on.... It wasn't worth the added cash. Less than, say, one in ten of all programs (and that's being optimistic) I ever used were actually aware that 2 CPUs were in play... If I had executed the other 9 of 10 faster, I wouldn't mind going a little slower through the multi-cpu-aware programs.....
And that brings another very important issue: an US$800-850 CPU that is dual core will probably not change anything by a big amount. But the moment there is a dual-core CPU for like US$200-300, and each core <i>isn't</i> at 1Ghz, <i>then</i> you can count me in!
Hey now, programmers aren't lazy , usually it's the project managers who make you aim for the lowest common denominator/buzzword compliance. When dual core becomes the latest buzzword to be compliant with, then the project managers will direct development accordingly. Half of them won't have any idea what dualcore is, but they'll demand support for it nonetheless.
<i>Dual Opteron 248s, 5900nu, 4gig ram, dual 36gb raptor, 80gb hd, 550w Enermax, Suse64 9.1, and a bunch of other crap.</i>
I remember reading an article about multi-core future and it mentioned something about the ability to simultaneously run multiple operating systems on a single computer. Edit: <A HREF="http://www.crmbuyer.com/story/Intel-Chief-Outlines-Mult..." target="_new">Here it is</A> if it would be an attractive feature to someone.
I like the directx idea, but lets take it another step. Amd, or intel could set up some form of simd extensions, that could be coded for, and divide the workload between say AI and physics , or something like that. Then, directx could make use of it, and even in games that were not optimized, directx could still do some setup, much like directx 6 and 3Dnow.