Athlon Dual Core and Ubuntu... problems or warnings?
maihem at maihem.org
Thu Mar 16 23:33:22 UTC 2006
Dave M G wrote:
> Ubuntu Users,
> I am purchasing a new computer that will be an Ubuntu Linux box. The
> store that I am purchasing from has a decent price on Athlon 64 dual
> core CPUs. It's still a little more than the Pentium 4 which is my
> original choice of CPU.
> From my understanding, 64 bit may not be all that useful, as all my
> applications probably don't take any advantage of it.
OpenOffice is, AFAIK, the only application shipped with Ubuntu that
doesn't take advantage of the extended instruction set of the AMD64
platform. The others will all have been compiled specifically for AMD64
which gives a very minor speed increase for most applications.
Currently, media applications don't take the special advantage that they
could do, but you will gain that advantage automatically when they are
enhanced only if you install 64 bit (and that is expected to be a *big*
advantage when it comes). Unfortunately, most of the closed source
applications for Linux don't support 64 bit, though they can mostly be
made to work in 32 bit mode - except firefox plugins won't work unless
they are 64bit native.
Nearly all the software in Ubuntu has been made to derive *some*
advantage. It is mostly only Windows applications that lag behind - and
> But dual core should provide a noticable boost in performance, shouldn't
For most workloads, you are slower than your computer by far, for those
where you find yourself waiting for processing to complete, the
processing is normally written to only take advantage of one (and in
some of those cases, won't ever be made to take advantage of two). Some
programs will take advantage of multiple processors where they can.
In all cases where you are trying to do something else while a slow
process is computing, you will see the computation run quicker *and* get
a much snappier desktop than if you had only one core. So yes, dual core
is a good thing, though it might be an inefficient use of funds for some
users. You may get a slightly snappier desktop all the time, I'm not sure.
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