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- which hardware combo will work best
January 26, 2007, 5:55 am
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Currently I am running VBA code on a dual core machine, the code can
only utilise one thread so I only get 50% CPU usage because of the
effective spare processor doing nothing. I am wondering of anyone can
shed some light on a hardware setup that will run a single thread
programme the fastest.
Looking around it seems one of the better CPU's to use would be the
'AMD Athlon 64 FX57 2.8GHz Socket 939' however as I am not too up with
the play in terms of this sort of stuff I am wondering if this is the
best chip to use, and what combination of RAM etc is going to give me
high performance. All the people I talk to in the computer sales
industry try to sell me dual/quad core processors that I do not believe
will help me to run the current programme any faster.
To summarise I want to create a computer that can run one single
process very quickly on only one core/thread.
Any help greatly appreciated.
Re: which hardware combo will work best
Check here for CPU tables:
I must agree with you on single versus multiple core processors. The
marketing departments at Intel and AMD have gone nuts over these things, but
until the software catches up, they are of no benefit to users who do one
thing at a time! My company recently bought me a new Dell laptop. Dual Core
2GHz processor and it is barely faster than my Athlon 2500 laptop I used to
use because one of the cores just sits around doing nothing - I would have
preferred the single core performance war to continue. Until the dual core
chips can reach the 3GHz (under normal cooling conditions), I am not
interested in upgrading, because it doesn't matter to me how fast the spare
core runs because it barely does anything in my single task user style!
Re: which hardware combo will work best
Sisoft Sandra ALU FX57 versus Pentium 4 670
Sisoft Sandra MFLOPS FX57 versus Pentium 4 670
At least in the first chart, there is a slight breakpoint as you switch
from single core to dual core. Which means the Sandra benchmark does take
advantage of more than one computing core. And if you look at the results,
they are cache independent, and focus on equivalent core clock speed.
You'd probably prefer a 670 over a 570, because in the real world, the
cache makes a difference. (And a 672 offers Virtualization, so there are
other slight model number tweaks possible.)
I'd say both processors are on the "endangered species" list, so if
you plan on going with either of those, best hurry :-)
Here is an FX-57 for $289. These were probably close to $1000 at one time.
Here is a P4 670 3.8GHz for $369.
When the parts don't come with a heatsink fan (OEM), you shop for that
separately. This is an advantage, when the parts run hot, and you need
a third party cooler anyway. The P4 670 draws 115W. The FX-57 is 104W.
http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sSpec=SL7Z3 (a P4 670)
http://www.zalman.co.kr/eng/product/view.asp?idx=231&code=009 (sample cooler)
For the FX-57, you could use PC3200 memory CAS2. The best combo of speed
and memory size, would be 2x1GB, as using four sticks can result in having
to use Command Rate 2T timing (20% memory bandwidth loss). Two sticks is
the highest performance config, but if you need the memory size, then
the motherboards do support four sticks, as do the processors.
Typical high performance memory in DDR2, is DDR2-800. Using a low
CAS latency would be the best type. There are higher speed memory
products offered, but they may not be practical to apply (intended
for overclocking and overclocking configurations). It really depends
on the motherboard, and the motherboard manual is the best place
to look for guidance.
These memories would be for stock operation of FX-57. Select one
where the customer reviews are all positive about trouble free
For DDR2-800, CAS5 or "5-5-5" timing is more or less standard
and run of the mill. These "4-4-4" modules are slightly faster,
but when you go with exotic modules, they sometimes need the
Vdimm set higher. When buying a motherboard with DDR2 memory,
make sure the BIOS has a setting for the voltage! The same
advice probably goes for a S939 motherboard, but the trend with
pretty well all the exotic modules in DDR2, is some voltage
boosting. The PC3200 CAS2 DDR memory I use, didn't need to be
kicked quite as high, percentage wise.
The two stick versus four stick thing should be less of a problem
with DDR2. If you want more memory, it will probably be OK.
Anandtech, when they do a full test of a motherboard, test with
two sticks and four sticks of memory. Here, the two stick config
runs at 4-4-3-8 and the four stick config at 4-4-4-10. The
performance significance, is the first number in the string has
the most effect. The ones on the end are noise.
Here, you can see a good memory, offering the option of running with
even tighter timing. The tested memory here is
GeIL PC2-6400 800MHz Plus (2x1GB - GX22GB6400PDC) and are only
$450 a pair. ( http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=85509
Note that a higher than standard (1.8V) voltage is being used, and
they've selected 2.1V in their BIOS.
It is when you're overclocking, that higher than DDR2-800 rates comes
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