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Dual Processors??


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#1 of 26 OFFLINE   Gerald LaFrance

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Posted September 05 2002 - 12:30 PM

Hi Im in the market for a new computer. I mainly use my computer for Flight sims (Falcon 4.0 SP3) and LO:MAC when it comes out, I was wondering would a dual processor be better for running these sims, Ive heard the sim would have to support it is this true?? or should i just get a single processor?? im aware the duals cost more THNX!! Posted Image
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#2 of 26 OFFLINE   Gabriel_Lam

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Posted September 05 2002 - 01:16 PM

Apparently, Falcon 4.0 can utilize dual proc's. Surprisingly, it is programmed so that the campaign engine is passed through one processor, while the flight model and other stuff is run through the other.

Sorry, cannot help you with LO:MAC.
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#3 of 26 OFFLINE   Chris Liberti

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Posted September 05 2002 - 02:51 PM

For the most part dual processors on a game machine is overkill. The only consumer level graphics card which has drivers that properly support dual processors is Nvidia. Also most games do not use both processors. The things that use dual processors typically are media encoders (Divx, certain MP3 encoders, etc), Photoshop, Premiere, and Illustrator and other graphics/3d rendering programs

#4 of 26 OFFLINE   Kelley_B

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Posted September 05 2002 - 02:58 PM

The Quake III engine has native support for dual processors also, you just have to turn it on using the command line.

#5 of 26 OFFLINE   Camp

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Posted September 05 2002 - 04:47 PM

...and it has a negligible performance increase.

Don't waste your money. Get a single fast CPU and spend your cash on more RAM and HD space.

#6 of 26 OFFLINE   Max Leung

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Posted September 05 2002 - 05:02 PM

Ditto what Camp said. Dual processors are mostly useless for games (unless you plan to run an FTP/web server on the same machine while gaming, or running a game server on one processor, game on the other).

It's not worth the headaches when you realize that your sound card driver doesn't work stably in a multi-processor environment *cough* Creative Labs *cough*.

The bottlenecks nowadays in gaming machines is the Front Side Bus frequencies, something which console game hardware has over the PCs right now.
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#7 of 26 OFFLINE   Aaron_Brez

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Posted September 05 2002 - 06:44 PM

Don't get me wrong, I'm the last person to praise Creative Labs... or especially their drivers. Every issue I've ever had with their drivers was answered with, "Oh, you have a dual processor system? We don't support SMP!"

However, that said, I've had 100% stability and functionality with my SBLive5.1 on the latest set of drivers (dated August 8th?) on Win2K Pro with dual Coppermine 1GHz in a ECS D6VAA motherboard.

Agreed that there's no real good reason to go dual on a game box; but if you're doing media encoding, it's sure nice to either 1) reduce your encode time or 2) be able to seamlessly do something completely different while your encoding job runs on the other processor.

#8 of 26 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted September 06 2002 - 02:03 AM

Sorry, but I have to ask the 'stupid' question. Gerald, you are aware that ME & XP will run on dual processor systems, but one CPU won't be working. It can't use two. You have to get 2k server (assuming MS again) to take advantage of two CPU's.

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#9 of 26 OFFLINE   John_Berger

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Posted September 06 2002 - 02:58 AM

Well, everyone else has said what I was going to say, but I just wanted to add the emphasis as well.

Only Windows NT SMP and Windows 2000 can handle multi-processing. Just about any x86 flavor of UNIX will handle multiprocessing as well.

For gaming, it won't matter, so don't even worry about it.

Glenn, is Win2K server the only Win2K flavor to handle SMP? I thought that Win2K Prof could also do it.

EDIT: Nevermind, Glenn. I found the answer. See my posting below.

#10 of 26 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted September 06 2002 - 03:17 AM

XP Pro should do dual-processor

#11 of 26 OFFLINE   John_Berger

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Posted September 06 2002 - 03:21 AM

Quote:
XP Pro should do dual-processor
Yes, it does.

http://www.microsoft....on/sysreqs.asp

However, Gerald, keep in mind that the game needs to be designed to take advantage of an SMP setup; otherwise, XP will only assign one processor to it.

Also, I just found out at http://www.microsoft....qs/default.asp that Windows 2000 Professional (not just Win2K server) will also support dual processors.

#12 of 26 OFFLINE   Darren Lewis

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Posted September 06 2002 - 07:16 AM

Only certain processors can be used in dual configuration - P3s, Athlon MPs, Xeons, but not the P4.

The two CPUs must also be of the same stepping order too, otherwise there'll be problems. Have a look at www.2cpu.com which is a great site for dual CPU info, including reviews on motherboars etc..

Win2K Pro and XP Pro can definitely handle Dual CPUs, the server versions can handle more (four or eight I think!).

Certain software actually won't work if there are dual CPUs and some drivers have trouble too.

#13 of 26 OFFLINE   Aaron_Brez

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Posted September 06 2002 - 08:08 AM

Darren,

It gets more specific than that:

Non-P3-based Celerons may do SMP
P3-based Celerons won't do SMP
P3-Coppermines will do SMP
P3-Tualatins with 256K cache won't do SMP
P3-Tualatins with 512K cache will do SMP

Some older Athlon XPs will apparently do SMP, although this is "unsupported".

Xeons will all do SMP.

P4s will not, that I'm aware of.

As you mentioned, www.2cpu.com is the ultimate place for this kind of information.

#14 of 26 OFFLINE   Gerald LaFrance

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Posted September 06 2002 - 08:18 AM

Hi all thanx for the feedback. Ill probally just go with a single processor was wondering Intel or AMD, any thoughts?? Posted ImagePosted Image
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#15 of 26 OFFLINE   Darren Lewis

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Posted September 06 2002 - 08:20 AM

Now there's a question Posted Image

Maybe a new thread?

#16 of 26 OFFLINE   Darren Lewis

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Posted September 06 2002 - 08:23 AM

The other thing with dual CPU motherboards is that they are big (?extended ATX form factor). I've got one in a standard ATX Midi tower case OK, but the bottom two 5 1/4 bays can't take full length CDROMs or drive caddys as they hit the motherboard or memory modules which are closer to the front of the case than on single CPU motherboards. Will probably need to get a full tower case someday.

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#17 of 26 OFFLINE   Danny R

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Posted September 06 2002 - 08:29 AM

Some older Athlon XPs will apparently do SMP, although this is "unsupported".

Got 2 XP2000+'s in a motherboard right now. ;-)

I'd definately go for the Athlons. Simply put they equal the same speed Intel chips, and usually are cheaper to boot.

Compatability has never been an issue and I wouldn't worry about it unless you are using some sort of highly proprietary in-house software.
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#18 of 26 OFFLINE   John_Berger

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Posted September 06 2002 - 02:54 PM

Quote:
Ill probally just go with a single processor was wondering Intel or AMD, any thoughts??

This topic has already been discussed.

http://www.hometheat....threadid=92463

#19 of 26 OFFLINE   Mike Voigt

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Posted September 07 2002 - 09:18 PM

I run Win2K Pro on a dual board. 550MHz P3s, 512K cache.

Nice machine!

But, software has to be capable of using the processors. It is possible to limit software to run on one or the other of the CPUs, such as with SETI, but that is software dependent, IIRC.

Still, it cranks!

Mike

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Posted September 08 2002 - 07:54 AM

If you want to run games, I would suggest a P4 intel platform running with RAMBUS memory (PC800 I think) and a Gforce 3 or equivilent video card with at least 64 megs of memory. rambus memory runs on a 400 mhz frontside bus where all the other memory options run on a 133 or 266 mhz bus
also a screaming fast video card will make you games play faster and more smoothly that the latest and greatest p4 processor will





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