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Russell

Single CPU vs. Quad

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In my unix class at school we use a unix machine that''s running on quad-450MHz processors. My question is whether in a unix environment, where you have many users using the same machine simultaneously, is it better to have multiple processors or a single processor of the same speed as the total of the multiple processors. For example, would it be better to have quad-450''s or to have a single 1800MHz processor? How about quad 450''s vs. a 2.2GHz processor? Do you gain any speed by truly having multiple instructions being executed simultaneously with multiple processors vs. a single, faster processor? Thanks, Russell

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With four processors each one can be working on a certain number of tasks at once. Since each of the processors have their own cache (sometimes they''re duplicated, and therefore all the same though) less RAM accesses are needed. Normally specialized ''server'' processors have a lot more cache and little less speed; that''s why they cost more.

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Genernally speaking, it''s better to have one processor that twices as fast than two processors half the speed. There''s overhead involved in SMP, and (generally) there''s only one memory bus.

When those servers are built/bought they usually use two/four new processors - 4 2.0gigs is better than 1 2.2gig.

The software running needs to be properly threaded to take advantage of the additional CPUs as well.

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