Dual core machines

  allantxu 17:50 18 Oct 05

I have just got a new machine which has a dual core pentium in it. Problem is I only want it to run a single application quickly (visual basic program in excel) but it will only allocate 50% of the CPU to the task. Result is I have a top of the range, expensive machine that is slower than old pentium 2. Surely some solution?

  valensmachado 18:38 18 Oct 05

Allan Congrats for the new Dual core machine, Well which model and make do you have? As you have mentioned that the resources that are allocated to open a particular file or software is only 50% .Well the processor allocates the necessary power to open the file. I would suggest you to check your system with a Benchmarking tool.Such as Sisoftsandra or 3Dmark. You can know the actual situation

  allantxu 09:54 19 Oct 05

Cheers for the reply. A few more details - the application I am using is visual basic running in excel which takes about several hours to run (loads of loops and calculations etc.) On a single core machine the CPU runs at 100% (or near enough). It is not the resources required to open it but to run it and I want the dual core machine to allocate all its effort to this one program - not just half the processor.

  Chegs ® 10:03 19 Oct 05

I'm not sure,but could it be likely the software needs to be written to make use of the dual-core?

Eg:Visual Basic/Excel

  bremner 10:33 19 Oct 05

This may help to understand the capabilities of dual core.

It relates to the AMD but the principles are the same for Intel click here

  allantxu 13:15 19 Oct 05

Thanks for the links. To clarify - if the software isn't "SMP aware" then dual core is a waste of money for single application users like me. Solution is send back machine it seems.

  sharkfin 13:20 19 Oct 05

Yes, I think your right, the software needs to be written specialliy to utilise dual core, other wise the processor will run as a single processor.

But i'm sure even if its running half speed it will still be comparable to any single pentium. It just wont be running its fastest. And also you'll be covered in future when more dual core compatible software is releashed. so I would keep it.

  Dorsai 18:03 19 Oct 05

On a dual core (or dual CPU) PC running a single thread application, it is perfectly normal, expected even, to see only one of the two CPU's in use @ 100%, or both in use, at only 50% each (or any combination, say 33:17, that adds up to 50%).

(As to it running slower than a PII, I am afraid I find that hard to swollow.)

My dual CPU box runs noticable faster then my single CPU box, and both boxes run the same speed CPUs. AMD XP2000, and 2 AMD MP2000.

The main differance is that when I run an app on the dual-cpu one, should some other task also try and run (Ant-virus, windows task, Firewall etc), the second CPU can do it, leaving the app I am running 100% of the first CPU's clock cycles.

One differance, though, is that I am AMD, and apparantly AMD have 2 memory pipelines, one for each CPU, whereas pentium systems seem to have one, serving both cores.

So with AMD, if both CPU's need memory access, both get it, while on an intel system they have to share a single pipeline. Slows things down a bit. Apparantly.

One thing you should certianly notice on your system (with it's two cores) is that while your excel app does its thing, the PC should remain perfectly usable for gaming, browsing, or whetever, with out any noticable "slowdown" due to the spreadsheet doing its thing. One core will run the visual basic program, and the other will run your game/browser, etc.

If the PC seems slow I wonder if there is a problem with it. I assume it runs XP Pro, as XP home is not Multi CPU enabled?

Are the cores running at the correct speed?

How much ram?

Is some form of "overheating protection" taking place, and clock-throttling the cores?

Is perhaps some form of "cool and quiet" software running, reducing CPU speed so as to produce less heat, and hence allowing the fans to run slower, making less noise?

I am rather surprised that you find it slow.

If you don't want it, can I have it? ;-)

  Rayuk 18:26 19 Oct 05

I am running an Athlon64 X2 using WinXP Home edition and runs ok I think youu may be confusing this with XPPro supporting Dual socket motherboards [2 cpus].

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