Months of torturous fanfare come to a close on Monday as Intel will officially start shipping its family of "Penryn" processors built with a whiz-bang new manufacturing process. Normally, Intel tries to keep the launch date of a new chip or chip family secret for as long as possible. Even when scurrilous hacks manage to nail …
Still sceptical about 4-core speed-up in HPC apps.
I have just been testing some quad-core boxes on a memory-hungry 3-D volume data analysis program. The 16-core total box maxed out at less than 8x speedup on 16 threads. Even when moving from 1 to 4 threads, memory contention issues lead to lower speed-up than with a 2-socket dual-core AMD opteron box (3.2 vs 4.2 times speed-up on 4 threads). I suspect the external memory controller is to blame. Once the Nehalem stuff arrives, things should be different.
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