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  1. #1
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    Default What is Hyper-Threading technology?

    Something to do with P4 processors.

    Any explanations in simple terms?
    Does it affect the software that the computer runs?

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    Hi. Hmmm... let me try to explain...

    Most programs are written with threads. Simply put, it is part of the program which is doing different things. For example, one part of the program provides the user interface for you to enter data or interact with the program, while another part (thread) of the program performs the calculations or manipulations of the data. By using threads, you will not be tied up by the computer when it is doing some intensive calculations. For instance, you can still key in the data, while the computer is busy calculating at the background. With threads, we can assign them as high-priority or low-priority... which means... The higher priorities one... the computer will give much processor time to it.

    With Hyper Threading, the computer will think that there are actually 2 processors on your computer. So, it can perform something like 2 things at the same time.

    Think like this: when there is only one bank counter open, everyone will have to queue at the same line... However, if 2 counters are opened, people can stand in 2 lines, thus reducing the workload on every counter...

    I know it's still quite abstract... But hope you can get wat I mean... And do correct me if there are some mistakes... Thx

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    Originally posted by ALI
    With threads, we can assign them as high-priority or low-priority... which means... The higher priorities one... the computer will give much processor time to it
    Is that what windows XP can do? ^^
    cuz I can set programs to run at differnt priorities

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    Originally posted by JChen99
    Is that what windows XP can do? ^^
    cuz I can set programs to run at differnt priorities
    Priority just determines the percentage of the cycles is given to that program. As for hyperthreading... what a gimmick! Why not just BUY two CPUs? It's cheaper, and you'll get more performance out of it. Why? Becuase then it'll be harder to charge us an arm and a leg for the CPUs. Right now, a 3GHZ cpu costs more than double 2 2GHZ cpus.

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    Originally posted by bigredlemon
    Priority just determines the percentage of the cycles is given to that program. As for hyperthreading... what a gimmick! Why not just BUY two CPUs? It's cheaper, and you'll get more performance out of it. Why? Becuase then it'll be harder to charge us an arm and a leg for the CPUs. Right now, a 3GHZ cpu costs more than double 2 2GHZ cpus.
    People stick with one CPU because dual CPU don't provide good bandwidth for them and the chipsets may not be that great i.e. AMD dual chipset. Horrible bandwidth: At 150FSB it has bandwidth of PC1600 ram. (2) CPUs at 2ghz doesn't mean it is 4ghz. Dual CPU even out the load so one CPU does one thing while another does another hence AMD's name, MP. One CPU is better for games and if you don't do stuff like rendering or run a huge server, a second CPU would be redundant.

    HT Definition from some post at OC-Forums :

    In theory you should be able to run two threads at full speed apposed to non hyper threading CPU’s that will only be able to run one thread at a time switching back and forth.

    So a HT CPU will almost be like a DUAL CPU setup. Meaning you should (one again in theory) be able to due two things at once without a slowdown

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    HT or dual processing works if the software applications are written to take advantage of that. Most softwares out there now are not so HT or dual CPU would not show much improvement. I guess HT is a poorboy version of true dual processors likely provide a good bridge for those users who wanted somewhere in between single and dual processing. If u got applications with dual processing capacibilty, it is better to go for a true dual Proc. system.

    Below are a bit beyond my technical expertise but i think intel is playing politic too as they have agreement with rambus to support certain range of memory speed. As bus speed increase, ( now i heard 366 adn 400 Mhz range), i'm guessing rambus is not ready for those speed where as ddr are. So intel make chipset/CPU(??) to support two channel of 166 Mhz instead to make rambus happy.
    Last edited by cooler; 03-23-2003 at 03:24 PM.

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    Default Boy you guys are so negative

    HT is a useful technology, however most operating systems aren't equipped to handle it. Now since you're unlikely to be using the others (unless you're running a server, whcih I'm assuming you're not Cheung ) if you aren't running Windows XP pro, then don't both.

    However as people have said, the processor can be treated as two processors. Basically if you're doing two things at once, ie in my case burning a CD and playing WC3, or in Cheung's, loading from the DV and surfing BC/BF ), the processor can allocated one section to look after the CD burning, and the other part to playing the game. How is this more efficient than the way your processor does it now? Simply put, each program that is actively running and loading the CPU (as opposed to being on standby in the background, ie you have a browser window open at BC/BF but you aren't looking at it (90% of my work day )) you slow down the PC exponentially, not linearly. However with HT if you only have two programs running at once you will only suffer a linear performance hit.

    One of the classic examples of this was with the old outlook. A friend of mine basically had a dual processor system simply because outlook was so buggy, slow and used up soooo damn much CPU resources he couldn't do other stuff whilst Outlook was opening, closing, or doing anything remotely intensive.

    The bank counter example is a good one. Say you only have one counter with 10 people. If all of them are easy jobs that say take 1 min each, then the total time taken is 10 mins. However let's say the first person has a job that takes 10 mins, and the other 9 have 1 min jobs (though none of them really need more than one teller's effort). This will take a total of 19 mins. However with HT, one teller can be looking after the pain in the butt customer whilst the other can look after the other 9, total time taken 10 mins. Why on earth would you be running that many things at once?

    1. WinAmp playing lasted downloaded song
    2. On net downloading another song.
    3. On icq chat with people spamming
    4. On net (BC/BF)
    5. Burning CD.
    6. Getting pics off DV
    7. Playing WC3
    8. Opening Word to actually do some work
    9. Bleh can't be bother making more

    However keep in mind most programs aren't threaded unless they are engineering style programs. Your benefit will be if you do several things at once.

    Why buy HT instead of dual processors?

    1. Motherboard price and availability/functions. Dual processors motherboards (besides Athlon MP series) tend to be much more expensive, and badly featured compared to the huge number of motherboards that a single HT chip can be used on.

    2. Most chips do not work well dual processed. Intel chips beside Xeon aren't designed to work together. If you think you'll get twice (or close to twice) the processor power with standard Intel chipsets you're mistaken. Xeon chips are really expensive.

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    Thanks guys

    I think that was a good effort in trying to make things simple for a person wiht only a small amount of IT experience!!

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    Unhappy rambus is not happy

    Originally posted by cooler
    HT or dual processing works if the software applications are written to take advantage of that. Most softwares out there now are not so HT or dual CPU would not show much improvement. I guess HT is a poorboy version of true dual processors likely provide a good bridge for those users who wanted somewhere in between single and dual processing. If u got applications with dual processing capacibilty, it is better to go for a true dual Proc. system.

    Below are a bit beyond my technical expertise but i think intel is playing politic too as they have agreement with rambus to support certain range of memory speed. As bus speed increase, ( now i heard 366 adn 400 Mhz range), i'm guessing rambus is not ready for those speed where as ddr are. So intel make chipset/CPU(??) to support two channel of 166 Mhz instead to make rambus happy.

    The new 875P/ Canterwood chipset for Dual DDR400 will replace the 850E/ Tehama (RDRAM) in the performance/ professional segment. With this move, Intel in fact parts ways with Rambus technology.

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    Default Re: rambus is not happy

    Originally posted by cooler
    The new 875P/ Canterwood chipset for Dual DDR400 will replace the 850E/ Tehama (RDRAM) in the performance/ professional segment. With this move, Intel in fact parts ways with Rambus technology.
    Yeh, that'll really boost the performance of the P4s. I noticed that AMD does not benefit from Dual DDR at all considering their architecture is completely different. If only the Northwoods didn't die so fast at high voltages I'd go for them (Just in case other people are confused about what I'm saying, I overclock and therefore have to bump up the core voltage of the chip to maintain stability at high speeds).

    The nForce 2 chipsets are still great though. Much better than Via chipsets considering they're not that stable and buggy.

    Yodums

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    Default Re: Re: rambus is not happy

    Originally posted by Yodums
    The nForce 2 chipsets are still great though. Much better than Via chipsets considering they're not that stable and buggy.

    Yodums
    You just had made someone here very happy hearing that

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    Default Re: Re: rambus is not happy

    Originally posted by Yodums
    I overclock and therefore have to bump up the core voltage of the chip to maintain stability at high speeds).
    I find I get better performance boosts from defraging the HD than OC'ing. As for performance, is there actually a real world advantage to 3ghz instead of 2ghz? I doubt load times would change at all. Raid arrays... now there's performance.

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    Default Re: Re: Re: rambus is not happy

    Originally posted by bigredlemon
    I find I get better performance boosts from defraging the HD than OC'ing. As for performance, is there actually a real world advantage to 3ghz instead of 2ghz? I doubt load times would change at all. Raid arrays... now there's performance.
    Significant difference. I fold to help cure diseases: http://folding.stanford.edu and mhz means ALOT. If you were a gamer than HD would mean alot as well for loading maps. I also used to do SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and FSB was everything in that.

    Yes a HDD does mean alot considering it is a huge bottleneck in a system but for me it isn't much of a concern considering I fold, listen to music, surf, and chat.

    PS: You see the SATA WD 10K Raptors? Schweeet. 5ms, 8mb cache, 10K RPM and 5 year warranty!

    Yodums

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    hey BRL, do you think there is any real life improvement from a 800 mhz P4 2.4ghz over a 533 mhz one? the price difference is 135 CAD though

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    Originally posted by cooler
    hey BRL, do you think there is any real life improvement from a 800 mhz P4 2.4ghz over a 533 mhz one? the price difference is 135 CAD though
    there is a performance difference of -5 to 90% depending on what you are doing, so in general it will be faster. For typical uses expect a 5-10% improvement. You decide for yourself if that's worth the extra $135.

    For me, I don't think i'd notice the difference between an extra 10% speed, though I would notice if there was an extra $135 in my wallet.

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    Default Re: Re: Re: Re: rambus is not happy

    Originally posted by Yodums
    Significant difference. I fold to help cure diseases: http://folding.stanford.edu and mhz means ALOT. If you were a gamer than HD would mean alot as well for loading maps. I also used to do SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and FSB was everything in that.

    Yes a HDD does mean alot considering it is a huge bottleneck in a system but for me it isn't much of a concern considering I fold, listen to music, surf, and chat.

    PS: You see the SATA WD 10K Raptors? Schweeet. 5ms, 8mb cache, 10K RPM and 5 year warranty!

    Yodums
    Ahhh folding... i guess every little bit helps. I ran some folding simulations in my head before and was about as accurate as the computer. I'm sure with experience, a skilled researcher can find the correct shape faster and more accurately than a computer. But since computers are cheap and can come up with unique solutions we might as well help. The prof i studied bioinformatics with just purchased four Sun sparcs (i think) to simulate protein folding and DNA sequencing. I went to see her a few months after to see how it was coming, and was surprised to find that those super $$$ machines were now used for minesweeper and solitare. I wonder what they're being used for now....

    As for folding... I don't think the higher bus bandwith cooler was talking about would help for folding. Since bus bandwidth isn't the bottleneck and a higher bus clock has more overhead calculations to perform, one would expect to see a performance loss. Hence the -5% gain (a loss) of performance for spreadsheet calculations, and probably a bigger loss for protein folding. Just my guessess though.

    Those raptors were very nice indeed, though I question whether any of us really needs to spend $250 on a 40 gig hard drive when a slower 60 gig is only $110.

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    thx for the advice brl, i'll take the 135 CAD and get a 80 gb HD instead. BTW, one could get a new 40 gb HD online for 39.99 USD nowaday. Pretty soon USD will approach CAD too

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