×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

8-Core Intel Nehalem-EX To Launch This Month

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the double-the-cores-for-only-twice-the-price dept.

Upgrades 186

MojoKid writes "What could you do with 8 physical cores of CPU processing power? Intel's upcoming 8-core Nehalem-EX is launching later this month, according to Intel Xeon Platform Director Shannon Poulin. The announcement puts to rest rumors that the 8-core part might be delayed, and makes good on a promise Intel made last year when the chip maker said it would release the chip in the first half of 2010. To quickly recap, Nehalem-EX boasts an extensive feature-set, including up to 8 cores per processor, up to 16 threads per processor with Intel Hyper-threading, scalability up to eight sockets via Intel's serial Quick Path Interconnect and more with third-party node controllers, and 24MB of shared cache."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

186 comments

March of the penguins (3, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405630)

Ah! My dream of the day when I can boot up and see penguins taking up the entire screen is almost here.

Re:March of the penguins (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407940)

What are you talking about? I can finally run Vista with that! If I'm lucky, I might even get Aero!

It's obvious (1, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405680)

Run a REAL operating system, like VISTA! [facebook.com]

Re:It's obvious (0, Flamebait)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405710)

Has it been confirmed that you can make a beowulf cluster of these, then? Could we be close to the dream of acceptable Vista performance?

Oh, wait, how many terabytes of RAM can the chipset that runs these handle?

Re:It's obvious (2, Informative)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405814)

This processor is meant for servers, because they're Xeon, and with all the Web 2.0 and Cloud computing going on, servers are always hungry for more power.

Re:It's obvious (4, Insightful)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407182)

This makes me sad. Web 2-point-Oh is such a waste of a perfectly good 8-core processor.

10 years ago if you had told me about an 8-core processor I would have imagined using it for kick-of-the-ass games, immersive virtual reality, editing 3D video and simulating newer, more deadly designs of chainsaw chain.

But noo, instead they are used to pump out inefficient JavaShit-based versions of the Desktop software we had in '93 with a shiny new rounded corner interface to web browsers around the world. Great.

Re:It's obvious (3, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407698)

Yea, it really bugs me how 95% of a web site's load time and processing load is accounted for by a few pretty features like rounded corners and drop shadows.

How about we put those effects into CSS where they below and not induce massive load by simulating them with 5mb of JavaScript?

Re:It's obvious (2, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407768)

Am I the only one here who understands that client-side Javascript has absolutely nothing to do with how many cores your server has?

Web 1.0 can use plenty of cores, too, but generally your Web x.x requirements and your required server core count are orthogonal. Bandwidth and latency requirements for Web 2.0 are a different story, though. Those things tend to scale depending on how shitty your programmers are.

Re:It's obvious (3, Funny)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407832)

Who is talking about servers? I'm thinking about my home machines, you know, where the client-side javascript runs...

David, take your Facebook group and fuck off. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405836)

For fuck's sake, David. That's clearly your group, based on the admin's name.

Please don't spam us with your shitty attempt at humor and cleverness. You fail, David. You fucking fail.

Re:It's obvious (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407636)

I thought the obvious answer would be octa-porn.

And you're free to interpret that any way you like.

minimum hardware required.... (2, Funny)

rts008 (812749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405736)

Now we know what will be needed to run Win 8, I guess.
I better get started on my backyard fusion power plant....;-)

2006 called.. (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406126)

..they want their joke back. Windows 7 runs perfectly fine on 6 year old machines. But MS is known for making shitty OSes with alternate versions so Windows 8 may still suck... though initial impressions are that not much will change from Windows 7.

Re:2006 called.. (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406942)

..they want their joke back. Windows 7 runs perfectly fine on 6 year old machines. But MS is known for making shitty OSes with alternate versions so Windows 8 may still suck... though initial impressions are that not much will change from Windows 7.

every other one sucks? I haven't seen a good windows product at launch since win2k. XP was ok towards the end of it's lifetime. In my mind the jury is still out on 7, It's better then vista, but that doesn't say much. :(

Re:2006 called.. (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407730)

I use Linux primarily, but I find Win7 to be quite good actually. My experience was kinda like this [penny-arcade.com]. So this jury member has decided, and for the apps I use it for (Adobe Premiere/Photoshop) it performs very well, looks pretty and it not too bad from an interface point of view.

Re:2006 called.. (1)

masshuu (1260516) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407104)

wait, no, yes, uhh
3.1 = ok(don't have to much experience with it so can't say for sure), 95 = issues, 98 = ok, me fail, xp = ok, vista = Über fail, 7 = ok
so based on that, windows 8 will suck more than Über fail. is that possible? it will be if windows 8 uses a "rent more complicated parts of the OS as you need them" licence, which i have seen people pass the idea around.

Honestly though, unlike vista, windows 7 runs fine, all you need is a couple gigs of ram, which allot motherboards in the past 8 years support. I don't expect you to play crysis on a machine with 1.0 ghz processor, but 7 should run on it.

On a side note, 8 of these in a machine, if i can do quick math in my head, should produce between 2-3 theoretical teraflops of power.

Re:2006 called.. (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407192)

3.1 was awesome I still remember the days of messing around on it accidentally deleting the file manager and watching my god mothers son spend hours reinstalling first dos then windows with big ass 5 1/2in floppies

Balance (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405740)

Does it have the memory I/O bandwidth to keep up with the CPUs? When will I be able to actually buy a mother board with 8 of these 8 core CPUs, and what kind of a frame rate would Crysis get on that rig?

Re:Balance (4, Funny)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405810)

Does it have the memory I/O bandwidth to keep up with the CPUs?
Yes
When will I be able to actually buy a mother board with 8 of these 8 core CPUs
When you move out of your parents garage.

Re:Balance (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405878)

Silly troll! 1) My parents don't currently own a garage. 2) I haven't lived in my parent's basement for over 30 years now. 3) My mother-in-law currently lives in my basement, which might be one of the reasons I can't afford something like this anyway.

Re:Balance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31406108)

Wait, so you share a room with your mother in law?

Re:Balance (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31406142)

Yes... on Friday nights, me, her, and your mom do threesomes.

statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31407782)

Well, we know that's gotta be a lie. He's home on Friday nights. Tuesday night is when he's out bowling.

Re:Balance (3, Interesting)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405868)

These are target it the Virtualization and specialized application space. You are not going to put these in your gaming rig, and your not going to use the +4 core models in your tranditional stand alone application server. You could get much better dollar to performance ration elsewhere if those are your intended applications.

Now slapping two or more of these things on a Linux box with a ton of UMLs running or on VMware ESX, and loading the system up with 128 gigs of ram and a medium business can probalby run their entire datacenter on 2 boxen + an entry level SAN.

Re:Balance (3, Insightful)

CBRcrash (1061324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405956)

I'm thinking computing power for rent (aka the cloud), VDI, cluster data crunching , and any combination of the above

Re:Balance (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31406234)

This is a good point. When do we start crowdsourcing the cloud? Why isn't there a website for this already, where people can buy and sell virtualization services hosted off their local home systems?

Re:Balance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31407994)

True, though with the lack of mention of SSE, I'm guessing they're not adding any registers. That is definitely a flaw for computational intensity and power conservation, and will hurt them in the competition for HPC clusters.

Re:Balance (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31407082)

a medium business can probalby run their entire datacenter on 2 boxen + an entry level SAN.

I'll give you that you could probably virtualise a hell of a lot of stuff on top of two of these boxes in an ESX cluster (although you'd have no redundancy) but one SAN? You wouldn't have the IOPS.

Sorry, I'm being a pedant...

Re:Balance (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407678)

with a ton of UMLs running

UML? Where have you been for the last five years?

KVM or Xen [wikipedia.org] are where it's at on Linux.

Re:Balance (1, Interesting)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407826)

You are not going to put these in your gaming rig

I hear this a lot, but in a modern OS (e.g., one with a good scheduler) and with modern applications (ones that use either threading or cooperating processes), you can easily use a handful of processors, and yes, with normal desktop apps. Google Chrome, for instance, uses the cooperating process model, and for security reasons, I think you're going to start seeing [good] programmers divvy up their applications this way. Not only does it make application security a bit easier (separate address space for each code module), but you get real CPU-level parallelism for free. FreeBSD's new scheduler can even put threads running in the same process on different cores in some cases.

My concern isn't being able to use all those cores-- it's being able to throttle or shut them off when I'm not.

Re:Balance (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405876)

Given that the Nehalems all have integrated memory controllers, I'd assume that the memory I/O situation wouldn't become substantially worse as you scaled up.

From TFS's mention of "up to 8 CPUs or more with third-party node controllers" I'm(perhaps optimistically) assuming that that means all the RAM in an up to 8 socket system wouldn't be more than one hop away from any core.

They almost certainly didn't go with 24MB of cache because their main memory situation is perfect; but intel's bigger chips are substantially improved from the old "Hey, let's hang a bunch of super expensive Xeons off a dubiously adequate northbridge through a shared front-side bus, let them starve for memory access, and then get curb stomped by cheaper Opterons!" days.

Re:Balance (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31408038)

From TFS's mention of "up to 8 CPUs or more with third-party node controllers" I'm(perhaps optimistically) assuming that that means all the RAM in an up to 8 socket system wouldn't be more than one hop away from any core.

The block diagram in TFA shows 4 QPI interfaces, so theoretically yes.

In practice almost certainly not, because that theoretical setup has no interfaces left to hook any I/O devices up to it and so is kinda useless. So at least one core has to dedicate at least one link to hook up a PCIe bridge or such. In a large server, you probably don't want all your I/O going through one link (where it then has to fan out from the least-connected CPU to wherever it is needed), so there'll be several CPUs that are not maximally connected.

Even more practically, routing all those links across each other to connect all the CPUs together on the mobo, while also making room for the rather ginormous amount of DRAM channel traces is going to be prohibitive. I'm betting they use no more than 3 QPI links for CPU-CPU interconnect per core, making a 2-hop system (which is still a challenge).

Even MORE practically, the 8-socket market is minuscule, anyone buying into it certainly has a specific application in mind, and you'll get way more bang for your buck making sure your application/OS are NUMA-aware than by trying to minimize hops by doubling the number of layers in your mobo.

That 24 MB of cache is there because it helps even in a 1-socket system, and of their many strengths Intel's greatest is their manufacturing capacity, so it only makes sense to flex that muscle. It's like how they used to get crazy Specfp2000 scores for the Itanium because they could put huge caches on it and that version of specfp should really have been called speccache. Unlike Itanium, though, that giant cache isn't just a layer of polish on a turd.

But in any case, is the Nehalem system architecture "substantially improved" from the P4 shared bus? Oh fuck yes.

Re:Balance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405916)

Does it have the memory I/O bandwidth to keep up with the CPUs?

Yes. This is what quickpath is all about. It is a genuine, modern, NUMA architecture.

When will I be able to actually buy a mother board with 8 of these 8 core CPUs,

Shortly after launch, if not at launch. Of course, that board will run $2k-$3k, and will only take ECC RAM, but you're not really asking this if that's a problem.

and what kind of a frame rate would Crysis get on that rig?

At lowest settings, I'm guessing about 2FPS. That's because it wouldn't have a video card, because computer cluster machines generally don't.

Re:Balance (1)

xenn (148389) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406548)

2FPS with NO VIDEO CARD? ...I'm impressed.

Re:Balance (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406730)

I suppose it is possible to virtualize a CUDA processor in reverse and have, in effect, a low level Nvidia card. Output would be problematic...

Re:Balance (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405982)

Basically yes, it actually has more bandwidth for remote NUMA access then current Nehalem-EP systems but fewer memory lanes per core so less bandwidth under high contention or more bandwidth under low contention. IBM has announced the x3690 X5 which has 32 DIMM slots for two EX sockets which will be a killer DB/Virtualization platform if priced competitively.

Re:Balance (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406272)

Agreed, this is targeted at the DataBase Engine and HPC markets, not at gamers. The frame rate remark was a bad attempt at humor. A much better question would have been, "How long will it take until a massively parallel collection of these gets top ranking on the TOP500 supercomputer list?" I'd give it 2 years.

Re:Balance (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407152)

Perhaps, it's probably going to be significantly more expensive per raw MIP but because of the higher internode bandwidth it will scale better for many problems so will achieve higher real world throughput. I'd imagine someone will have one placed in the TOP500 by the fall announcement since all the other node interconnect stuff can be pulled from any existing Nehalem-EP based design.

Re:Balance (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405988)

Does it have the memory I/O bandwidth to keep up with the CPUs? When will I be able to actually buy a mother board with 8 of these 8 core CPUs, and what kind of a frame rate would Crysis get on that rig?

Crysis will get the same framerate as before, because FPS is not due to CPU, its due to GPU.

Go ahead and spend $1000 on a CPU, and i'll spend $1000 on two $500 GPU's with an E8400 or I5. Then we'll see who gets the better framerate

Re:Balance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31407200)

and what kind of a frame rate would Crysis get on that rig?

maybe 20fps?

Finally! (5, Funny)

sardaukar_siet (559610) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405824)

The end to "can it run Crysis?" jokes!

Re:Finally! (3, Insightful)

Cytotoxic (245301) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406860)

Even funnier, soon enough you'll be running Crysis on your cell phone (or whatever we call it then). Remember when it was tough to get decent framerate on Doom with high settings? You can run that on a cellphone these days. 15 years from "state of the art" to "runs on my cellphone." Wow. In 15 years you might have a 1TB database running on your personal communicator that fits in your pocket. (in keeping with the "15 years out" prediction theme of the day.

Re:Finally! (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31408090)

Yes, but unfortunately it will only run Crysis on Windows XP. For Vista, you have to wait for the 16-core, I'm afraid. :-/

programs compatible with 8 cores (1)

Mantis8 (876944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405896)

But how long before game makers and other software companies write code that can take advantage of all those cores? By the time they do, Intel or AMD will have mainstream 32 or 64 core processors on the market.

Re:programs compatible with 8 cores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31406058)

As soon as we start using operating systems that allow the use of all those cores, and as soon as we start using apps where bottlenecks can be multithreaded and spread across many cores.

ie somewhere around 2006 :)

Re:programs compatible with 8 cores (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406106)

Apache is popular. MySQL is popular. Pretty much any Web or DB server will eat these right up.

Re:programs compatible with 8 cores (2, Insightful)

Alastor187 (593341) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406128)

I am sure there are plenty of applications out there that can take advantage of this new hardware. I run finite element and computational fluid dynamics software at work and both are capable of using the 8 cores in my work PC (dual quad core).

The really sad part though is that for the FEA software I can only use 2 cores because the vendor requires customers to buy a separate HPC license for every processor/core beyond 2.

Re:programs compatible with 8 cores (2, Insightful)

hoytak (1148181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406186)

Don't know about games, but many types of numerical processing can easily take advantage of this. ATLAS and other high-performance linear algebra libraries already use all available cores (no, IO is often not the biggest bottleneck with these libraries, as they seem to squeeze out all possible advantages from the L1 / L2 caches). In other words, for my scientific computations, I would definitely notice a difference.

Also, OpenMP is becoming easier and easier to use with recent gcc releases, and it only takes a few #pragma statements in some parts of the code to give a huge speedup if you know what you're doing and have appropriate code.

Re:programs compatible with 8 cores (1)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406508)

Ever heard of a little thing called visualization? :) Even in the single-host space, there is plenty of software with a high degree of parallelism and horizontal scalability. We have several types of servers that run hundreds (and in some cases) thousands of threads or processes.

Re:programs compatible with 8 cores (1)

AustinSlacker (728596) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406618)

I think you meant virtualization, and yes, that is the target audience for these systems. Been working on them for about a year now and they are quite nice...

Re:programs compatible with 8 cores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31407552)

Comedy gold!

Re:programs compatible with 8 cores (1)

Klintus Fang (988910) | more than 4 years ago | (#31408184)

How long before game makers right code that supports this new chip?
Answer: a very long time. This is a xeon part designed for large database servers. It isn't intended for desktops. Some fool might try to put it into a gaming rig eventually, but that person...really will be worth of the title "fool". That would be like putting an engine designed for a freight train into a ferrari.

When will other software vendors have code that supports this many cores?
Answer: they already do. the companies that write database management software for very large backend database servers already have code that scales to very large core counts. As do many HPC software vendors. That is the intended market segment for this chip and that market segment has lots of software that is ready to burn through all those cores now.

IBM Power7 also has 8 cores (4, Interesting)

karvind (833059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405910)

If it is matter of core-war, IBM's latest Power7 also has 8 cores. It is actually based on 45nm technology compared to Intel's latest 32nm. What makes Power7 exciting is that it has on-die 32MB L3 cache. They achieved this by introducing eDRAM (embedded DRAM) in the technology. Both Nehalem-EX and Power7 are targeting low-end server market, so it should be interesting battle.

http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2009/09/ibms-8-core-power7-twice-the-muscle-half-the-transistors.ars [arstechnica.com]

Sun Ultrasparc T2 has 8 cores... and 64 threads (4, Informative)

IYagami (136831) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406220)

http://www.sun.com/processors/UltraSPARC-T2/ [sun.com]

And the future Ultrasparc T3 will have 16 cores and 8 threads per core for a total of 128 threads per chip

http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/02/two-billion-transistor-beasts-power7-and-niagara-3.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss [arstechnica.com]

Re:Sun Ultrasparc T2 has 8 cores... and 64 threads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31406744)

Oh yeah well I'm starting a company up that will have a CPU with 1024 cores. The chip will be more like a chunk and be about the size of laptop.

Re:IBM Power7 also has 8 cores (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406282)

Sun's UltraSPARC T1 had 8 cores and a total of 32 concurrent threads, since 4 years ago. Best of all, that CPU is very low-power. Even better, it's completely open-source. You can download everything:
ISA specification
Verilog RTL source code of the design
Verification environment, diagnostics tests and simulation images

Re:IBM Power7 also has 8 cores (1)

ender- (42944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406288)

I've had 8-core servers for over a year now. Sun T5220s [1 x 8-core x 8-thread] and T5240s [2 x 8-core x 8-thread]. They may not have the raw number crunching ability of the Intel Chips ( and I know nothing about the IBM chips ), but these things can multi-thread like nobody's business! ;) Love seeing the OS report 128 processors!

For the real cpu-hungry stuff - aka. Windows running on ESX :) - we have some 16 core [4 x 4-core] X4450's. I wouldn't mind getting 4 x 8-core Nehalem chips in there.

Licensed per Core (2, Interesting)

merlinokos (892352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406162)

Software developers are going to have to figure out a new approach to licensing many of their products. VMware, for example, allows you to use a single license for every processor of 6 or fewer cores... how many people are going to pay for another license for the 2 extra cores? I see per core licenses coming in the near future.

Re:Licensed per Core (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31406334)

Mainframe software packages already do this. You pay per MIPS.

Re:Licensed per Core (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31406376)

I just see retarded, arbitrary licensing restrictions going away.

What if I only want your software to run on 2 of those 8 cores, and I want to use the remaining 4-cores-worth of the license on another box? Oh? You don't allow that? I'll go buy the competition's product.

Or, more likely, you'll just cave in to my demands and sell traditional per-box licenses, regardless of "cores" or "processors" or whatever.

Re:Licensed per Core (1)

AustinSlacker (728596) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406936)

I can certainly see more, not less of this coming soon. With the release of the upcoming 12 AMD processors, having 48 cores on a single system is probably too good to pass up from a licensing standpoint. I am very surprised that no one is licensing by the amount of RAM the app uses. With 1TB of RAM available on a single system, I could see companies licensing that too.
Customer: Your app runs like crap on my server.
Sales Rep: Oh I see you have 256GB of RAM on that system, but in your sales contract, you only purchased the ability to utilize 1GB of RAM. Would you like to upgrade that license? You will definitely see a performance increase!
Customer: WTF??? #$@#@&%
Sales Rep: Cha-Ching!!!

Re:Licensed per Core (1)

MessyBlob (1191033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407042)

Try instead charging for software transactions, which is a useful measure of work done by the software. It's a bit like paying for fuel by the gallon, rather than charging different amounts depending on the size of engine in the car you drive.

can't believe nobody mentioned this by now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31406244)

"Transcoding pr0n."

When will Moore's Law apply to Cores? (3, Insightful)

rberger (2481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406254)

So can we now expect a doubling of cores every 18 months?

Re:When will Moore's Law apply to Cores? (2, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406588)

So can we now expect a doubling of cores every 18 months?

Moore's Law refers to transistor density, right? As long as programming makes the expected shift to massively parallel techniques that would justify a very large number of cores I think the answer to your question is yes.

Re:When will Moore's Law apply to Cores? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31407886)

As long as programming makes the expected shift to massively parallel techniques

Who is expecting this?

Threading is still a big time sink for programmers, it's easier (cheaper) to throw more hardware at the problem instead of engineering time.
Very few applications even benefit from "massive parallelism" as they're mostly waiting on meatspace or I/O.

Re:When will Moore's Law apply to Cores? (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31408040)

Cores themselves had been growing in transistor count even with the increase in cores. So I would say, for now the answer is no. Cores are doing more and more per clock cycle and have more parallelism within the core itself. This is still going on. Overall, specific peformance is still governed by transistor density, Moore's law still holds sway.

Past a point, cores may simpify, I guess thats what we already have in billion transistor GPUs with 1000+ stream processors etc. I would go so far as to say the definition of 'core' is no longer what it once used to be.

Hyperthreading (1, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406336)

Why are they are still announcing hyperthreading? It was established long-ago that it had no benefit. It's been off on any machines I've ever purchased.

Re:Hyperthreading (1)

SappoMan (51574) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406644)

Because hyperthreading gives you an additional 20/35% of performance in virtualized workloads. Those chips are meant for ESX server farms.

Re:Hyperthreading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31406700)

Depends on what you run on the machine I suppose. I run climateprediction.net on a i7 920 running Linux and get better performance running 8 tasks on 8 cores vs. 4 tasks on 4 cores. Many others on climateprediction.net report the same thing for Linux (don't know about Windows).

Re:Hyperthreading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31406706)

Hyperthreading used to suck due to Intel's initial implementation. The modern versions are decent and should provide a boost. SMT (which Hyperthreading) is in many cases a good/interesting design decision.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simultaneous_multithreading

No benefit? (2, Informative)

Xocet_00 (635069) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406710)

This article [ixbtlabs.com] outlines the various circumstances under which hyperthreading either benefits or impedes performance. While it's true that on average the benefit was zero (meaning about half of what they tested was faster, and about half was slower) there are clearly a lot of applications that see significant performance gains.

It should also be noted that the applications that benefit are ones that would generally be used in Xeon (server and workstation) machines. Further, most of the applications that failed to benefit from hyperthreading are not written to take advantage of many (more than one or two) cores. As applications are updated for "many core" systems, it is likely that the benefit from hyperthreading will become more significant.

In any case, it is far from "established" that hyperthreading has "no benefit."

Re:Hyperthreading (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406944)

Long ago? CPU architectures aren't static. A Nahalem isn't exactly a Northwood you know.

It can make a big difference to some applications, like 3D renderers. Sometimes it doesn't help, but disabling it without considering the typical load is unwise.

Well a few reasons (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407332)

First off it went away for a long time. The P4s had hyper threading but the Pentium Ds and Core 2s (duos and quads) didn't. It didn't come back until the i7.

The other reason is that it is useful now. When HT first came out, it was pretty much for desktop chips and we were still very much a single core world. Ok well little was designed to truly take advantage of multiple threads in that environment. People noticed no real speedup. However now not only are things better using multiple cores, but the server market is a target for this as well. On servers, multiple threads per core in hardware work well. You frequently get situations where you have processors that don't need much processor time, but need it often. The context switching can be killer in terms of overhead. More processes on the chip mitigates that can makes more efficient use of the silicon.

Sun is doing this to a much greater degree, in fact. Their new Ultrasparc processors run more than two threads per core. Probably not that useful on a desktop at this point but it can be very useful on a web server.

Hyperthreading is something likely to stick with us at this point. We are moving away from computers that only did one thing at a time, and simply switched back and forth between tasks and towards computers that do a whole lot in parallel.

Crapware (1, Funny)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406374)

Now I can run all my crapware, viruses, trojans, malware, and other dubious software bits at FULL SPEED! Yay

Flash (2, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406778)

Better than that, with a properly multi-threaded web browser we'll be able to display sixteen animated Flash ads simultaneously with no slowdown!

I AM.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31406514)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster with these.

Ditch x86 (0, Troll)

MessyBlob (1191033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406686)

x86 has been led into a blind alley. Time now for a redesign, to make an instruction set and execution model that doesn't waste 95% of its cycles waiting for memory.

Re:Ditch x86 (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407316)

I'm pretty sure that x86 doesn't deserve the blame for the fact that on-die cache is astronomically expensive compared to offboard DRAM...

Joy! I hope it comes with ... (2, Funny)

freaker_TuC (7632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31406714)

... super cool looking white plastic mold which fits my sochet and cool looking notepad!

Somebody's gotta ask... (4, Funny)

unitron (5733) | more than 4 years ago | (#31407540)

So, how soon until newegg.com has the fake ones in stock?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...