New To Mac-Forums?

Welcome to our community! Join the discussion today by registering your FREE account. If you have any problems with the registration process, please contact us!

Get your questions answered by community gurus Advice and insight from world-class Apple enthusiasts Exclusive access to members-only contests, giveaways and deals

Join today!

 
Start a Discussion
 

Mac-Forums Brief

Subscribe to Mac-Forums Brief to receive special offers from Mac-Forums partners and sponsors

Join the conversation RSS
Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Multiple Processor Utilization...?


Post Reply New Thread Subscribe

 
Thread Tools
sevenhelmet

 
sevenhelmet's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 12, 2005
Location: Ridgecrest, CA
Posts: 539
sevenhelmet is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Aluminum Macbook 2.4Ghz; Powermac G5 2.3Ghz dual

sevenhelmet is offline
Hello all,

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:

"Luck favors the prepared"
QUOTE Thanks
Bluesmudge

 
Member Since: Mar 04, 2006
Posts: 230
Bluesmudge will become famous soon enough

Bluesmudge is offline
I dont know much, but I do know something. Programs don't have to be written to use both processors. Lets say in iMove you are rendering something, but also want to continue working. I think one processor does one thing and the other does the other.
Basically the computer splits up the processing to waht you are doing. If you arnt doing high intensity multitasking then 2 processors, or especially 4 is going to be worthless. But for graphics designers, movie makers, 3D artists, and alike who are often switching between multiple processor intensive tasks, 4 processors are going to really speed things up.
QUOTE Thanks
Kokopelli
Guest
 
Posts: n/a

Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenhelmet
Hello all,

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?
That is hard to say. Multi-threaded Apps in general though. Most "consumer" apps are single threaded. Multi threading apps increases the complexity with little benefit historically since multi processor machines were not terribly common. More and more coders are threading their apps to take advantage of multicore systems, but it is still a matter of the application as to whether it will do much good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenhelmet
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?
All programs will get a small boost from multiple processors. However programs written with it in mind will get a lot more out of them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenhelmet
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?)
It depends on what you mean by everyday application, but to use a quad processor machine for browsing and word processing would be a questionable use of money.

If you are doing very heavy image manipulation, rendering, working on editing movies, or doing multiple processor intensive things at once, it will help more. I would argue that a quad core box is in the realm of professional needs, not consumer, but many will disagree with me there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenhelmet

4.) Aside from lower power consumption, what are the differences in having 2 cores on one chip vs. 2 single core chips?
This is a very technical question, but the simple answer is communication between cores is faster.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenhelmet

5.) What are some good sources to get practical information on this without getting terribly bogged down in jargon and programmers' code?
Not that I know of.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenhelmet


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:
I think of things in terms of coding and how multiple processors effect how I code things. So I am not sure that I am the right person to try and explain in non-technical terms.
QUOTE Thanks
sevenhelmet

 
sevenhelmet's Avatar
 
Member Since: May 12, 2005
Location: Ridgecrest, CA
Posts: 539
sevenhelmet is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: Aluminum Macbook 2.4Ghz; Powermac G5 2.3Ghz dual

sevenhelmet is offline
Thanks for the responses! Yes, it seems as though the Quad would be overkill unless you have a business where time is money and speed in rendering/production is really critical.

I'm not a programmer, but I do understand some of the basic premises of coding- I've had courses in digital electronics and I do have an engineering degree. But I was mainly concerned that because I multitask a lot, (rather than doing mass amounts of rendering,) that my computer was getting bored with me. But it sounds like I am using my computer's capabilities pretty well.

"Luck favors the prepared"
QUOTE Thanks

Post Reply New Thread Subscribe


« Refurb iMac G5 for cheap at Apple.com | infamous hard drive CLUNK »
Thread Tools

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Running Multiple Instances of the Same Program DanielNTX Switcher Hangout 1 11-18-2005 08:55 AM
multiple items info MAC-simus OS X - Operating System 2 07-20-2005 01:35 PM
Multiple undo's Photoshop CS wancarlos OS X - Apps and Games 2 03-09-2005 12:12 PM
Does anyone own multiple iPODS? If so, how do you utilize them?/ VakeJ iPod Hardware and Accessories 15 02-28-2005 12:38 PM
Multiple Movie DVDs gabe90 Movies and Video 4 02-08-2005 07:24 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:08 PM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
X

Welcome to Mac-Forums.com

Create your username to jump into the discussion!

New members like you have made this community the ultimate source for your Mac since 2003!


(4 digit year)

Already a member?