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Learning Basics of Processor :)

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  • Learning Basics of Processor :)

    When a novice in Server Processors come across concepts like Multiple Processors, Multiple Sockets, Multiple Core, Multiple Threads etc. hes rather perplexed as to what these similar sounding words really mean. Lets try and decode what are the meanings of these terms along with their implications on applications that run on servers

    Need of Multiple Cores/Processors:

    Basically, processor is the most important component as it does the computational work i.e of running programs especially. The speed of a processor depends upon the clock speed it works on for eg 8 MHz or 2.5 GHz. But a single processor has its limits with regards to performance. You can say one (single-core) CPU can only perform one task at a time. Initially, experts tried increasing its performance by raising the clock frequency at which it works. However when they tried to increase the clock frequency beyond 3 Ghz, the amount of heat generated in the processor made it impossible for the processor to work normally. The best and only way they thought to increase the performance capacity of the server was by adding additional processors to the same server, and making all these processors work in sync with each other. As rightly said need is the mother of invention, this brought about three different innovative techniques Multiple Processors (in multiple sockets), Multiple Cores (within each socket) and Multiple Threads (within each core).

    Multiple Processors (In multiple sockets):

    This implies multiple processors in multiple sockets. This is a straightforward terminology. In this technology multiple processors are placed in a single server and these processors work together in tandem to complete the tasks assigned. Going in-depth, each of these processors has their own socket which holds them. And the processors accommodated by the server are interconnected through a circuit. Every server has a limitation on the maximum number of processors it can handle like Single Socket, Dual Socket or Single Processor, Dual Processor, etc.

    Multiple Cores (Within each socket):

    Every processor is made using integrated Circuits. A multi-core processor is an integrated circuit (IC) to which two or more processors are attached for enhanced performance, reduced power consumption, and more efficient simultaneous processing of multiple tasks. With multi-core processors, servers can save a lot of space along with availing increased performance. Multi-core processing is a growing industry trend as single-core processors soon reach their physical limits of complexity and speed. Most current systems are multi-core. Though the performance of multiple cores is not as good as multiple individual processors, it is considerably better than a single core processor. Another advantage is the fact that all the cores are combined together to achieve higher performance using lesser power for each core, than individual processors.

    Multiple Threads (Within each core):

    When an individual core within a processor die is executing instructions it does not always utilize the complete capacity of the core. This introduced the concept of multi-threading. With multiple threading, each core can execute two (or more) individual processing cycles simultaneously. So, by using multi-threading, the unused resources within each processor are utilized more effectively and the performance of the processor increases.
    To sum up, if there are two processors in a server, and each processor is dual-core, and each core supports two threads, the server can execute eight threads simultaneously at any given point of time. In Spite of the fact that multiple threads can be executed within each core, the most common configuration utilized in the industry is Dual Threading.

    Note: Processor die is nothing but the rectangular pattern on a wafer that contains circuitry to perform a specific function.

    Suzanne Jones.

  • #2
    Re: Learning Basics of Processor

    Do you advise a person on how many processors they should start out with, based on they type of site they are operating? Or does one have to learn that by trial and error?


    • #3
      Re: Learning Basics of Processor

      Originally posted by Spidey View Post
      Do you advise a person on how many processors they should start out with, based on they type of site they are operating? Or does one have to learn that by trial and error?
      1 CPU to start with, but definitely going the way up as you see your site performing..
      Rock _a.k.a._ Jack Daniel

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