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MathGroup Archive 2000

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Re: can Mathematica use dual processors?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg24569] Re: [mg24525] can Mathematica use dual processors?
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at wolfram.com>
  • Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 00:56:03 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

> I looked thru the postings and didn't find this subject.  Sorry if it
> has been discussed a lot and I missed it.
> 
> I'm wondering if having dual processor sysem will speed up mathematica
> v. 4.0?  Seems like several years ago this was discussed and Mathematica 
> couldn't make use of the dual scheme.  That may have changed.
> 
> Thanks, Rob


Not in the way you're thinking.  As the notebook user interface and the
kernel are separate processes, and the OS always has other threads of
execution going on as well, there is certainly a nonzero benefit to having
multiple processors.  But the kernel has only one computational thread,
and so computations cannot be distributed over multiple processors by
a single Mathematica kernel.

However, computations would benefit directly from multiple processors
if you use multiple Mathematica kernels which communicate with each
other.  Wolfram sells an application called Parallel Computing Toolkit
which provides tools for doing this (as well as for parallel computing
tasks by processors in separate systems connected via network).  The 
web page for this is:

http://www.wolfram.com/products/applications/parallel/

Sincerely,

John Fultz
jfultz at wolfram.com
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.


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