How useful is Hyper-Threading for average user?
From: John Brock (jbrock_at_panix.com)
Date: 12 Aug 2003 16:54:50 -0400
I'm planning on buying a new PC this week (there's a sale!), and
I have the option of buying a 2.8GHz P4 with a 533MHz FSB or a
2.8GHz P4 with Hyper-Threading and an 800MHz FSB for almost the
same price. My first question is does this matter at all for the
average user (word processing, web browsing, multi-media, etc.)?
I also want to understand a little better what is going on. It
sounds like HT is equivalent to a dual CPU on a single chip. Is
that right? Is the 2.8GHz HT system effectively the equivalent of
a hypothetical system with two physical non-HT 2.8 GHz CPUs? Does
that mean that if I am running a compute intensive process in the
background the HT system will assign it to one virtual CPU while
the other is entirely free for whatever else I might want to do?
That certainly sounds like it would occasionally be useful, and
certainly worth the small extra price.
But are there any drawbacks? Any at all? Is there *any* operating
system or application which will choke or fail to run properly on
an HT system? (I'm not talking about failing to fully take advantage
of both virtual CPU's, I mean actually failing). If I want to run
Linux (or BSD, or MS-DOS for that matter) will I *ever* run into
And what about heat. Is the HT system hotter, enough that it might
matter? Speed is nice, but I value stability and compatibility
more highly. So will HT ever hurt me in those areas?
-- John Brock firstname.lastname@example.org