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Old 07-09-2009, 11:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What is the most powerful single processor?

I've had the impression everything is going duo or quad core. But some graduate students I know want to write massive research programs, and they don't want to write parallel programming. They want just 1 processor.

Does anyone know the most powerful processor put out by intel or amd, that is not duo or quad core? And do they even design single core processors anymore?

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Old 07-09-2009, 12:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the most powerful single processor?

They don't have any "new" single core CPU's, but you can probably still buy them new from some places.

If they are graduate students, I don't see why they don't want to mess with parallel programming as it should not be that hard to do for a dual core CPU. Also, you can always get a dual core, and only one core will be used for the research, but you could run 2 instances of the program (perhaps running different simulations) to take advantage of the 2 cores. Same with a quad core and 4 instances of the program.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the most powerful single processor?

Yeah looking for single core seems pretty hopeless.

They are physics students, they specialize in math, they only write software as a second skill. So I think they would prefer to concentrate on the calculations and go easy on the code writing.

Anyways I'm going to have to work out some kind of compromise.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the most powerful single processor?

A high clocked Core 2 Duo like a e8500 would probably be your best option for single threaded performance.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the most powerful single processor?

Yes, I love those E800 processors. But these students have run their programs (with help from others) on supercomputers.

I may have to settle for that. But there really is no upper limit on the speed they need.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the most powerful single processor?

Supercomputers will be using parallel processing, though. So if they want anywhere near similar performance, they will need to get help making their programs multi-core optimized or deal with running them a lot slower on a single core.

As I said earlier, they could theoretically get a Core i7 which would act as 8 virtual cores and then run one instance (or kernel) of the program per core, thus running 8 different simulations at once but each using just one core.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the most powerful single processor?

I believe the fastest single core processor released was the AMD FX-57

But IMHO, the best solution would be to get an e8500, disable the core that overclocks worse, and its a single core.
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the most powerful single processor?

The supercomputer centers had experts that helped the students make the programs run on 100+ processors (there was huge number crunching). But I doubt the students can do this on their own.

This work station can't match up to a supercomputer, but I want to make it as nice as possible for them. Also I've never had the pleasure of working with such expensive hardware before.

I'm looking at the IBM POWER6 processor, which is 4.7G, but I can't find it for sale anywhere. It's duo core too, of course.
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