03-05-2006, 01:51 AM
I am not a particularly new Mac user, and would consider myself fairly well-versed in the world of Macintosh and computers in general. However, one subject I am hazy on is the utilization of multiple processors especially in the Powermac line. Here are some things I would like to know more about
1.) What programs utilize both of my powermac's processors?
2.) Do programs have to be specially written to use more than one processor, or does the computer automatically split tasks in a "division of labor" between procs when it requires more crunching power?
3.) If programs have to be specifically written to take advantage of a certain # of processors, why would having a quad-core powermac make any difference to how most everyday applications run? (Since most computers have only 1 or 2 processors, do programmers bother to design for more?)
4.) Aside from lower power consumption, what are the differences in having 2 cores on one chip vs. 2 single core chips?
5.) What are some good sources to get practical information on this without getting terribly bogged down in jargon and programmers' code?
I've pretty much discovered that I know almost nothing about how my computer utilizes both of its processors (I've noticed that the proc fans often run at different speeds, possibly indicating that the processor use is unequal.) I do know that having 2 processors is better than 1, but I often wonder how much better, and for what type of applications- games, multitasking, media apps, video/audio editing, rendering, etc...
The quad-core is really expensive... would it really speed up EVERYTHING to have one, or just help out a couple of specific programs?
Even if all you do is post a link to an informative source, I'd appreciate it. This seems to me to be a subject that many people don't fully understand, even some of us who use these multi-core monsters. :spook: