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Old 12-05-2006, 11:31 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2003
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Distribution: CentOS
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Dual Core CPU Upgrade

Hey Hey! So with it being the holiday season and all, I was thinking about asking for a new processor for my home web/mail server. Right now I'm running a CentOS box with Apache/Postfix, and I also use GNUCash and VNC on occasion. Right now I have a 3GHZ P4 630, but I was thinking about making the switch to dual core, probably the Pentium D 930.

So my question is, how well would a LAMP server take advantage of a dual core cpu? All of the reviews I've read show that dual core cpu's only offer noticeable gains in a multitasking environment. I was thinking that a service like apache, which creates a new instance with each new connection, would really benefit from having the second core.

Whatcha think? Would it be worth the upgrade to dual core? Or should I just ask for a Wii?
Old 12-05-2006, 03:56 PM   #2
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Pretty much what happens has one task is started it is finsihed by that cpu itself so depending on the program it may only run the majority on one cpu while running a few other task withing the app on the other. This pretty much applys to everything.

One way to see the usage is when compiling the kernel. If you have say gkrellm up showing cpu usage and start the make for kernel building it will swap back and forth for each command in the makefile itself. To speed things up in a kernel build with dual cpu or dual core use the -j option. using say make -j4 will force the make to run two commands at once and once one is done the next is ready to go. Ran a compile a quad before using make -j8. It does not take long to build a kernel this way.

Same can be seen when building source files with make but usually they do not incorporate the -j option. Just switching back and forth mostly. But running other apps at the time does improve than with a single cpu.

You will need to have a kernel with SMP enabled. Some apps don't run well with SMP enabled. You would need to investigate as issues arise.

As far as LAMP server I would say not much of an increase as far as the LAMP server app. Running other stuff along with it is where you will notice the increase.

I love dual core and beyond (quad dual core). Not a gamer so dual core for me. One cool thing if your kernel and video card support the logo when booting you will see two penguins at the top. You will need to build a new kernel if using precompiled kernel rpm packages. Not a default feature. Also /boot/grub/grub.conf will need to be edited for standard boot screen.



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