Re: Compare 2 computers vs. Dual Core

Clark <who@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I find many times, since I have 2 computers, that I will let one do some
extended work, like video editing or downloading a large file, while I use
the other one for other things. Would I be able to do just about the same
thing if I used a dual core processor? Can the tasks be separated
sufficiently to make it seem like there are 2 computers?

If it does work like 2 computers, do you recommend having twice the memory
you would normally have in one computer? Anything else needed to make the
2 cores function as 2 separate computers?

You'll need more memory; since windows takes up about 200MB (very roughly)
it won't quite be twice as much, although twice as much would be a good
idea. In theory, you'll also need twice the memory bandwidth, which may be
harder to get, although if your older computers are old enough it may not
(if they're Athlon XP, A64 w/ Socket 754, or Intels before dual-channel
800mhz bus came in, you may actually have no problem getting it.)

Second, you'll need more than one hard drive, at least for the video part -
you may already have that. Editing video on the C:\ drive will slow
everything down badly, since it tends to use a lot of disk bandwidth. A
second hard drive (physical drive, not just a partition) will keep the first
free for the OS and whatever else you're doing.

Third, I highly recommend a "virtual desktop" program; I think some Nvidia
drivers come with them, and if not there are some freeware ones. This lets
you switch programs between two (or more) different virtual screens, rather
than having to futz with minimizing them, etc.

Lastly, for some applications if they are smart enough to use both
cores/processors, if the goal is instead to make sure the system remains
useable while running them in the background, you can usually set their
affinity to only one core or the other through task manager. To do this,
right click on the process and click "Set Affinity..." then uncheck the box
next to one of the two CPUs.

Nate Edel

"What's the use of yearning for Elysian Fields when you know you can't get
'em, and would only let 'em out on building leases if you had 'em?" (WSG)