Dual Core up and running - Now What?

trexmgd

Senior member
Jan 22, 2006
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I just built a dual core system, more or less for the heck of it. What do I need to do to make dual core work for me? Is it all managed via Win XP or do I need to assign tasks manually to a core? Where is the newbie guide to dual core processors? LOL!
 

RichUK

Lifer
Feb 14, 2005
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The Windows scheduler will take care of your cores. This assigns each core for its duty etc. However for single threaded apps, you can force the app to execute on a certain core, via the CPU Affinity.

Just to add something, if you don?t intend to utilise the second core in what you use the PC for, I probably wouldn?t have gone for dual core, and stuck with a cheaper single core Opteron.

I?ve had to dual core Opteron?s, and found that it didn?t benefit me at all, hence why I am sticking with a faster single core.
 

F1shF4t

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Oct 18, 2005
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Originally posted by: RichUK
The Windows scheduler will take care of your cores. This assigns each core for its duty etc. However for single threaded apps, you can force the app to execute on a certain core, via the CPU Affinity.

Just to add something, if you don?t intend to utilise the second core in what you use the PC for, I probably wouldn?t have gone for dual core, and stuck with a cheaper single core Opteron.

I?ve had to dual core Opteron?s, and found that it didn?t benefit me at all, hence why I am sticking with a faster single core.


Dual core vs single core is night and day, the dual core is so much better that i would rather have a dual core at 2ghz than a single core at 2.5ghz. Just being able to have lots of things running and having no lag is great.

And yea windows will take care of it, although for some programs you would want to set affinity to get better performance, for example i set a non multithreaded video encoding program to one core and then have the other to do anything i want including play games. (having separate HDD's is great also for this)
 

RichUK

Lifer
Feb 14, 2005
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Originally posted by: Dark Cupcake
Originally posted by: RichUK
The Windows scheduler will take care of your cores. This assigns each core for its duty etc. However for single threaded apps, you can force the app to execute on a certain core, via the CPU Affinity.

Just to add something, if you don?t intend to utilise the second core in what you use the PC for, I probably wouldn?t have gone for dual core, and stuck with a cheaper single core Opteron.

I?ve had to dual core Opteron?s, and found that it didn?t benefit me at all, hence why I am sticking with a faster single core.


Dual core vs single core is night and day, the dual core is so much better that i would rather have a dual core at 2ghz than a single core at 2.5ghz. Just being able to have lots of things running and having no lag is great.


But thats your own opinion nothing more :confused:, dual core still hasn?t had that big of an impact on the consumer level market. Also from my experience and from my own analysis from using both single and dual cores, a faster single core benefits me more in what I do (which in all intense and purposes isn?t really that much on my home PC).

And yea windows will take care of it, although for some programs you would want to set affinity to get better performance, for example i set a non multithreaded video encoding program to one core and then have the other to do anything i want including play games. (having separate HDD's is great also for this)

I don?t quite understand why you would want to run a multi threaded program on just one core, especially since the main purpose of dual cores (I can imagine from your angle) is to video encode. You wouldn't need to dedicate a whole core for just browsing the net.
 

trexmgd

Senior member
Jan 22, 2006
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Is there a comprehensive list of games that support dual core anywhere? I've searched and found a couple (e.g. Quake 4, w/patch). Perhaps we (I) could start a thread in the software section listing dual core games and apps. I know I'd be more likely to purchase a game that supported it, now that I have it.
 

Markbnj

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Sep 16, 2005
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But thats your own opinion nothing more , dual core still hasn?t had that big of an impact on the consumer level market. Also from my experience and from my own analysis from using both single and dual cores, a faster single core benefits me more in what I do (which in all intense and purposes isn?t really that much on my home PC).

And that's your own opinion, nothing more :).

If you don't do "that much" on your home PC then you might not notice if I replaced your processor with a tomato (at least not for a day or two), but for people who use their systems a lot multiple processors make a significant impact.

Windows is multithreaded, from top to bottom. On my system I have one running process that has a single thread, out of 50 or so. Video drivers are multithreaded, at least from nVidia. Most applications are multithreaded. Even the vast majority of DirectX games are multithreaded, thought not designed in a way to carve up the most intensive tasks into multiple work units.

The benefit of a dual core system is a mere 100% increase in throughput. You can run two threads at the same time, where previously you could only run one. You almost never see CPU saturation unless you artificially create it; context switches are instantaneous; when you start a big app like Word and something else is happening the new process just starts... as if nothing else was happening.

All that might mean very little if your computer is a plantstand, but for those of us who game, write, program, create graphics, answer emails, browse forums, and whatever else, it's very nice.
 

trexmgd

Senior member
Jan 22, 2006
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Thanks for the links... I've also been reading about the drivers & hotfix in THIS thread and am a little confused on if I need this or not with a fresh Win XP SP2 install w/updates. I have run CPUID and it sees both cores, fwiw.