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  Hyper-Threading On The Desktop 
  Nov 14, 2002, 02:00am EST 

Proformance or Performance

By: Sander Sassen

Proformance is the performance measured from a professional end-user perspective, the kind of person that gets to spend the annual IT budget on new computers that will up the efficiency and get more work done in less time. To them time equals money and therefore proformance is priceless. Proformance is the factual, reproducible and quantifiable increase in performance that a new technology, such as Hyper-Threading, brings to the table.

As with an SMP configuration this will largely depend on the applications used, since multithreaded applications will benefit more from Hyper-Threading than single-threaded ones. Of course, a dual Xeon configuration, as often used in a business environment, is a different story altogether, and far from the desktop version of Hyper-Threading. Nevertheless it is not unthinkable that Hyper-Threading and SMP compliment each other perfectly, upping the efficiency and substantially improving upon the single-threaded SMP configuration.

On the desktop however there’s no second processor to compliment and thus things are different. Hyper-Threading will most likely excel where we’ve seen SMP configurations excel, in handling either multi-threaded applications and by running multiple applications at the same time without significant loss of performance. That’s where the real performance benefits should come from. In the next few pages we’ll explore just how much extra performance Intel’s new 3.06GHz Pentium with Hyper-Threading buys you, and whether that is worth the upgrade.

1. Introduction
2. SMT and SMP
3. Scheduling and Caching
4. Proformance or Performance
5. Hardware and Software
6. Benchmarks
7. Benchmarks: Multitasking
8. Benchmarks: Multitasking Cont.
9. Summary
10. Appendix

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