[OT] Maximum performance on single processor ?

Robert Myers rmyers1400 at attbi.com
Fri Jun 20 11:16:37 EDT 2003

Marc Baaden wrote:

>As I said the code can indeed be parallelized - maybe even simply cleaned
>up in some parts - but unfortunately there remains very much other important
>stuff to do. So we'd rather spend some money on a really fast CPU and not
>touch the code at the moment.
>So my question was more, what is the fastest CPU I can get for $20000
>at the moment (without explicitly parallelizing, hyperthreading or
>vectorizing my code).
You may have done better service to the readers of this list than you 
have to yourself, since the readers of this list are naturally inclined 
to think about the sort of question you have asked, and the answers have 
been interesting to read.

The fact that you are asking the question, though, begs an answer that 
others have partially given: no plausible hardware purchase you can make 
will be a substitute for you or someone you are working with to get 
smart about being clever with hardware and software.  You don't want to 
invest in people, but people is what you must invest in.  There is 
probably someone out there really hungry for work or just plain 
interested who could get you an awful lot of mileage for the money you 
want to spend.

Without that sort of expertise, the chances of your getting much further 
than you already are through a hardware purchase are, to a very good 
approximation, zero.

The application you describe sounds like something that might wind up in 
an ASIC or FPGA, but that involves serious people time.

The only no-brains speedup strategy that could work is the most powerful 
speed-up strategy of all: wait a couple of years for off-the-shelf 
hardware to get faster.


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