4 on the floor (or in the socket)

(aka the QUADs are coming, the QUADs are coming)

I was worried about memory bandwidth in the dual core time frame. Turned out to not be a problem for most codes. I will need to see more on the AM3. Punch line is that AM3 is socket compatible with AM2. Wow. Will it have enough bandwidth for 4 cores in a single unit? We are going to need to start talking about bandwidth per socket. Will also need some contention measures.

What this means is that a 2 socket system will be able to sustain 8 cores. An 8 socket machine will be able to sustain 32 cores.

Now more cores doesn’t mean faster/better. It means more complexity in software as most software is still largely serial. Some code is threaded, but may not scale particularly well.

This does open up some very interesting possibilities on servers though. Single socket 4 core servers with lots of memory/IO bandwidth would be great from a space perspective if they could be made small.

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