Posted by Kevin Matthews on February 02, 1999 at 10:31:53:
In Reply to: Thoughts posted by kenkuhlman on February 02, 1999 at 06:38:59:
Your PC buddy may not be so p.c. after all. No offense intended. ; )
There's no way I can really compare two mystery systems, SO, here goes nothing:
All multi-processor systems lose some performance in the communications overhead between the prcessors. So, even if there were any current Pentium-family processor just as fast as the 400mhz G3, a computer with two of them would still not be twice as fast.
Since there isn't a current Pentium-family processor that fast, your buddy's two processor system is certainly not twice as fast as the fastest G3 system. (I don't know which G3 you have, though).
Apple has actually demoed and even shipped some multiprocessor systems over the years, though as Mike points out they are not doing it with the G3 generation. In general, though, multiprocessor systems don't add that much real power for most individual computer users. They can add a lot for particular applications, like heavily loaded servers with special high speed memory buses and RAID or other souped-up disk interfaces.
At any level, the software has to be written in a special way to be usefully sped-up by a multi-processor. For batch rendering processes like Radiance or image-crunching in 3D Studio, this multi-threading is pretty easy to do. For the crucial interactive work in apps like Photoshop and DW, it is pretty hard to go seriously multi-threaded -- hard enough that it usually makes more sense to just get a faster single processor!
See what he thinks of that!