The joy of multicore processors

By | July 24, 2017

I recently came back from an amazing trip to Iceland. Had a glorious time there - it was an outstanding adventure!

After this trip I had to convert 3200 photos from RAW to JPEG. Turns out, that usually it takes something like 15 seconds for my computer to process 1 file. 3200 * 15 is roughly a bit more than 13 hours.

Some minutes later and a python script I could distribute the work my 8 processor cores of a FX-8350. The script is ugly and very very dirty, that's why I don't want to publish it.
I've started the script, went outside for a longer time and when I returned the process was completed.

This is just one example of things, where a large number of CPU makes sense on a workstation computer. Even normal users benefit more and more from increased CPU cores more and more.

AMD made good work when they were increasing the number of CPU's. And nowadays I willingly have a bit lower single-thread performance but twice as much CPU cores. Makes totally sense for multimedia converting, large picture editing, compiling, ecc.

2 thoughts on “The joy of multicore processors

  1. Daniel

    Any thoughts on the new AMD Threadrippers (16 cores and 32 threads for desktop use). Quite expensive at €900 but just imagine how much stuff you could get done at the same time!

    Did you split it up into separate processes to get around the global interpreter lock in Python?

    1. phoenix Post author

      Yes indeed - I used python to create new processes to avoid the GIL. The global interpreter lock is an issue that still makes me sad.
      In my case I just forked 8 processes at a time, therefore distributing the work on different Python processes. Of course, that's only possible in a few cases, and I have been lucky here 🙂

      I'm looking forward for news and benchmarks about Threadripper - Phoronix seems to be a quite thankful resource here. They did not get any Threadripper Processors yet, but there's hope for the near future

      I'm quiet happy with my FX-8350 and consider switching to Threadripper on christmas, but that's still up to discussion since I'm really happy with my FX-8350 and do no see an immediate need right now. I could see that I'm going for an upcoming generation next year. It would accelerate some tasks.



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