Question: How much of an advantage is it to have dual processors? I'm thinking of buying a dual processor board and putting some P3 933mhz CPU's on a dual 370 board. I know you have to use Linux or WinNT/2000 for the CPU's to work- but is there a big performance increase compared to 1 processor? Anyone out there run dual processors on NT/2000?
The only true performace you will gain is when you are running multiple applications simultaniously. you may see a minor porformance gain on certain applications, but you probably wont notice any real difference. I would say that rendering may have a boost as well but a single t-bird can out rinder any PIII, even at a lower clock. I have been working with the new win2k at work now for the past few months and I cannot recommed this operating system. several anonamoulus bugs that can be anoying may include when your looking at your network drives they all show up as disconected yet when clicking on them they open right up. little things like this just anoy me when a large company such as MS doesn't polish ther products. But then again why should MS care much, its not like they will "recall the product" they will just turn out another buggy patch just when everyone who was duked into buying their junk is about to go with another companys product, just to keep them baited. Most duel proccessor systems were designed for high trafic servers I/O intensive rather than most home PC which are usualy geared for perfomance graphics(my personal opinion). Not sure what purpose you have planed for it but either way you go you should keep in mind which applications you use and make sure the OS your going to end up with, supports them.
<font color=green>I have a friend who has a BP6 with 2 cel-500's on it. The biggest difference I saw was that it loaded starcraft about twice as fast as my P3-600e did. Also, quake3 is supposed to utilize SMP, so you supposedly would get better performance when there's a lot of explosions, such as when playing the "excessive" mod...
Thanks for the info. I'm REALLY big into multitasking and games- esp. games. It's not uncommon for me to be running 7 or 8 programs at any given time. Plus i've got antivirus software that runs all the time and a firewall. It's a bit of a load for my Athlon 1Ghz. I've got 256 megs of RAM... still slows down a lot. So, do you think i should go Dual?
PS, i'm also running WinME
Well hrmmm sounds like you definatly have too much going on for one processor to handle. Other posibility would be to build a lower end server(133-500 mhz) box to perform your firewall and less taxing tasks(may save a few bucks). I'm unsure of the performance gain you would achieve with this option, but it may be worth looking into. As far as giving you a definate answer, to buy or not to buy, that will have to be your desision. My advise is: take your time while researching your options and make sure that what your purchasing will satisfy your needs.
Note: you have one of the fastest proccesors out there currently available for a PC (even super computers bog down when overloaded). The Dual proccessor should definatly lighten the load for your mutitasking, but keep in mind that multiproccessing can be acheived buy networking as well.
I use to run dual P3, 800's. I now run an Athlon 1ghz. Personally i don't see any difference, except when i am rendering a scene in 3d Studio Max. I recomend that you check out the KT7 Abit board and a 1ghz vs a Dual p3
"upgrading is no longer an option...it's a necessity"
Actually, if you have that many applications running, I'd opt for a second System taking care of the SERVER work. Get a 600Mhz Duron and an Abit KT7, run it a 1 Ghz (mine is doing 1.050GHz smoothly) and invest in extra memory.
256Megs is not a lot for the multi-tasking LOAD your suggesting.
Equipe both your systems with at least 512MB. I have been building systems proffesionally for quite a few years now and there are only very few advantages to a DUAL System:
1. System seems to be more stable (especially running NT4)
2. When rendering (MAX3.1) you'll get up to 80% performance increase (but have a look at TOM's P4 benchmarks and you'll see that a DUAL PIII 1GHz won't come close to a single Athlon 1.2GHz)
3. They are more expensive than a single but usally less expensive than two sytems, although that might not be true with current Intel Platforms. If you were to go for a DUAL PIII based on the i840 you would have to buy RDRAM (getting all thoses *benefits*) and you would certainly spent more money than you would b e spending on a second ATHLON/Duron. I wouldn't recommend any of the VIA based Intel DUAL Systems because the Memory Performance of the 694X is WEAK.
A major drawback of any dual system is the excessive amount of heat produced. You will need a large tower, a lot of fans (and mak'em BIG) and some major powersupply (don't go below 300 Watts)
If you REALLY want a Dual, try to get hold of the TEKRAM P6B40D-A5, overclock the BX to 133MHz and get some nice PIII EBs (2x933Mhz) and last but not least HIGH Quality Mermory (Micron or Infineon PC133 CL2).
I would opt for the 2x Athlon/Duron solution and don't bee annoyed by the NOISE.
The VP6 is a dual processor system. With computing tasks becoming more and more CPU-intensive, a dual CPU system is the answer for running your computer smoothly. Dual processor systems allow for increased performance. In fact, performance can be increased by 25% – 85% when running software designed for dual (SMP-based) CPU systems.
Processor-intensive applications such as burning CDs, playing games, working on spreadsheets, multimedia and the like, leave your system open to lag and errors. The VP6 dual processor system can allow you to easily run several CPU-intensive tasks without such problems. Be it playing SMP-enabled games while burning a CD or working on a project while playing MP3s, a dual processor system such as the VP6 will allow your system to cope successfully where a single processor system could have troubles.
ATA/100 and RAID
The VP6 includes the HPT370 controller which adds ATA/100 and RAID support. The ATA/100 interface has a 100 MB/sec transfer rate, thereby maximizing disk performance. RAID 0 (striping), RAID 1 (mirroring), and RAID 0+1 (striping + mirroring) are all supported by the VP6. The RAID 0 array is designed for performance. By using two hard disks, the information can be split evenly between the two, effectively doubling performance. By setting a RAID 1 array, you are automatically backing up all data. RAID 1 is a mirroring setup that writes the data to both hard disks whenever saving to hard disk. RAID 0+1 gives the user the performance of RAID 0 and the security of RAID 1
Like everyone else said, dual processors are good for running multiple applications at a time and not necessarily raw performance. In addition to that, you'll need an OS to utilize the dual processors as well as the programs to do it. Most programs are not dual processor optimized but some are. I know that winNT/2k supports dual processors but I'm not sure about winMe.
I tend to run an awful lot of junk at the same time and my computer slows down but I don't really seem to care about it. (I only have a Duron 650 with 128MB.) So the real consideration for going dual is if you want slower but much more consistent environment or the high but inconsistent performance.
I'm sure you know that you're going to have to reload with Windows 2000..that might limit some of the older games you can run on the system.
I run Win2k, Dual P3 550E and I've had a simple personal firewall running Black Ice Defender, several applications running, cd burning, uploading/downloading and a high quality game running all at once...no loss in performance at all.
I use 384Mb of RAM in the system and its definately worth it. You must bear in mind that hard drive strain pays a major part in your system slowing down. Make sure your disk swapping is from the hard drive that is fastest or not normally in use or doesn't have the OS installed on it or is SCSI or combination of these for best performance.
Also doesn't matter how many programs you're running, some use much less resources than others and different types of resources..