Twin processors? or top of the range single proc?

i was thinking of getting twin processors for a little extra oomph on my next pc … do you have any recommendations?


anyother suggestions that would help make a system that has oomph?


Single processor is better because you can upgrade more often and most software do not support multiple CPUs. If they do, efficiency is low so you will only get about 150% processing power. Try Intel’s hyper-threading if you got the money. It is a far better solution. RAID will also increase your performance, won

In principal, dual processors would seem the way to go. The problem is that most operating systems and applications lack the threads to take advantage of even a small percentage of the processing power present.

Generally speaking, apps designed to take full advantage of multiprocessing are hand-tooled and very, very expensive.

Yes, Photoshop and other apps are multithreaded, but the threading scheme in general use assigns the GUI to one processor and the “work to be done” to the other. There are, of course, exceptions – notably, Photoshop plug-ins and multiprocessor-aware video-editing quites.

Also, fully multithreaded apps take a significant performance hit on single-processor machine. So, with 90-odd percent of the world using single processors, software vendors are hesitant to spend the money on specially engineered versions of their software for multiprocessor boxes or to alienate the majority of their user base with software optimized to run on minority hardware.

As has been the case for many years, the hardware is way out in front of software development.

There’s a very good discussion of this multithreading and what means on the desktop (vis-a-vis the Mac) at

I have heard that W2K Professional can handle two processors. I have been told it assigns each process to a processor depending on load levels at the time the application is started. This is all well and good, but only certain programs can balance loads accross two processors in real time - SQL Server is the only such program I have experience of (obviously running on a server). Can anyone confirm that 2K Pro can recognise twin processors ?

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What will you be using your next PC for?

  • Multimedia - games, pics,
  • Programming - running a three tier dev environment
  • Standard office suite tools

I agree with the others with the state of software not being optimized for dual processors. Most of the multiprocessors you will find on servers, where apps can take advantage of added cpus. i.e. databases (DB2, Oracle, others), where parallel processing can make a difference.

I’m sure you know what you’re doing if you’re building your system from scratch. If you’re a software guy, then I’m sure you would want to max out on your cpu speed and ram. You don’t want any unecessary swapping of virtual memory. RAID strips across disks. So, if you just plan to have one disk, don’t worry about it. RAM Disks I implemented once in our production enviroment. Sweet…


Thanks for answering my query.

I’m planning to run WinXP with VMware for workstation so that I can continue to run some of my legacy software under win98 or win95.

I know a lot of processing power would be suitable and a large hard disk.

I’m not into games much, but have some software that I want to keep running for a while. Moreover, I will most probably network the pc with ADSL and a firewall. I mostly use the net for music.

Most of the stuff I run requires less processing power than that - as evidence, I currently run PII 266 which suffices for most stuff I need.