VOGONS


Dual CPU system

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Reply 20 of 28, by PCBONEZ

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Yes,
P3 (single or dual) are still fine for a small-medium basic home file server.
If you select the parts carefully they will even serve HD video without a problem.
The server based models with PCI-X have multiple PCI buses so bandwidth really isn't an issue.

gdjacobs wrote on 2019-12-31, 18:06:
PCBONEZ wrote on 2019-12-31, 08:37:

Guess what. Not every build is for games.

Indeed.

I built a dual P3 system with 1 gig of RAM and used it to see what Windows NT (3.51 and 4) as well as Solaris 8 were like with obscene (for the time) hardware. I everything on hand and figured "Why not?". It was hilarious running operating systems that were quite hefty in their time with instantaneous response. However, I didn't require or want to run any games, so I didn't.

I did something similar by running W2k-AS and XP-32 in dual boot on an X7DAL-E with dual-quad L5430 Xeons.
I put 16GB RAM in it and used the extra 12GB for a RAM-drive in W2k-AS just to prove a point.
That kicked SSD transfer rates butt by a HUGE margin at the time.
I wish I remembered how I did it. I wanna do it again.
.

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Reply 21 of 28, by cyclone3d

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Personally, I would think you would see a difference in real world applications if you run NT/XP/2000 or above.

Reason being is that the second CPU will take some of the load off of the other CPU for background tasks.

Years ago I gave a dual 3.8Ghz Pentium 4 era XEON system to a friend. It was fairly quick, but was kinda loud. Never benched it with games though. I wasn't into retro stuff back then. Just had fun maxing out that system by combining the parts from 2 of the same systems. Only thing I had to do was buy the voltage reg module for the second CPU.

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Reply 22 of 28, by gabimor

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cyclone3d wrote on 2019-12-31, 20:17:

Personally, I would think you would see a difference in real world applications if you run NT/XP/2000 or above.

Reason being is that the second CPU will take some of the load off of the other CPU for background tasks.

Years ago I gave a dual 3.8Ghz Pentium 4 era XEON system to a friend. It was fairly quick, but was kinda loud. Never benched it with games though. I wasn't into retro stuff back then. Just had fun maxing out that system by combining the parts from 2 of the same systems. Only thing I had to do was buy the voltage reg module for the second CPU.

Thank you, cyclone3d.

I'll think about it.

PCBONEZ told me about the coolers.

Right now, it's a problem, but I'll try to find the coolers.

One of the things that is holding me, right now, is the fact that the board is untested.

I can return it, if it's bad, but I won't return the processors and coolers bought with other sellers, if it's working.

And then, I won't find another mobo to replace........

Reply 23 of 28, by PC Hoarder Patrol

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Don't think you should have too much trouble finding the coolers but you'll also need matching retention brackets & springs and in particular the socket backplate(s) to fix them to, unless you're using a server chassis with these already built in. These are the backplates for your particular board / socket style, and they seem quite hard to track down (been looking for them myself).

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Reply 24 of 28, by flupke11

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Only very few of us had the chance of seeing, let alone owning, a dual system when we were growing up. They were the embodiment of ludicrous speed, even if home software did not make use of it.

That's the reason why I try to get dual systems from all generations (dual P1(MMX), dual PPro, dual PII(-celeron), dual PIII(-s), dual Slot 2, dual Xeon 603/604/771, etc). Dual 486 have remained out of my reach.

Who cares about practicality when we're building dream machines? Why crank up even more HP in your muscle car when a Dacia Logan or Hyundai Accent will also get you your groceries?

So kudos to Gabimor for tinkering with duals.

Reply 25 of 28, by CoffeeOne

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gabimor wrote on 2019-12-31, 14:26:

But before buying the parts, I'm asking you about the expected peformance, cause, If the answers were negative, I can forget the idea.

Right now, I think the performance will be the same of the P4 NW 3.2GHz (478) and XP Barton 3200+ (462) builds, so I won't buy the server parts.]

Thank you, guys!!!!

As far as I know the performance in 3dmark01 and 3dmark03 will be exactly the same, if you use one or two of these CPUs.
When it's only about 3dmark score, then don't do it. Those old 3dmarks can be actually used to measure CPU single-thread CPU speed.

But of course there are other benchmarks, that care about more than one thread.
I am also a fan of multi-socket CPU machines, therefore I have 4 4-socket machines (2 times HP DL585 G6, HP DL585 G7 and HP DL580 G7)
and 2 retro 2-socket Pentium III machines.
I will post pictures of these Pentium III computers later.

Last edited by CoffeeOne on 2020-01-03, 15:09. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 26 of 28, by Orkay

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If you're into creating various sorts of media on old hardware, 3ds MAX and Photoshop are great examples of programs which can take advantage of dual CPU workstations. Not everything in these programs may be multithreaded, with encoders bundled with Windows or the programs themselves being particular culprits.

Even if you don't use SMP-aware programs, dual CPU systems still provide a number of other advantages - you can run programs that take up 100% of one processor like 3D Pinball and still be able to run other tasks smoothly with the other processor. The same goes with conducting lengthy file transfers using Windows NT's default IDE driver; it defaults to PIO without providing any obvious options to the user to switch to UltraDMA... though a certain universal IDE driver I've only tried once allows the use of UltraDMA from what I understand. I haven't tested it extensively, but that may be very good for reducing CPU load on both single and dual CPU workstations.

Old dual CPU workstations are pretty underrated. I've used one for part of the production of an outlandishly bizarre video, and would like to use them more often myself. I'm not well versed in P4-era hardware, but if you end up wanting to get a dual Pentium II/III system for yourself, I can recommend the Asus P2B-DS (revision 1.06 if you want Coppermine) or the Tyan S1832DL.

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Reply 27 of 28, by macroexp

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I'll pile on to the dual train here - like others have mentioned, it's not a big deal to have a core sitting idle while gaming, if that other core can help the OS perform housekeeping without disrupting the game. Or, for me, if gaming is only a portion of what you do with retro systems. In addition to games, I build them up with development tools appropriate for the era and keep one on rotation in my work office - it's fun showing people younger than the computer how it might have been used to build software in its prime, comparing to the tools they use today.

That said, right now I only have a dual PPro 200MHz and a dual PIII-1GHz (P2BD) running. I have a dual Socket 5 that I'm trying to find parts for. I do have a couple Pentium 133MHZ chips, but my rule is normally to use matched steppings in dual configuration, and these aren't.

Also, just as a last thought - I have a large collection, and building a single-cpu system can be a little too easy. Dual adds some challenge!

Reply 28 of 28, by dionb

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gabimor wrote on 2019-12-31, 14:26:
I just tried to ask: [...] […]
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I just tried to ask:
[...]

If I build a system with server parts and beat, with a great gap, the 468 and 462 builds in games:

Is it cool, or not?

But before buying the parts, I'm asking you about the expected peformance, cause, If the answers were negative, I can forget the idea.

Right now, I think the performance will be the same of the P4 NW 3.2GHz (478) and XP Barton 3200+ (462) builds, so I won't buy the server parts.

Thank you, guys!!!!

In the few SMP-capable games of the era (Q3A instantly springs to mind) a dual Gallatin would blow away any period single CPU (ignore Hyperthreading, that really didn't do anything back then).

Also - and this was a reason to run SMP even earlier, even if you didn't use a single application that was multithreaded - an operating system is inherently a multi-process environment. Having a second CPU will make it more responsive by distributing the tasks over the two CPUs. It would also enable you to do other stuff while running one application that needed a full CPU. I recall on my dual P2-system I was able to play mp3 music (not entirely trivial in those days) without impacting my gaming. Doing the same on a single CPU would have caused major performance degradation in the - single thread - game. With P4-era stuff mp3s are hardly major CPU eaters, but whenever you're multitasking, you will still notice major improvement in a dual environment, even if you don't see it when single-tasking a game benchmark.

Which reminds me... really about time I installed an OS on the Abit BP6 I picked up in December 😀