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My very own supercomputer???

by law_john / July 11, 2005 12:52 AM PDT

I have heard people talk about connecting two or more PC's at their own house to increase processing power. Is this really possible? If so, how hard is it and what do you need to do it (i.e. software, cables, etc.) and does it really increase performance that much?

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yes, it's called clustering, no you don't want it
by ozos / July 11, 2005 1:19 AM PDT

it's called clustering, it requires Linux, meaning no more Windows

and a special program such as Open MOSIX or ROCKS

you have to connect every PC via network, and then cluster it

it's a semi-complicated process
and only yields advantages for doing large number crunches, not the kind of speed your thinking of

and because it'd be Linux (text-line most likely, as it'd probably disable GUI by default to give you the most rescources) you'd have almost no software support compared to Windows

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Not true
by Yew / July 11, 2005 7:47 AM PDT

You can create clusters of Windows systems, it's just rather expensive to do, because the controlling software is not cheap.

And in the end, as you already said, it's not really going to affect day to day sorts of tasks, so it's not really worth while.

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it called WineX
by angryfirelord / July 11, 2005 8:12 AM PDT

WineX allows you to run Windows software under Linux. If you check Linux distros now, they use more GUI than command prompt.

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WineX you say?
by law_john / July 11, 2005 10:47 AM PDT
In reply to: it called WineX

What does the price run on this software? Do all Windows programs run compatibly under this? Does it keep the security of Linux intact?

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Well...
by Yew / July 11, 2005 11:49 AM PDT
In reply to: WineX you say?

WineX is sort of a subscription thing. I think it's $20/mo. You can always pay one month, download the software, and then wait until the next major version... But there's also the free Wine, which is the foundation for WineX. WineX is just more game oriented.

An amazing number of apps will run, but not all. Microsoft has done things to IE to make sure it won't run, for example. It's still very much a work in progress, but considering the rather moving target that is the Windows API (since Microsoft often neglects to document parts of it), it's impressive it works at all IMO.

Of course with a little effort, you can usually find a Linux native app that does the same thing as the Windows app you want to use. Sometimes these apps are considerably better than anything you'll find for Windows, most of the time they're about on par. And considering they're free more times than not, it's hard to complain if it doesn't have Obscure Feature X that you used once every couple of blue moons.

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My very own supercomputer???
by jcrobso / July 11, 2005 1:55 AM PDT

Well the easest way would be to get a dual core processor. John

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True
by law_john / July 11, 2005 10:40 AM PDT

but I heard the AMD versions at least are more for multi-tasking than gaming, is that true with Intel's too?

I also just built a new pc and don't know what to do with my other two old ones.

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Actually...
by Yew / July 11, 2005 11:52 AM PDT

It's probably still easier, and cheaper, to just get a good old fashioned SMP setup. Dual cores are cool and all, but I'm not so sure AMD is selling them yet, and if they are, they'd be very expensive. Probably cheaper to build a simple 2-way SMP system.

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AMD is selling
by law_john / July 12, 2005 3:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Actually...

They are called Athlon X2, and they are on par price wise with the Athlon 64's and FX series, but are dual cores really that great for gaming?

The only dual CPU intel setup I've seen is for Xeon processors and are Xeons any good for gaming?

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no difference
by angryfirelord / July 13, 2005 4:31 AM PDT
In reply to: AMD is selling

The difference between a dual core and a single core when it comes to gaming will be almost nothing. Today's games aren't optimized to take advantage of two cores. However, they will in the future.

Dual cores- Athlon X2, Pentium D
Dual CPUS- 2 Opterons or Xeons

Don't waste your money on a Xeon because it is a more expensive and uses registered RAM unlike the Pentium 4.

For gaming, stick with the Athlon.

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Alright
by law_john / July 13, 2005 12:26 PM PDT
In reply to: no difference

I have been told to stick with Athlon for gaming but they are supposedly bad for multi-tasking and I want to be able to game and multi-task on the same CPU, is Athlon ok for multi-tasking?

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It's fine
by Yew / July 13, 2005 8:18 PM PDT
In reply to: Alright

The Athlon uses a lot of licensed tech from the Alpha CPU, which before HP decided to kill it as only HP can do, was probably one of the most efficient CPUs available. It was running at 500MHz when everyone in the PC world thought it was this great marvel that Intel finally managed to break 100MHz, but it also was designed to squeeze every possible bit of performance out of each clock cycle.

The only advantage the P4 has is hyperthreading, but few apps really use it because it makes the app either only run on a P4 or you have to maintain two rather different code bases for your program which gets expensive. Besides, the P4s design was for clock speed, NOT performance. Most people mistakenly assume one causes the other, and that's exactly what Intel was banking on.

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Thanks
by law_john / July 15, 2005 5:11 AM PDT
In reply to: It's fine

Wish they still had Alpha CPU's then, why didn't it spread that it was way faster than intel?

My next pc will be AMD probably.

Thanks for all the help!

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P4 has is hyperthreading
by jcrobso / July 15, 2005 6:31 AM PDT
In reply to: It's fine

About the only place this helps is in some video rendering programs. John

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Future Games?
by law_john / July 18, 2005 2:49 AM PDT

Isn't it true that some games are going to incorporate HT support? If so, will that make dual cores much, much more efficient for gaming?

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The future is here and now.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 18, 2005 3:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Future Games?

I'm unsure why this is a discussion unless you've never used a) HT CPU, b) DUAL CPU, or c) a dual core system.

Games and the entire system get quite a nice kick in performance. There's no need to wait for a game to "take advantage" of these technoligies.

Bob

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