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Windows 7 To Be 256-Core Aware

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the so-they-say-now dept.

Operating Systems 441

unassimilatible writes "As new features of Windows 7 continue to trickle out, ZDNet is now reporting that it will scale to 256 processors. While one has to wonder, like with Vista, how many of the teased features will actually make it into the final OS, I think we can all agree, 256 cores is enough for anybody." This Mark Russinovich interview has some technical details (Silverlight required).

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Hmm (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25601947)

While one has to wonder, like with Vista, how many of the teased features will actually make it into the final OS

If you're going by their track record, it's an easy answer: None.

Obligatory (4, Funny)

westbake (1275576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602193)

Can you imagine a beowolf cluster of those?

Neither can I.

Microsoft scumbags are out early today. (0, Flamebait)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602343)

Hmmm. -1 and -1 mods.

The Microsoft Moderator Minions are out early today.

Re:Microsoft scumbags are out early today. (1, Insightful)

BotnetZombie (1174935) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602435)

If you click on the OP's score, you'll see that there is no modding history unlike for your own comment that has a +1 karma bonus. This suggests to me that the OP has bad karma from previous downmods, i.e. he has not been downmodded for this post.

Re:Hmm (5, Interesting)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602419)

To be fair, I think Microsoft this time around have been really careful with what they promise for Windows 7. Seems like they learned from their mistakes with Vista, and now that they have a stable, solid kernel (whether you'd like to believe it or not), a lot of the headaches from Vista's development are simply not there.

eh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25601955)

Didn't Bill Gates say that 640 MB's of hard disk was enough for anyone?

Yeah, Microsoft should never say anything is enough.

Re:eh (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602055)

No... No he didn't.

Re:eh (5, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602085)

Sigh, first off, it was 640kb of ram, and second off it's not even his quote. And additionally I'm not sure who really said it, but it wasn't Gates.

The 640kb wasn't meant in the long term it was meant at that point, a time when they were talking about how to divy up the limited ram. It was the sensible way to proceed, it's just that drivers and such didn't get loaded into the rest of the ram causing huge headaches for gaming.

Even at that point it was asinine to suggest that ram wouldn't become more common in machines. I think at that point they'd already seen ram increase by a few thousand percentage points easy if not more.

Re:eh (4, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602301)

Except the architecture they chose was pretty much limited to 640, so i don't buy your argument.

Sure, soon afterwards ways around it was found, and eventually broken completely but it was a HARD limit at one point and i don't give Bill credit for seeing beyond his nose due to his 'self importance' attitude, which has burnt him more then once ( but with billions in the bank, its easy to buy your way out of a mistake ).

It was also marketing spin against the competing motorola chips ( and systems ) which could address more. "you really don't need that extra headroom, stick with microsoft'

Re:eh (5, Informative)

Immortal Poet (1048010) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602327)

Supposedly it's an urban legend that he even said that, because no one on the internet can actually source the quote. And if the internet can't find it, then it probably doesn't exist. To sate those who want at least something, however, here is a relevant quote from 1989:

"I have to say that in 1981, making those decisions, I felt like I was providing enough freedom for 10 years. That is, a move from 64k to 640k felt like something that would last a great deal of time. Well, it didn't - it took about only 6 years before people started to see that as a real problem."

Blocking up the fail whales blowhole (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25601957)

(Silverlight required).

My browser already supports audio, video, vector graphics and a scripting language.

Re:Blocking up the fail whales blowhole (5, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602311)

So why the limit?

Are they only having a byte to store the core ID?

Today it's feasible to build yourself a machine with 32 cores using 4-core AMD:s 4-core processors and a Tyan n4250QE [tyan.com.tw] with a M4985 [tyan.com.tw] daughterboard. This will give you 64 cores to play with.

In a not too far future we will see processors with a larger number of cores and therefore we will soon bang our heads into that wall. At least those of us that toy with parallelism.

Re:Blocking up the fail whales blowhole (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602459)

I'm sure by the time 256 cores is the 'norm' on grandma's desktop, Windows 7 will be old news :-)

Enough? (5, Funny)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 5 years ago | (#25601959)

I think we can all agree, 256 cores is enough for anybody.

I just put the finishing touches on my 257 core machine, you insensitive clod!

Re:Enough? (5, Funny)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602003)

I think there is an error in the summary, I believe that 256 cores is the minimum requirement for Windows 7, not the supported number of cores, so your machine might actually be fine with 7.

Re:Enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602027)

For once, a funny anti-Microsoft-bashing comment. Come on moderators. +1

Re:Enough? (0, Redundant)

WoodGuard (773426) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602009)

Is this like when 640k was enough for everyone? Who would need more ram?

Re:Enough? (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602089)

256 Cores really isn't that much.
Yea it is a lot of a PC but not for some of the real high end stuff. In college I worked on a MasPar with 1024 processors.

Re:Enough? (4, Insightful)

risinganger (586395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602117)

Like anybody in their right mind would ever consider putting windows on a 1024 processor machine used for 'real high end stuff'.

Let's remember for a moment where most installations of windows will be.

Re:Enough? (4, Funny)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602167)

Let's remember for a moment where most installations of windows will be.

In Africa [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Enough? (0, Redundant)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602329)

What does it even mean that it "scales to 256 cores", though? I'd interpret it to say that it has support for 256-processor SMP scheduling, but in that case, my reaction would have to be "not until now?". Seriously, does Windows Datacenter Edition (oh, the oxymoron that it is) not support that many CPUs already? Or does it mean that the standard edition of Windows 7 will just be licensed to be able to use 256 CPUs?

Also, how many CPUs does Linux support these days? Last I read about it a couple of years ago, it supported 1024 processors.

Licensing (4, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602467)

...and you'll need a license for every core.

Another excuse not to RTFA (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#25601963)

Suggestion for new /. poll. Who has installed Silverlight? (Silverlight required)

No Silverlight here. (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602087)

No Silverlight, no Moonlight, it's bad enough that I've got to deal with Microsoft's broken security zones at work, I'm not going to start running son-of-ActiveX at home.

Re:Another excuse not to RTFA (5, Informative)

PerfectSmurf (882935) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602127)

Opera browser and NO Silverlight here. That said there is no article to read but an interview to watch and the summary is wrong - it only requires Silverlight if you're using Internet Explorer. It streams video (.wmv) just fine to me.

You don't actually need silverlight (4, Informative)

ubbe (82991) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602209)

If you look more closely (just below the description section) there are download links for:

        * iPod (MP4)
        * MP3
        * PSP (MP4)
        * WMA
        * WMV
        * WMV (High)
        * Zune

Re:Another excuse not to RTFA (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602235)

Actually i never had the need to install it, i think that the only SL sites that i tried to visit were MS's ones

Re:Another excuse not to RTFA (2, Insightful)

Johnny Loves Linux (1147635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602391)

The thing that gets me is: was this a bait and switch to get people to install siverlight to see something that sounded really interesting? When I saw the "Need to upgrade browser/install siverlight" I felt nothing but digust.

Here is an opportunity for Microsoft to demonstrate something cool and what do they do to all the folks who can never get silverlight to run on their operating systens? Yeah, tell them "Piss off! You're unclean! You can't watch our video!" That's a great way Microsoft to try convince folks to give your technology a try. Way to go Ohio.

The second thing I noticed was the sudden feeling that this was a poor imitation of Google Tech talks, in which you can watch the videos in any operating system, because google is more interested in getting the word out than trying to "sell" or "slip under the radar" some new multimedia transport mechanism.

Only 256 Cores ??? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25601965)

I would agree that 256 cores is enough for everybody just as I would agree that:

* Nobody needs more than 640K of RAM
* There is no need for IP addresses greater than 32 bits.
* The home user surely doesn't need hard drives larger than 20MB.
* 8 inch floppies are large enough to contain all your important data.

The brain is a wonderful parallel computing device. It surely doesn't need more than 256 cores to do what it does and we surely don't want to emulate the brain.

Silverlight? (0, Redundant)

Loibisch (964797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25601967)

RTFA my ass!

I have to ask (-1, Flamebait)

empesey (207806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25601975)

Why spend effort on this, when they can't get it to work with 1 processor?

Already said... (-1, Redundant)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25601977)

...that 256 MB of memory was enough for anybody... Where do you go today with 256 MB of memory if not running Linux?

Linux: 4096 (5, Informative)

setagllib (753300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25601979)

The most recent mainline Linux release has integrated mature patches for 4096 core scalability, that have been developed by high performance computing corporations and tested in the field for years. Previous versions were rated for "only" 1024 cores. That still makes 256 look like a Gameboy.

It must be really hard for Microsoft to compete in the HPC space. I almost feel bad for them. Almost.

Re:Linux: 4096 (1, Funny)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602057)

It must be really hard for Microsoft to compete in the HPC space. I almost feel bad for them. Almost.

I don't believe you on this. I think you're just saying that to not be modded done on too much bias. But then again, this is slashdot, anything anti-microsoft should get you modded up.

Re:Linux: 4096 (5, Funny)

BeShaMo (996745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602071)

The most recent mainline Linux release has integrated mature patches for 4096 core scalability, that have been developed by high performance computing corporations and tested in the field for years. Previous versions were rated for "only" 1024 cores. That still makes 256 look like a Gameboy.

It must be really hard for Microsoft to compete in the HPC space. I almost feel bad for them. Almost.

I think these comparisons have to stop. They give Linux an unfair bias. Linux does not have to spend resources on things like cool names their releases, and wages for people with excellent chairthrowing abilities, so naturally they can instead use the resources on developing software. Come back when each release of Linux is given inspiring names like Linux XP and they have proper chairthrowing capabilities, then we shall make a fair assesment.

Re:Linux: 4096 (4, Funny)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602281)

Come back when each release of Linux [...]

You come back when WGA includes source code and a patch. Until then, I'll be sending my money in the direction of http://www.linuxgenuineadvantage.org/source/ [linuxgenui...antage.org] and http://www.alienos.com/wp-content/uploads/linux_gen_adv_crack.patch [alienos.com]

Re:Linux: 4096 (4, Informative)

catmistake (814204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602309)

Linux XP [linux-xp.com]

Re:Linux: 4096 (1)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602433)

hey... I've done some linux development and can throw chairs as well as the next man (*checks to make sure the next man isn't Steve Ballmer*)

Re:Linux: 4096 (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602099)

It's a moot point. It's likely that processors will eventually have more than 256 cores, but that's going to take a long time, I'm not necessarily convinced that we will. At some point we will hit the smallest possible transister size and I'm not sure that will leave physical room for all the extra cores without moving to a much larger chip size.

That being said, if we're still using Windows 7 when mainstream computers have more than 256 cores there's something very wrong going on. Linux probably will need that kind of scalability, but it's because of the sort of rolling release schedule where releases are expected to be based upon the previous version, if loosely at times.

Re:Linux: 4096 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602393)

I believe that you mean it is a "moo point", as in the opinion of a cow. It just doesn't matter. "The point is moo."

Re:Linux: 4096 (5, Informative)

eclectus (209883) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602491)

It won't take too long. Sun's T2 chip has 64 threads, and the T5440 that I have at the office has 4 chips in it, for 256 threads, all in a 4u chassis. Granted, it doesn't run windows, but seriously CMT chips are out and growing fast. BTW, the T2 cpu is only about an inch quare, and it's only done on 65nm tech, not even 40nm.

Re:Linux: 4096 (-1, Redundant)

bugbeak (711163) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602123)

Bah! 640 cores should be more than enough!

Re:Linux: 4096 (1)

Mia'cova (691309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602177)

256 is not a set maximum. It's a target for consumer applications. It's about breaking the major windows subsystems down to work with many cores. 4096 processor scalability is great. But how much benefit would you see in KDE and open office if you could drop a 4096 core 2 duo in your machine right now?

Re:Linux: 4096 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602365)

*blink*

Oh look, OpenOffice.org has just added an eighth of a centimetre to its progress bar! That's fast!

Re:Linux: 4096 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602213)

What happened to "None, One, or Infinity"?

MS has a really bad habit of.... (5, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25601983)

.... testing the waters via marketing that which may or not come into some form of existence.

They use the same tactic as well, to help suppress any interest a competitor might be getting with some technology by claiming they are doing the same, where often enough they kill teh support teh competitor was getting while never producing that which they claimed they were doing.

So take this current claim in such a light and you'll know "believe it when you know you have it and are using it, not even a split second before".

Differing theory (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602179)

.... testing the waters via marketing that which may or not come into some form of existence.

They use the same tactic as well, to help suppress any interest a competitor might be getting with some technology by claiming they are doing the same, where often enough they kill teh support teh competitor was getting while never producing that which they claimed they were doing.

So take this current claim in such a light and you'll know "believe it when you know you have it and are using it, not even a split second before".

I have another theory. MS, not wanting to waste time, money, people, and any other resource on developing something that may not do well in the market place, tests the waters to see if anyone actually wants the product. Maybe if they did that with Vista, they wouldn't have that train wreck.

Microsoft is a mature company in a mature industry. The days of investing a product and crossing your fingers that it will sell are long gone. They need to think like a car company now.

Re:Differing theory (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602385)

I have another theory. MS, not wanting to waste time, money, people, and any other resource on developing something that may not do well in the market place, tests the waters to see if anyone actually wants the product. Maybe if they did that with Vista, they wouldn't have that train wreck.

Lets see why Vista was a train wreck: A) It ran pathetically slow B) It renamed things for no apparent reasons and C) It had too much DRM and other crap. I think that anyone could have told you that it wouldn't go over too well. It wasn't because of things developed that "wouldn't go over well in the marketplace" it was the idiot Ballmer trying to push his agenda that is killing MS over developing decent software.

Microsoft is a mature company in a mature industry. The days of investing a product and crossing your fingers that it will sell are long gone. They need to think like a car company now.

A mature industry?!?! You tell me that making OSes that crash every few hours and have to reboot all the time is part of a "mature industry"? And I'm not just talking about Windows, I'm talking also talking about a few of the flaws that OS X and Linux have too. To use your analogy its like having a car that stalls every hour or so, and when you have more than 3 people in it stalls more often, and if you have certain luggage in the back it stalls more often too. The OS industry is not mature it no longer is a monopoly with Linux and OS X becoming popular, but it sure isn't mature.

256 cores... pfft (-1, Redundant)

joib (70841) | more than 5 years ago | (#25601985)

Only another order of magnitude to go and they are were Linux is today (4096).

Re:256 cores... pfft (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602005)

Since these seem to be powers of two, it's 4 orders of magnitude, actually.

Re:256 cores... pfft (2, Informative)

cnettel (836611) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602043)

256 cores means that it can be stored in a 16-byte flag. Coincidentally, most current implementations of x64 (not the very first Athlon64s, though) implement instructions for atomic 16-byte operations. It seems like MS thinks that the performance benefits of being able to store affinity and other status flags in this manner outweigh the downsides. By the way, I would say this is more to handle things like 32 cores of 8-way SMT, than 256 actual cores. MS can accept losing the niche of very large shared-memory systems, but not the midrange servers of tomorrow.

Re:256 cores... pfft (4, Informative)

ElMiguel (117685) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602225)

256 cores means that it can be stored in a 16-byte flag

Er... there are 128 bits in 16 bytes. HTH.

Re:256 cores... pfft (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602417)

Well, the plan in Linux is to allow distros to release their desktop kernels preconfigured for 4096 cpus with no measurable runtime costs even for dual core desktops.

Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25601989)

Can we just agree on either measuring in processors or in cores. What does that now mean? 256*n cores. Or 256 cores on 256 single-core processors. Or ...

Those not aware of History... (-1, Troll)

fferret (58662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25601997)

Quoting Bill Gates: "640K is enough memory for anybody." And look what happened to him! ;-)>

Re:Those not aware of History... (1)

mab (17941) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602103)

Except that he never said that.

Re:Those not aware of History... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602111)

Swooooosh!

A Guide To The Barack Obama Presidency (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602001)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER bitches ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Not exactly my highest priority (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602015)

The fact that it's slower, less stable, far more bloated, takes longer to boot, has that ridiculously badly-thought-out UAC, and has far worse hardware support than XP? They can address those things in Windows 8. As long as Windows 7 can handle 256 cores, everything is good in the world!

Too bad it won't run on a Sun-T2 box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602023)

They are already showing up as 128 cores on a fairly affordable box.

Re:Too bad it won't run on a Sun-T2 box (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602083)

That's 128 threads (and they have a four socket, eight core version, for 256 threads,) not 128 cores.

Basically, their chips are dual-core, and each core is split 32 ways by SMT (what in the Intel world is known as HyperThreading.)

Re:Too bad it won't run on a Sun-T2 box (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602091)

Bah, my bad, eight cores per chip, eight-way SMT per core.

Still, not 128 cores per box.

Yeah right ... (4, Interesting)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602029)

I won't believe a thing Microsoft says about Windows 7 until I see it. Microsoft is like a political candidate running for office. It makes a ton of promises you know it'll never keep.

Memory scaling (3, Interesting)

FourthAge (1377519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602035)

How will Vista (and, indeed, Linux) manage memory across so many cores? The machine can't be SMP, because you can't maintain data cache coherence across more than about eight cores. So it has to have a completely new memory model. I wonder how this can be achieved without major changes to the kernel?

Re:Memory scaling (5, Informative)

setagllib (753300) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602109)

Linux supports NUMA which largely solves that problem, and ccNUMA which solves it even better. It's all about locality once again. Linux has been running on multi-thousand CPU machines for years, and has been optimised and refined by the stakeholders of those projects, so it's not a toy project to show off.

Re:Memory scaling (4, Informative)

jargon82 (996613) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602261)

I'm reasonably sure 64 bit windows supports NUMA as well. I've worked with the IBM x3950, which is a NUMA architecture, and several of the folks (the minority, to be sure) whom I configured these systems for ultimately used windows.

Re:Memory scaling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602129)

The answer is it won't handle it.

Basically they've raised an arbitrary limit on the number of CPU's from whatever it is now in XP and Vista to 256. Obviously they haven't tested it at 256 cores because there are no x86/x86_64 256 core machines out there.

This is a pretty pointless announcement.

Re:Memory scaling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602141)

I believe that's what NUMA [wikipedia.org] is for

Re:Memory scaling (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602195)

AMD Opteron and Intels upcoming CPUs support NUMA, or rather ccNUMA. That basically syncs only areas cached in multiple caches. OS support for that isn't extremely complex; it becomes mainly an issue of minimizing the situations where multiple caches cache the same memory.

Re:Memory scaling (1)

32771 (906153) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602499)

This post is somewhat redundant now but I have been wondering about the same thing and then I found out about NUMA:

http://lse.sourceforge.net/numa/ [sourceforge.net]

If you are looking for a NUMA machine running Linux have a look at this.

http://www.sgi.com/products/servers/altix/4000/ [sgi.com]

If you check out citeseer you might find that the name NUMA came up around 1989. I couldn't find it any earlier. So whatever a 256 core processor will look like, it doesn't have to be something new.

It seems like it should be possible to use already existing parallel architectures in those multi core processors. Although I could imagine that integrating multiple cores on one chip could support architectures which make use of that different type of platform. I don't know how this could look like, but I wouldn't want to rule out that we are going to see something new.

We never get enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602075)

Saying that nobody needs more cores is like they said that noone will ever need more than a few bauds of network traffic.
It's bullshit. AFAIK Sun is already building machines with more cores.

in all editions? (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602113)

or just in an HPC version?

even with current growth, i cant see a 256 core cpu in the reasonable future, does MS maybe expect multi-processor motherboards to start creeping into desktops?

if this is only for an HPC edition, it doesnt seem like much, cpus with 8 cores are available now, so 16 core chips seem likely in the not to distant future, which would only allow 16 processors, with quad processor boards available now, that would mean your core limit could be reached in just 4 boards.

im no expert but this seems either totally excessive or nowhere near enough

on a side, how many cores do vista, xp etc support?

Re:in all editions? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602207)

You better believe MS marketing will put limits on the cheaper versions. It's kind of like how you had to buy the higher priced server versions for more than two processors / cores. (I haven't been keeping up, so I'm sure the limits have changed again.)

Re:in all editions? (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602355)

Although XP and Vista don't support more than two physical CPUs, they do support up to 32 cores (64 on the 64-bit versions) regardless of the version of the OS.

Yes, that's a lot less than current Linux kernels, but the reality is that for a desktop operating system it's not a problem. I don't think that Microsoft is really wrong in assuming that once you hit more than two CPU sockets, you're going to be installing a server OS.

HPC... (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602317)

Currently HPC doesn't trend this way either. HPC tends not to be large, single system image designs at this point in time. They tend to be many nodes with independent kernel instances.

The only market that *currently* trends toward this that comes to mind is virtualization. A virtualization server, however, would not be running Windows 7 (if anything MS, it would be a server edition. Even if not for technical reasons, for licensing reasons it pretty much would have to not be a 'desktop/worskstation' edition).

In terms of why, keep in mind it was probably a convenient limit to implement, and not much point from a technical standpoint to do less. In terms of the timeframe they are keeping in mind for desktops, they probably want to be usable on systems 8-10 years after it releases. XP remains a significant product, 7 years after release. XP is afflicted by barriers that seemed out of reach in 2001 for desktops (~3 GB of ram). Many companies are taking a wait-and-see for Windows 7, due to design decisions in Vista they don't agree with. MS more than ever has to prepare for a potential long life for their platform even beyond a new release. If Windows 7 manages to win back a reputation, they hope it will shield them from a potential Windows 8 flop. If Windows 7 flops, they have a significant problem on their hands as those companies that refuse Vista and 7 will be forced to migrate to stay in the current market. If they think 7 will be painful for them, they may think more about a Linux platform, which probably would be more painful a transition, but would be more hypothetically future-proof once done (worst comes to worse, hire an in-house developer to extend your basic platform if you don't like the direction, but generally you can make a brand-new distribution behave pretty much like RH7.3 if you absolutely need to)..

Hmmm, me thinks (2)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602115)

if I had a machine with 256 cores I would be using an OS that fit the dedicated process I was coding for, not one that added to the overhead.

Can't Agree (0, Redundant)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602135)

``I think we can all agree, 256 cores is enough for anybody''

No. Why would that be enough? I can think of many scenarios where more cores would be useful, and computers with more cores [ucar.edu] have already been built.

Re:Can't Agree (3, Funny)

neuromanc3r (1119631) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602191)

Oh for fuck's sake, it's a joke. Why does every second post here have to prove that its poster is humour-impaired?

Non-silverlight URL (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602137)

Paste into VLC, mplayer etc: mms://mschnlnine.wmod.llnwd.net/a1809/d1/ch9/9/1/1/5/3/4/RussinovichInsideWindows7_s_ch9.wmv

Re:Non-silverlight URL (2)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602203)

Or paste into into firefox, IE, WMP, etc...

Re:Non-silverlight URL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602243)

Or click one of the download links on the fucking article. Kdawson is blind, but that doesn't mean you have to be.

256 cores won't be enough (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602139)

Presumably they will eventually release Crysis 2.

Calc, notepad, and pbrush (2, Funny)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602161)

The only useful apps bundled with Windows. Please don't mess with them, primitive as they may be.

So.. (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602181)

.. how many of the people complaining here are going to run Windows 7 with more than 256 cores? No, really, I'd love to know why.

Re:So.. (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602221)

Maybe Microsoft are being realistic about the development time for Windows 8. If it's as long as NT 5 (eventually renamed Win2k) or Vista, we may have 256 cores by the time 8 is done.

Re:So.. (0, Troll)

chasisaac (893152) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602299)

because they want to run Microsoft Office and another program. BLOATWARE FOREVER!

256 cores enough for anyone? (-1, Redundant)

andrewmmc (773313) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602241)

Hmm... I remember someone saying something similar about 640k

Re: I think we can all agree, 256 cores is enough (0, Troll)

t-maxx cowboy (449313) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602247)

Someone once said there would never be a need for more than 640K in a personal computer. I wouldn't be so bold as to say 256 processor cores would be enough in a personal computer.

256-core might not be enough. (1)

misterjava66 (1265146) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602267)

Given how many NT4 installs still out there. You should expect a 15-year lifespan.
Given the number of 4 core machines out there; combine with moores law (double every 18 months)
4 * 2^10 = 4096 core machines at 2Ghz in 15 years. Who knows what the new OSes will
REALLY need, but a 256 core plan is probably actually minimal.

Re:256-core might not be enough. (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602505)

Given how many NT4 installs there are out there on 2008 hardware, I doubt anyone cares.

256 cores is enough for anybody (0, Redundant)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602279)

Unless you want to run the new interface, oh and antivirus, at the same time.

Enough? (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602283)

"I think we can all agree, 256 cores is enough for anybody." ... For now.

Saying anything is enough for anybody is dangerous in this business. Though 256 cores in a single unit is a lot for common people, it is not beyond the realm of super- or high performance computing.

The future may see CPU's with a hell of a lot of very small, somewhat specialized cores. The Cell or the current crop of GPU's may be paving the way for that idea, where for instance the ATI 4850 and 4870 have 800 processing units on a single chip, in 5-10 years those units are bound to be immeasurably more complex and plentiful than today. Imagine a CPU made up of over a thousand cores, each on par or better than the Intel Atom...and even then I think I'm shooting below the mark at 10 years.

256 would be enough unless . . . (0, Redundant)

chasisaac (893152) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602287)

You are wanting to run the new Microsoft Office. Then you will have underpowered machine, but just wait for Windows 8.

non silverlight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602305)

http://mschnlnine.vo.llnwd.net/d1/ch9/9/1/1/5/3/4/RussinovichInsideWindows7_ch9.mp4

256 core awareness (0, Troll)

adc.m (117676) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602389)

It's aware of 256 cores, nothing about utilizing the 256. I'm guessing it probably has more to do with licensing, it needs to detect the cores properly so it can bill you for them individually.

I first read that as "286 cores" (2, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602447)

and was impressed by how much they'd slimmed down Windows 7.

256 core "awareness" is easy... (2, Interesting)

bartwol (117819) | more than 5 years ago | (#25602471)

...but 256 core PERFORMANCE is not.

Overhead for an O.S. to manage memory and I/O contention rises dramatically *way* down in the CPU-count scale (like around 8 CPUs). It is one thing to let those CPUs be available to the exclusive use of a particular CPU-aware application, such as a custom video frame rendering app. But give an application-ignorant O.S. the job of keeping processes from stepping on each other in a 256-way box and you'll see a box whose primary workload is lock and wait management.

It's not surprising that "big box" manufacturers like IBM and HP charge so much for their high-end gear. It takes particularly tailored efforts and certain types of workloads to drive performance out of those things, and even there, performance tends to fall dramatically after 32 CPUs. It's not surprising that they employ partitioning and virtualization to divide and conquer the use of so many CPUs rather than actually treat them like one big box.

Of course, there will always be a number of consumers who will pay for Big-CPU-Count Bragging Rights, ignoring the fact that the last 50% of their CPUs deliver less incremental performance than the first 10%.

Pillars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602497)

So is this one of the pillars of the Windows 7 strategy?

Looks like I'm the only one so far ... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25602501)

... who read the headline as "Windows 7 to be 256 color aware".

Actually, it's only funny until thinking about it. Too bad.

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