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Multicore processors are here to stay, but memory is a bottleneck. - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-01-31 14:21
  Subject:   Multicore processors are here to stay, but memory is a bottleneck.
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  Mood:der uber-nerd
  Music:Front Line Assembly - Terminal Power
  Tags:  reddit

And that's the situation today. Memory is much slower than processors and has been an essential bottleneck for fifteen years. Recently CPU speeds have stalled as well, limited now by power dissipation problems. As transistors switch, small inefficiencies convert a tiny bit of VCC to heat. And even an idle transistor leaks microscopic amounts of current. Small losses multiplied by hundreds of millions of devices means very hot parts.

Ironically, vast numbers of the transistors on a modern processor do nothing most of the time. No more than a single line of the cache is active at any time, most of the logic to handle hundreds of different instructions stands idle till infrequently needed, and page translation units that manage gigabytes handle a single word at a time.

But those idle transistors do convert the power supply to waste heat. The "transistors are free" mantra is now stymied by power concerns. So limited memory speeds helped spawn hugely complex CPUs, but the resultant heat has curbed clock rates, formerly the biggest factor that gave us faster computers every year.


http://www.embedded.com/columns/technicalinsights/205918952;jsessionid=ZZOMOSZISIANQQSNDLOSKHSCJUNN2JVN?pgno=2
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Ohmi
  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2008-02-01 22:53 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
You know? I haven't been feeling like I need a faster clock rate.. these days I think I'd settle for the same speed with a whole lot less power consumption. I have to salute Nintendo, in particular, for making their system a whole lot less power hungry. (So my PS3 can eat the rest of it) lol.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-02-03 04:25 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Wake me up when PC's become powerful enough to run Crysis at > 50 FPS consistently. Until then I say they're not fast enough.

Not that it would be hard to find a PC fast enough if Intel would release their firebreathing V8 monster "skulltrail" systems already...
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Ohmi
  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2008-02-03 23:57 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
The "Cry Engine" was made to make PCs cry. :D
What the heck is a "skulltrail"?
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-02-04 05:59 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_SkullTrail

Prelim specs:

- Dual quad-core CPUs (total of 8 cores, hence V8)
- Liquid cooled for stable running at 5 GHz
- 32 gigs of addressable RAM (suck it, 4 gig limit!)
- 4 PCIe x64 slots for massive gang-bang SLI (if you can afford it)

In short, it's what a PC in 2010 should be like. As opposed to these wussy little 2core, 2gig bitty-boxes that have been ruling the market for the last three years.
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Ohmi
  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2008-02-04 09:19 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Hahaha bitty-boxes="get a real computer"

Are you really interested in buying a Skulltrail though? It sounds (VERY) expensive. And just to play Crysis.. lolz no.

I suppose that thing could render like a mo'fo though.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-02-05 03:27 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I just want something more more than 5 cores. (If they can remove that dumb-ass 4 gig memory limit that'd be nice too.) As a professional programmer I need to get a head start on developing software for multi-core. It's the wave of the future, and I want to try it just for my own amusement too.

But with two cores, even four, there isn't (IMO) enough chance to conflict between cores to REALLY beat the crap out of my software and show all the bugs. But with 8 cores running at 5GHz...

Being able to play Crysis? That's just icing. And video cards have been getting better fairly rapidly. Not so with CPUs, which have been stuck right aroung 3 GHz for more than two years.
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Ohmi
  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2008-02-05 06:14 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
How about programming on PS3 then? 7 cores for you! (8 if you don't run any OS) (I know it's not that convienient tho)

Yeah that's true.. CPUs haven't been advancing that quickly.
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