my multicore experience

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dkoralek, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. dkoralek macrumors 6502

    dkoralek

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #1
    Well, I finally got my new mac pro this week (2.66, 4 gig). Only problems I had are the usual right click issues with the wireless mighty mouse and some incompatible dl media with the super drive (and i'm awaiting my new lcd, but it's still plenty usable with my 17" crt).

    So, there had some discussion about how well software could use the multicore systems (and therefore, how useful, moving to 8-core mac pros might be). Unlike a lot of you out there, I don't do any video or graphics work with my mac pro (nor do i do much gaming), so off the bat, the stock 7300 was all I really needed). I mainly do statistical analysis (other than the usual web surfing, e-mail, listening to music while i work, etc.) and use STATA. Recently, they upped their offerings to true multi-processor versions for os x (only intels).

    Pricing is by the number of processors you want to support, and I could only really justify the 2-processor version as a 4-processor version (under edu pricing) is $800 more than the 2-processor version ($1495 vs. $695). And as it is, the numbers for stata show that the efficiency gain you get with increased number of processors decreases with each extra processor.

    So, I did a couple of tests with some code that I had been using previously that would kill my iBook (1.42GHz G4) and would still take a while on the university mainframes. Anyway, STATA actually did chop it up into 3 threads (maybe 1 is just the housekeeping for the program and the gui, etc.?) and ran the code quite smoothly without bogging down the system, making my life a lot happier :). It does demonstrate that with this type of workflow, you really are limited to the number of processors that the program license will work with (and the non-mainframe versions of stata will not allow you to run multiple instances simultaneously).

    cheers.
     
  2. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #2
    I'm glad you are able to take advantage of all four cores! Until more apps become multi-processor aware, your story will be one in a handful
     
  3. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #3
    They all have four processors. What the heck are you talking about?

    And where did you find one for $695?
     
  4. laidbackliam macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    #4
    the new "8" core macs will still only have two processors. but they will have four cores per processor, hence, 8 core macs.

    this is just trying to clear up confusion.
     
  5. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #5
    Actually, it still would have 8 processors. "Dual core" simply means two processors on one die. The current Mac Pros have four processors on two dies. The current MacBook Pro has two processors, on one die. Each core is a complete processor - putting them on the same die lowers costs and allows for faster operation, especially when sharing cache (as opposed to two processors on two dies sharing a cache) - however they don't seem to perform as well as two processors on two dies that each have their own cache.

    Just clearing up your confusion.
     
  6. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #6
    I believe the OP meant that the software used was optimized for 2 or 4 processors, and got the one optimized for 2 processors.

    I still don't see why have two versions instead of one ultiprocessor aware
     
  7. PmattF macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    #7
    What is the right click issue? What is the fix? I have a Mac Pro on order with wireless mighty mouse.
     
  8. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #8
    Ohhh I get it now. I thought he was talking about the actual Mac Pro.

    Usually when people say this, they mean either A: they didn't enable right-click (it is off by default, ala traditional Mac mice) or B: they aren't manipulating their fingers correctly (you're supposed to lift ever so slightly on the finger you are NOT clicking with to reliably register a click on the correct finger). Once you learn the anomalies of the Mighty Mouse, you get so used to it you begin using normal mice the same way.
     
  9. furious macrumors 65816

    furious

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    Comprehension not your strong point i see. ;)
     
  10. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #10
     
  11. dkoralek thread starter macrumors 6502

    dkoralek

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #11
    You are correct. Sorry for that confusion. They actually have more than 4-processor versions for multiprocessor servers. The reason that they can price them differently is because they can (i.e. some people will pay extra for that benefit, but most will not, and they can make a ton off of those that can; I also don't know how the pricing scales for non-academic users because it is priced client by client). But more importantly, because most statistical analyses require sequential computing, there is only so much efficiency that can be gained by having multiple processors working on the data for many procedures.

    cheers.
     
  12. dkoralek thread starter macrumors 6502

    dkoralek

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #12
    As for my right clicking issues. I don't believe that this is it. I can right click with no problem, either by slightly lifting my index finger off the mouse or by simply just tapping with one finger on the right side of the mouse. But then after a while this no longer registers as anything other than a left click, even just tapping on the right side with no other fingers anywhere near the mouse. If I then turn the mouse off and back on again, it works fine for a while. I have seen that this is a consistent problem that some people have had with their bluetooth mighty mouse. I used steermouse to also set the scroll ball click as the right click so that I don't need to have the right click working.

    cheers.
     
  13. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #13
    Weird, none of my (5) wired MM ever behave that way. I never liked wireless mice anyway...
     
  14. dkoralek thread starter macrumors 6502

    dkoralek

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #14
    I believe that this is unique to the wireless one. other than the slight annoyance of the right clicking, it is great. i'm enjoying not having to be plugged in (underneath my desk is a mess right now because i still have my dell dimension there until i've migrated everything).

    cheers.
     

Share This Page