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Old 08-08-2010, 03:12 PM
"Joshua C."
 
Default Processor Scalability and Linux

Hi,

I’ve been planning on buying a new machine but I’m not that sure what to take.

We’ve been seeing test and reviews on the internet between amd and
linux. I can say that when it comes to pure (single) core apps then
intel might have the lead. When it comes to scalability then amd is on
the move. You can check some recent reviews between i5–750/760 and
1055t/1090t for this. I DO NOT want to start a one–is–better
discussion here.

We know that in the windows world most of the apps aren’t optimized
for multicore processers. I think the windows OS isn’t optimized
either. Therefore the discussion goes down to “what are you going to
do with it? If you work with video (photoshop) then amd, else – maybe
intel”.

However I want to ask how well linux scales on multicore processors. I
know that maybe more that 90% of all internet servers are running with
some version of linux. But this doesn’t mean that linux scales better
than windows, because maybe the costs are at play here – Free (as in
Freedom) vs. $$. Most of the linux apps are compiled with GCC 4.xx.
Therefore it goes down to how well GCC is optimized for a multicore
processor.

My machine also must satisfy some other criteria:

1.) future–proof (that’s why an amd 6–core ???)
2.) must be environmental friendly (less watts) (that’s why an intel)
3.) good linux support (I’ll put intel here because I think their
overall support is better than amd. Remember the SB850 and how fast
amd responded? What about ati?)

Therefore I’m asking if a 6–core amd makes more sense in linux than in
windows? How well does linux scales?

--Joshua


PS. I’ll be happy to see some links with some results to support your answers.
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:01 PM
john wendel
 
Default Processor Scalability and Linux

On 08/08/2010 08:12 AM, Joshua C. wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I’ve been planning on buying a new machine but I’m not that sure what to take.
>
> We’ve been seeing test and reviews on the internet between amd and
> linux. I can say that when it comes to pure (single) core apps then
> intel might have the lead. When it comes to scalability then amd is on
> the move. You can check some recent reviews between i5–750/760 and
> 1055t/1090t for this. I DO NOT want to start a one–is–better
> discussion here.
>
> We know that in the windows world most of the apps aren’t optimized
> for multicore processers. I think the windows OS isn’t optimized
> either. Therefore the discussion goes down to “what are you going to
> do with it? If you work with video (photoshop) then amd, else – maybe
> intel”.
>
> However I want to ask how well linux scales on multicore processors. I
> know that maybe more that 90% of all internet servers are running with
> some version of linux. But this doesn’t mean that linux scales better
> than windows, because maybe the costs are at play here – Free (as in
> Freedom) vs. $$. Most of the linux apps are compiled with GCC 4.xx.
> Therefore it goes down to how well GCC is optimized for a multicore
> processor.
>
> My machine also must satisfy some other criteria:
>
> 1.) future–proof (that’s why an amd 6–core ???)
> 2.) must be environmental friendly (less watts) (that’s why an intel)
> 3.) good linux support (I’ll put intel here because I think their
> overall support is better than amd. Remember the SB850 and how fast
> amd responded? What about ati?)
>
> Therefore I’m asking if a 6–core amd makes more sense in linux than in
> windows? How well does linux scales?
>
> --Joshua
> PS. I’ll be happy to see some links with some results to support your answers.

Fastest computer in the world is built from AMD processors and runs
Linux on 250,000 processors. I think you'll be OK. I seem to recall that
Cray (or the old SGI) did the work to let Linux scale to ~1000000 cores
(it may be used some day).

As for which OS makes more sense, you don't use an OS, you use an
application program. If Linux doesn't run your application and Windows
does, I think you know the answer.

Remember that whatever you buy will be obsolete in a year (or two).
Unless you have an unlimited budget, you can't stay on the leading edge.
That 6-core AMD you're lusting for today will be replaced by the 16-core
Bulldozer (or whatever) next year. And of course, the bastards will
change the CPU socket so you can't upgrade without buying a new
motherboard (and probably new DDR-x memory).

> http://blogs.computerworld.com/15111/linux_powers_the_fastest_computers_on_the_planet

Regards,

John
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:21 PM
Michael Miles
 
Default Processor Scalability and Linux

john wendel wrote:
> On 08/08/2010 08:12 AM, Joshua C. wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>>
>> I’ve been planning on buying a new machine but I’m not that sure what to take.
>>
>> We’ve been seeing test and reviews on the internet between amd and
>> linux. I can say that when it comes to pure (single) core apps then
>> intel might have the lead. When it comes to scalability then amd is on
>> the move. You can check some recent reviews between i5–750/760 and
>> 1055t/1090t for this. I DO NOT want to start a one–is–better
>> discussion here.
>>
>> We know that in the windows world most of the apps aren’t optimized
>> for multicore processers. I think the windows OS isn’t optimized
>> either. Therefore the discussion goes down to “what are you going to
>> do with it? If you work with video (photoshop) then amd, else – maybe
>> intel”.
>>
>> However I want to ask how well linux scales on multicore processors. I
>> know that maybe more that 90% of all internet servers are running with
>> some version of linux. But this doesn’t mean that linux scales better
>> than windows, because maybe the costs are at play here – Free (as in
>> Freedom) vs. $$. Most of the linux apps are compiled with GCC 4.xx.
>> Therefore it goes down to how well GCC is optimized for a multicore
>> processor.
>>
>> My machine also must satisfy some other criteria:
>>
>> 1.) future–proof (that’s why an amd 6–core ???)
>> 2.) must be environmental friendly (less watts) (that’s why an intel)
>> 3.) good linux support (I’ll put intel here because I think their
>> overall support is better than amd. Remember the SB850 and how fast
>> amd responded? What about ati?)
>>
>> Therefore I’m asking if a 6–core amd makes more sense in linux than in
>> windows? How well does linux scales?
>>
>> --Joshua
>> PS. I’ll be happy to see some links with some results to support your answers.
>>
> Fastest computer in the world is built from AMD processors and runs
> Linux on 250,000 processors. I think you'll be OK. I seem to recall that
> Cray (or the old SGI) did the work to let Linux scale to ~1000000 cores
> (it may be used some day).
>
> As for which OS makes more sense, you don't use an OS, you use an
> application program. If Linux doesn't run your application and Windows
> does, I think you know the answer.
>
> Remember that whatever you buy will be obsolete in a year (or two).
> Unless you have an unlimited budget, you can't stay on the leading edge.
> That 6-core AMD you're lusting for today will be replaced by the 16-core
> Bulldozer (or whatever) next year. And of course, the bastards will
> change the CPU socket so you can't upgrade without buying a new
> motherboard (and probably new DDR-x memory).
>
>
>> http://blogs.computerworld.com/15111/linux_powers_the_fastest_computers_on_the_planet
>>
> Regards,
>
> John
>



I myself was going to replace my Phenom 2 965 with the 1090T as it was a
simple chip replacement but I decided to wait for the Bulldozer series.
The 1090T is a big improvement but in reality it is only a Phenom 2 with
2 more cores added.

The bulldozer seems like it is going to open some major doors as far as
scalability and just the idea of having 16 cores Hyper threaded to 32
threads is very appealing to me.

Yes, the board will need replacing and ram too but I think it will be
worth the wait.


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Old 08-08-2010, 05:28 PM
Robert Myers
 
Default Processor Scalability and Linux

On Sun, Aug 8, 2010 at 11:12 AM, Joshua C. <joshuacov@googlemail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I’ve been planning on buying a new machine but I’m not that sure what to take.
>
> We’ve been seeing test and reviews on the internet between amd and
> linux. I can say that when it comes to pure (single) core apps then
> intel might have the lead. When it comes to scalability then amd is on
> the move. You can check some recent reviews between i5–750/760 and
> 1055t/1090t for this. I DO NOT want to start a one–is–better
> discussion here.
>
> We know that in the windows world most of the apps aren’t optimized
> for multicore processers. I think the windows OS isn’t optimized
> either. Therefore the discussion goes down to “what are you going to
> do with it? If you work with video (photoshop) then amd, else *– maybe
> intel”.
>
> However I want to ask how well linux scales on multicore processors. I
> know that maybe more that 90% of all internet servers are running with
> some version of linux. But this doesn’t mean that linux scales better
> than windows, because maybe the costs are at play here – Free (as in
> Freedom) vs. $$. Most of the linux apps are compiled with GCC 4.xx.
> Therefore it goes down to how well GCC is optimized for a multicore
> processor.
>
> My machine also must satisfy some other criteria:
>
> 1.) future–proof (that’s why an amd 6–core ???)

You're apparently not interested in running virtual machines.
Otherwise, you might be more interested in the number of threads as
opposed to the number of cores. It's not all that hard, these days,
to overcommit even 6 threads (or 8, for that matter). Unless you are
virtualizing heavily-used servers, it's the ability to carrry distinct
contexts, not execution resources, that limit the ability to
virtualize multiple machines without experiencing noticeable
performance degradation.

Virtualizing Linux on Windows using free software from vmware looks
like the better bet than using wine these days. No dual boot or funny
fiddling. Of course, if you're not interested in running virtual
machines, then you're not interested.

The benchmarks you see so often today for multiple cores are only the
ones that are most easily available and don't necessarily reflect any
kind of realistic future.

As to Linux and virtualizing, I'm waiting for a dom0 from Fedora.

> 2.) must be environmental friendly (less watts) (that’s why an intel)

Whatever you buy now will be out of date in a year.

> 3.) good linux support (I’ll put intel here because I think their
> overall support is better than amd. Remember the SB850 and how fast
> amd responded? What about ati?)
>
It seems like most of the problems are with graphics card support and
maybe chipsets, not so much a processor issue.

> Therefore I’m asking if a 6–core amd makes more sense in linux than in
> windows? How well does linux scales?
>

Why would you think Windows scales poorly? My experience using vmware
under Windows has been very positive with multiple virtual machines
running. Among other things, I can run multiple versions of Windows
(including XP for legacy) and Linux at the same time.

Robert.
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:36 PM
JD
 
Default Processor Scalability and Linux

On 08/08/2010 10:21 AM, Michael Miles wrote:
>
>
> I myself was going to replace my Phenom 2 965 with the 1090T as it was a
> simple chip replacement but I decided to wait for the Bulldozer series.
> The 1090T is a big improvement but in reality it is only a Phenom 2 with
> 2 more cores added.
>
> The bulldozer seems like it is going to open some major doors as far as
> scalability and just the idea of having 16 cores Hyper threaded to 32
> threads is very appealing to me.
>
> Yes, the board will need replacing and ram too but I think it will be
> worth the wait.
>

So what will you do with all that processing power?
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:52 PM
Michael Miles
 
Default Processor Scalability and Linux

JD wrote:
> On 08/08/2010 10:21 AM, Michael Miles wrote:
>
>>
>> I myself was going to replace my Phenom 2 965 with the 1090T as it was a
>> simple chip replacement but I decided to wait for the Bulldozer series.
>> The 1090T is a big improvement but in reality it is only a Phenom 2 with
>> 2 more cores added.
>>
>> The bulldozer seems like it is going to open some major doors as far as
>> scalability and just the idea of having 16 cores Hyper threaded to 32
>> threads is very appealing to me.
>>
>> Yes, the board will need replacing and ram too but I think it will be
>> worth the wait.
>>
>>
> So what will you do with all that processing power?
>
Well, 3D animation is my thing and has been since the Amiga platform.
The power to render many minutes of animation and still have functional
machine to do the rest of my daily activity.

I use a virtual machine running windows 7 for my animation software and
if I want to convert a HD movie at the same time as I do everything else
it shows a definite slow down.

I remember that very same question with a 1 megabyte ram came out...what
would you do with all that ram.....

Same thing with cores. What would you do with all that power.

The short answer is there will never be enough power to a machine as as
soon as it is developed we see a need for more and more.

Bloody computer junkies eh!!!!
Never satisfied ( Ya baby)







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Old 08-08-2010, 06:41 PM
"Joshua C."
 
Default Processor Scalability and Linux

2010/8/8 Michael Miles <mmamiga6@gmail.com>:
> JD wrote:
>> * *On 08/08/2010 10:21 AM, Michael Miles wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> I myself was going to replace my Phenom 2 965 with the 1090T as it was a
>>> simple chip replacement but I decided to wait for the Bulldozer series.
>>> The 1090T is a big improvement but in reality it is only a Phenom 2 with
>>> 2 more cores added.
>>>
>>> The bulldozer seems like it is going to open some major doors as far as
>>> scalability and just the idea of having 16 cores Hyper threaded to 32
>>> threads is very appealing to me.
>>>
>>> Yes, the board will need replacing and ram too *but I think it will be
>>> worth the wait.
>>>
>>>
>> So what will you do with all that processing power?
>>
> Well, 3D animation is my thing and has been since the Amiga platform.
> The power to render many minutes of animation and still have functional
> machine to do the rest of my daily activity.
>
> I use a virtual machine running windows 7 for my animation software and
> if I want to convert a HD movie at the same time as I do everything else
> it shows a definite slow down.
>
> I remember that very same question with a 1 megabyte ram came out...what
> would you do with all that ram.....
>
> Same thing with cores. What would you do with all that power.
>
> The short answer is there will never be enough power to a machine as as
> soon as it is developed we see a need for more and more.
>
> Bloody computer junkies eh!!!!
> Never satisfied ( Ya baby)
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
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> users@lists.fedoraproject.org
> To unsubscribe or change subscription options:
> https://admin.fedoraproject.org/mailman/listinfo/users
> Guidelines: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Mailing_list_guidelines
>

Well, the question is not why I need "that much" power but simply will
a linux app run better on a 6-core than on a 4-core processor? Of
course it depends on the ability of this app to utilize all this
cores/threads. And I know that whatever is on the market today will be
obsolete in less than a year. This doesn't change the question:

How can I judge if a particular _linux_ app will work well with a
6-/4-core cpu? What to look for? How does the OS interact with the app
in allowing it to use the resources? Is the app solely responsible for
utilizing all the system resources? Are more cores/threads really
better?

This is what I mean with scalability. As for the windows-apps: most of
them (still) cannot use all the cores and a more-than-2-cores cpu is a
waste-of-money in most of the time. Lets go back to linux.

--Joshua
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:50 PM
Robert Myers
 
Default Processor Scalability and Linux

On Sun, Aug 8, 2010 at 2:41 PM, Joshua C. <joshuacov@googlemail.com> wrote:

>
> Well, the question is not why I need "that much" power but simply will
> a linux app run better on a 6-core than on a 4-core processor? Of
> course it depends on the ability of this app to utilize all this
> cores/threads. And I know that whatever is on the market today will be
> obsolete in less than a year. This doesn't change the question:
>
> How can I judge if a particular _linux_ app will work well with a
> 6-/4-core cpu? What to look for? How does the OS interact with the app
> in allowing it to use the resources? Is the app solely responsible for
> utilizing all the system resources? Are more cores/threads really
> better?
>
> This is what I mean with scalability. As for the windows-apps: most of
> them (still) cannot use all the cores and a more-than-2-cores cpu is a
> waste-of-money in most of the time. Lets go back to linux.
>

Chrome uses all eight threads if I open enough tabs, but I don't use Chromium.

Otherwise, more cores/threads will potentially be useful to you if

1. You are doing media processing.

2. You are a developer and know how to do things like parallel builds
and/or write your own parallel code.

3. You are running virtual machines.

The ability to use multiple cores/threads has little to do with the
OS. Most "ordinary" applications still don't make good use of
multiple cores.

>From what you've said so far, it sounds like the number of cores you
buy is just marketing hype as far as you should be concerned.

Robert.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:14 PM
Robert Myers
 
Default Processor Scalability and Linux

On Sun, Aug 8, 2010 at 2:50 PM, Robert Myers <rbmyersusa@gmail.com> wrote:

>> This is what I mean with scalability. As for the windows-apps: most of
>> them (still) cannot use all the cores and a more-than-2-cores cpu is a
>> waste-of-money in most of the time. Lets go back to linux.
>>
>
> Chrome uses all eight threads if I open enough tabs, but I don't use Chromium.
>
> Otherwise, more cores/threads will potentially be useful to you if
>
> 1. You are doing media processing.
>
> 2. You are a developer and know how to do things like parallel builds
> and/or write your own parallel code.
>
> 3. You are running virtual machines.
>
> The ability to use multiple cores/threads has little to do with the
> OS. *Most "ordinary" applications still don't make good use of
> multiple cores.
>
> From what you've said so far, it sounds like the number of cores you
> buy is just marketing hype as far as you should be concerned.
>

And, oh, by the way, you're welcome, even though you didn't bother to
thank those who tried to help you but moved right on to informing us
that the help offered wasn't useful to you.

Robert.


--
If the Ten Commandments are not obeyed, what does the keeping of the
other laws amount to other than mere jugglery and mummery, indeed, a
veritable mockery which treats God as a fool. -- Martin Luther
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:15 PM
Marko Vojinovic
 
Default Processor Scalability and Linux

On Sunday, August 08, 2010 19:41:33 Joshua C. wrote:
> How can I judge if a particular _linux_ app will work well with a
> 6-/4-core cpu? What to look for? How does the OS interact with the app
> in allowing it to use the resources? Is the app solely responsible for
> utilizing all the system resources? Are more cores/threads really
> better?

Every particular app needs to be designed and implemented in a way that is
parallelizable, ie. to use multiple threads. Some apps already do that, some
don't. Depending on what task a particular app is meant to perform, parallel
implementation may be trivial, easy, difficult or impossible (even
theoretically).

If you want to know if app foo is multithreaded, look at the source code. Or
the documentation. Or ask the developers who made it.

For some apps, it just doesn't make sense to be multithreaded. A typical
example would be a word processor --- the main thing it does sitting idle and
waiting for user input. One thread is more than enough. Other things, like
http server, make very good use of multiple threads.

If you have six cores, it means you can run six independent apps
simultaneously, each on one core. This is independent of the design of the
apps themselves, and is certainly better than having only four cores, but not
very drastically better. So much for the system resources. Everything else is
app-dependent.

HTH, :-)
Marko

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