making a single processor system into dual processor?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by redcat, Nov 16, 2003.

  1. redcat

    redcat Guest

    has anyone tried converting their PC into a dual processor setup? what are
    teh challenges involved?
    I am thinking of going upto a dual P4 2.4 ghz system with a gig of ram. is
    it even advisable? i am assuming that a new motherboard would have to be
    installed right away...and what else?

    redcat, Nov 16, 2003
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  2. redcat

    DK Guest

    The biggest issue I faced was with the OS - you need to have an OS that
    supports dual CPU's (NT, 2000, or XP), and you'll have to reinstall the OS -
    at least that's what I had to do with NT when I did it the first time.
    DK, Nov 16, 2003
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  3. redcat

    redcat Guest

    that seems to be a no-brainer. I have win xp anyways.
    what was your experience with replacing motherboard, etc? did you have to
    upgrade your power supply system as well?
    redcat, Nov 16, 2003
  4. Making the switch, you couldnt' salvage either the RAM or the processors.
    The standard P4 is not capable of multiprocessor operation; this requires
    the Xeon.

    Many more varieties of memory exist than back in the day. So the RAM from
    your old board probably won't be specified for the new one.

    Dual processor motherboards also draw more power.
    Practically every 12V board requires an additional power connector, and
    stable operation requires that you choose a supply that resembles what's on
    the "approved list."

    I have a dual processor Athlon 2460, in which I had originally installed
    only one processor. When the price of the Athlon MP 1.2 dropped to $52, I
    added another.

    I also have a P4 1.4 with a gig of RAM. I have concluded that no upgrade of
    this system is possible, because there is not a single component on the
    motherboard that could be salvaged. It's more cost effective to just migrate
    such a system to a secondary purpose, or backup.

    Your P4 2.4 gig system probably has a 400 mHz or 533 mHz front side bus.
    The newer 3.0 P4's with 800 mHz busses, hyperthreading, and dual-bank DDR
    are the most cost effective upgrades out there. I would guess that they give
    70% of the performanced of a dual processor Xeon system, because the Xeon
    has a 533 mHz front side bus that is shared between two processors. Memory
    bandwidth is a problem. Perhaps when DDR 400 becomes mainstream, Xeon will
    get an 800 mHz bus.

    The real advantage to the latest dual processor Xeon and Opteron boards is
    the layout of the PCI busses. A 3.0 gig P4 has a single PCI bus, which is
    fine for running a video editing program which uses local storage. But if
    your requirements included networking by gigabit ethernet, this would not
    work. It would probably not work for editing uncompressed video, and it
    would not work with Avid's hardware accelerator for "Avid Pro".

    The dual processor boards have three PCI bus segments that can independently
    DMA data to RAM. The busses typically run at 66 and 133 mHz, and are 64 bits
    wide. One bus can be used for firewire->external devices, another for RAID
    or SCSI disks, and another for general use.

    But a typical consumer system just hangs a few hard drives off the internal
    IDE or SATA ports, so none of the above are useful.
    Robert Morein, Nov 16, 2003
  5. redcat

    DK Guest

    You'd be surprised..:)

    I didn't have to upgrade the power supply, but this was with a standard
    Pentium. I DID have to adjust the motherboard jumpers, though - and the
    CPU's had to be the same speed.

    With the higher power requirements of the P4's, I can't say if you'd need
    any changes to the power supply, but if you do, you're as well off just
    getting a new case.

    As a warning, though - get at least a mid-size case. A mini-tower or
    something else that small will be difficult to work in.
    DK, Nov 16, 2003
  6. redcat

    redcat Guest

    Thanks Robert and DK for the enlightenment! guess i had better re-think the
    whole idea and start from scratch instead of messing with this one.
    will keep you posted on acquisitions...
    redcat, Nov 16, 2003
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