Re: Dual core, synchronous threads, and other toys
I have a 3GHz Core 2 Duo, and it's an excellent processor.
For ordinary computing, you won't notice a difference between single and dual core, because you're not putting your processor up anywhere near capacity. But any video encoding you do will see a big improvement (including video DVDs and videos for an MP3 player). Compiling software can be faster when you tell the compiler to multithread (assuming you find the need to compile a lot, which I don't).
I have two DVD burners in my computer, and I often rip two CDs to MP3 at the same time. As each CD is being ripped by a different process (a different instance of the same program), each process gets put onto a different core. So multiple, single-threaded programs will see an improvement too.
Even if you run one single-threaded intensive program at a time, the rest of the operating system will go onto the other core, making the intensive job finish quicker. Even on a single-core processor, Linux is very good at keeping your foreground tasks responsive while something goes on in the background, but this ability is enhanced with multiple cores.
I don't agree with Intel making octo-core processors with Hyperthreading; I believe that's a waste as no normal programs will be able to utilise even eight threads at a time. And you'll notice that I have the beefiest dual-core processor I could find But believe me, dual-core is a better idea than finding an old hot 3.8GHz Pentium 4. Even a slower clock speed Core 2 is going to be at least comparable in speed in one core, due to the more efficient microarchitecture.
Note: I'm not sure about the previous poster saying that ffmpeg doesn't use multiple threads when decoding 1080p h.264 video. The attached screenshot will show that ffmpeg is using both cores, but only around 50% per core. This is probably because my processor is fast enough to decode it without any trouble.
Last edited by 3rdalbum; April 25th, 2008 at 08:13 AM.
I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.