Duelie Processors Just Marketing Hype?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by bsichran, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. bsichran macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    #1
    In a thread about the new DP 1.8 Powermacs, a member suggested that the extra processor doesn't really increase speed that much. Is that true even for apps like Photoshop and FCP that are optimized for mutli-processors? If so, it could mean the difference between a Powermac and a Powerbook for me.
     
  2. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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  3. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816

    pyrotoaster

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    #3
    Even with applications not optimized for dual procs, a dual machine will be faster because OS X is optimized for dual procs. The system will assign applications to different procs, speeding them both up.
     
  4. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #4
    what manitoubalck meant to say was that such a claim (that 2 processors don't do much) is garbage. On MP aware apps, the difference is enormous. In addition, two processors means that you can be doing something complex (encoding video for example) and also doing other tasks at the same time, with no loss in performance on any task.

    Make no mistake about it: dual processors make a very very big difference.
     
  5. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #5
    Thank you for expanding on my point. Although regardless of how many processors if you are doing multiple tasks then both will be slowed slightly especially if your incoding Div-x video.
     
  6. maradong macrumors 65816

    maradong

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    #6
    well you are losing about 5 - 10 % of the second cpu 's cpu power to the sync of the 2 cpus.
    namely those 5 % are used to make sure both cpu s wok good together. to keep it up in simple words.
     
  7. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

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    Apr 9, 2001
    #7
    keep in mind that the system is rarely doing one single task.

    Everything you do on your computer is broken up into small tasks that can be split. Also, some apps get benefit from dual processors as a sideeffect.

    For example, Games will have their sound offloaded to the second processor while they use the first processor. This is simply a side effect that the sound processing is threaded by the OS.

    arn
     
  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #8
    Many applications will benefit from multiple processors, even though they weren't specifically designed for them.

    I would imagine that FCP shows the advantage but Photoshop 7 certainly does not. Version 6 was much quicker, and according to one post, it's getting worse with the CS version.

    Still, you just have to run Quake III Arena to see that there's no hype involved.

    I wish that Mac OS X only drained 5 - 10 percent in managing both processors. Those are numbers shared by extremely efficient commercial operating systems but it's effective, even if it isn't particularly efficient.
     
  9. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #9
    Here's my NON techie jargon explanation I use for people in the office that ask about my duallie G5...


    I can run Photoshop, Flash, Safari, Mail, iChat.... etc.. and the damn thing never seems to slow down....

    I had gotten in the habit on my Rev A tibook(my prior work machine) of constantly quiting Photoshop when going to flash and quitting flash when going to Dreamweaver etc... really killed my multitasking ability.

    On the G5 i just crank work out all day, and at the end of the day realize i had 15 programs open.....

    I just bought an alBook and even that can't hold a candle to what my G5 is capable of...

    If you're like me and you work multiple projects at once, need to jump back and forth between programs, and basically ... just love to multitask , then a duallie is THE machine to have.
     
  10. agreenster macrumors 68000

    agreenster

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    #10
    For us 3D people

    Maya uses the dual processor: one to draw wireframe, and one to draw smooth-shaded. So, if you are doing both, it really speeds things along. Also, renders are threaded, so you render in half the time. <--Extremely important.

    Plus, everything seems snappier. I know that my dualie runs rings around single chip puters with the exact same specs.

    Want more proof? Just look at ANY set of benchmarks (Mac or Intel or AMD) and you'll find dualies almost always coming out on top.
     
  11. richd macrumors newbie

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    Nov 20, 2003
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    Alberta, Canada
    #11
    about those dualies . . .

    I am eagerly watching the prices on G5s and seeing the recent price drop on the 1.6 model and the additioal processor on the 1.8 model made me drool. I've read through this thread but I am still wondering, do I really need a dual processor mac?

    I'm on a G3, 375Mhz so any jump I make will be noticed but I'd rather spend the money on long-term needs. I mainly use Word, Excel, do Web Browsing, a little Quicktime and the like in addition to a few games here and there. i'm interested in maybe using Final Cut Express in the future.

    So the question is: If I go with the 1.6 model will I wish I had dualies later, or is the dual 1.8 model the thing to get? Will the second processor ever get used? Will the money be wasted? Advice? Opinions?
     
  12. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

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    #12
    All too often consumers think that dual prcoessors means twice as fast. Simply put, it doesnt. To say it adds little, is false... but its not the edge that many people mistakenly think.

    To say 5-10% is lost, I feel, is quite conservative. It'll depend on application task, and what else you have going on... but I'd argue its generally closer to a 30% loss.

    If you're not sure if you need a dualie or not, I think thats a pretty good sign that you dont need one.
     
  13. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #13
    Re: about those dualies . . .

    The second processor will be used as soon as you start the operating system. Different applications you run should end up on either processor.

    Would the money be wasted? That depends on how long you're going to use the machine. If you're using it as a stopgap until you can get the fastest machine possible, you're probably wasting money. If you intend to keep it for 3 years and want it to still be fairly capable at that point, then it's not wasted at all.
     
  14. richd macrumors newbie

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    Nov 20, 2003
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    Alberta, Canada
    #14
    Re: Re: about those dualies . . .

    Thanks for the input! I bought an 8600 back in 1997 and upgraded it in various ways since. I would keep this machine for a long time so I'd rather spend more money now on a more powerful machine but only if it's worth it. I heard, once, that the second processor on dual processor machines only kicks in for certain functions or with certain programs (e.g., processor-intense Photoshop operations, Adobe apps). I take it they duals don't work that way any more? If they operate all the time, as indicated, I think I know my choice.
     

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