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View Full Version : Does Hyper Threading make a huge difference?


DaveCSparty
07-24-2003, 01:59 PM
Hi I'm currently in the market for a new computer and have been out of the hardware game for a while. What is this new hyper threading and if should I purchase a new computer with it? Is it worth the extra money? Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!

AgaBoogaBoo
07-24-2003, 02:04 PM
I'd say its worth it because the hyper threading processors except the 3.06 (Not the 3.0C) all have an 800mhz FSB alsow hich helps out. If you plan on doig any video editing, its a must. When you are running multiple applications at the same time, it helps too. How much of a difference in price is it for you?

The thing to remember is that the 2.4C (The "C" denotes Hyper Threading and an 800mhz FSB) is faster than a 2.6Ghz (Does not have Hyper Threading unless a C is put after the 6)

I would go ahead and get it if it can be fit in your price range, it does make a difference IMO.

dullard
07-24-2003, 02:08 PM
Intel initially released Hyper Threading on the Xeon workstation processors. It wasn't ready for prime time and in some cases harmed performance (20% loss was possible) and in other cases helped performance (20% gain was possible).

Then Intel tweaked it a bit and released it with the 3.06 GHz P4 with 533 MHz fsb (and later with all the 800 MHz fsb P4s). Look at this graph (http://www.anandtech.com/cpu/showdoc.html?i=1746&p=6) (actually read the whole article as it is very informative). As you can see in many programs hyper threading did nothing, in many others it helped by 2% to 21%. And in just one did it harm performance and that was just by 7%.

As programs are written with hyperthreading in mind it will only get better. They can be optimized to get the most performance boost possible. And if testing shows that hyperthreading can harm performance it can easilly be turned off in each individual program (if the programmers bother to do so). Basically it will soon mean only performance gains - although mild.

Note the benchmarks I showed only test one program at a time. Hyperthreading has enormous benefits if you run two very dissimilar programs at once. For example you are playing a game and your virus scan turns on - no more lags from that. There are benchmarks on the next page of that link showing this type of benefit - sometimes nearly doubling the speed of one of the programs.

Intel is also supposedly developing a much better hyperthreading as well for their Prescot processors. Hopefully this will show a similar performance gain as when going from the old Xeon hyperthreading to the newer P4 hyperthreading. But since these aren't available at the moment I'd go with numbers like in the link above. Expect a mild but noticible gain on many programs (not all) - and as long as the price difference is small, I'd go for it.

Note: as said above, the newer P4s also come with a faster fsb which gives an additional 10% boost or so. Thus if you are comparing a 533 MHz P4 without hyperthreading to a 800 MHz P4 with hyperthreading - definately get the latter assuming the price difference is not too large.

RaiderJ
07-24-2003, 08:27 PM
If you're looking for a new computer, I would wait for the next generation of processors. I'm not sure on the exact release dates, but if you can wait, it would probably be worth it. If nothing else, the hyper-threading processors would be cheaper then.

Otherwise, the previous posts made are right on target regarding hyperthreading.

StraightPipe
07-24-2003, 08:34 PM
It's as easy as A B C !

there are 3 steppings of the Pentium 4's
A - 400mhz FSB
B - 533
C - 800

Hyper threading was enabled on the 3.2B, and all the C's afterwords

I think that bus speed is more important now, because not much software utilizes the HT technology.

As bus speed increases you get the ability to run High speed RAM too!
eventially they will up the PCI bus speed, and that will be sweet, till then the P4C's are the best.

Go AMD if you want to save money and get a slower chip (not my recomendation)

AnarchyInTheUS
07-24-2003, 08:44 PM
Just take a look at all the P4 benchmarks. They all point out that HyperThreading was what made it so great in some cases....like Aga Booga said, especially multimedia apps.

brettjrob
07-24-2003, 08:52 PM
The P4C w/ HT is definitely a great buy right now, and this is a great time to upgrade IMO. DDR prices are on the rise, so getting the memory NOW would be a good idea, and getting a good Springdale or Canterwood board with the 2.4C will give you a very respectable system for relatively cheap. If the boards support the S-478 Prescott CPU's you'll be even more in luck... you may be able to pop in a 3.4/3.6GHz Prescott by mid/late next year for around the price the 2.4C is at right now. Sure, some will tell you to wait a few more months for Prescott/Athlon64, but it'll be longer than a few months before those CPU's are likely to be affordable.

RaynorWolfcastle
07-24-2003, 09:02 PM
Originally posted by: StraightPipe
It's as easy as A B C !

there are 3 steppings of the Pentium 4's
A - 400mhz FSB
B - 533
C - 800

Hyper threading was enabled on the 3.2B, and all the C's afterwords

I think that bus speed is more important now, because not much software utilizes the HT technology.

As bus speed increases you get the ability to run High speed RAM too!
eventially they will up the PCI bus speed, and that will be sweet, till then the P4C's are the best.

Go AMD if you want to save money and get a slower chip (not my recomendation)

:confused: I'll just go ahead and correct the erroneous information in this post:
- there is no 3.2B, the fastest B speed is the 3.06B
Link (http://www.intel.com/products/desktop/processors/pentium4/index.htm?iid=ipp_browse+dsktopprocess_p4p&)

- Hyper-Threading makes a difference when multitasking and on several existing programs that are designed for more than one processor.

- Intel desktops chipsets AFAIK will not be "up[ping] the PCI bus speed", but they will be moving to PCI Express some time next year. Note that PCI Express is completely different from the current 33 MHz PCI bus found in desktop systems. The current system is a 32-bit parrallel bus while PCI Express calls for a serial bus, they are fundamentally different. There are faster varieties of the current PCI technology that exist, like 64-bit PCI and 66 MHz PCI. I believe that PCI-X implements both of these speed enhancements but I'm not positive.

- The system bus (commonly called Front Side Bus or FSB) should not be confused with the PCI bus. The FSB connects the CPU to the chipset, the PCI bus connects the chipset to peripherals like network cards, sound cards, etc.

I hope that clears things up a bit :beer::)

AgaBoogaBoo
07-24-2003, 09:11 PM
Originally posted by: RaynorWolfcastle

Originally posted by: StraightPipe
It's as easy as A B C !

there are 3 steppings of the Pentium 4's
A - 400mhz FSB
B - 533
C - 800

Hyper threading was enabled on the 3.2B, and all the C's afterwords

I think that bus speed is more important now, because not much software utilizes the HT technology.

As bus speed increases you get the ability to run High speed RAM too!
eventially they will up the PCI bus speed, and that will be sweet, till then the P4C's are the best.

Go AMD if you want to save money and get a slower chip (not my recomendation)

:confused: I'll just go ahead and correct the erroneous information in this post:
- there is no 3.2B, the fastest B speed is the 3.06B
Link (http://www.intel.com/products/desktop/processors/pentium4/index.htm?iid=ipp_browse+dsktopprocess_p4p&)

- Hyper-Threading makes a difference when multitasking and on several existing programs that are designed for more than one processor.

- Intel desktops chipsets AFAIK will not be "up[ping] the PCI bus speed", but they will be moving to PCI Express some time next year. Note that PCI Express is completely different from the current 33 MHz PCI bus found in desktop systems. The current system is a 32-bit parrallel bus while PCI Express calls for a serial bus, they are fundamentally different. There are faster varieties of the current PCI technology that exist, like 64-bit PCI and 66 MHz PCI. I believe that PCI-X implements both of these speed enhancements but I'm not positive.

- The system bus (commonly called Front Side Bus or FSB) should not be confused with the PCI bus. The FSB connects the CPU to the chipset, the PCI bus connects the chipset to peripherals like network cards, sound cards, etc.

I hope that clears things up a bit :beer::)

It does clear it up, hehe, I was going to make a post similar to yours had you not posted it.