Main Question or Discussion Point
Anyone know of parallel operating systems designed to work with multiple PC processors?
I do not believe either is a true parallel operating system. For example, neither can spread a computation among all the available processors. There may be special variants of Linux capable of doing this, but I am not yet aware of any.Both Windows and the Linux variants work with multiple processors.
Both Windows and Linux can spread and balance the computation provided the programmer properly parallelized the code.I do not believe either is a true parallel operating system. For example, neither can spread a computation among all the available processors. There may be special variants of Linux capable of doing this, but I am not yet aware of any.
It has been at least a decade since I last looked at this area. At the time, I do recall there being dedicated operating systems that enabled true parallel processing on a network of PC processors. The term network here comprised several different architectures and topologies. An attempt to generalize the special programming required of whatever network was in use was to use MPI (Message-Passing Interface). MPI was one way code could be parallelized and make it portable among supercomputers or other distributed computing alternatives.Both Windows and Linux can spread and balance the computation provided the programmer properly parallelized the code. I am not sure what else you think would be a "true" parallel operating system.
There are compilers that automatically parallelize code, but really the scope is fairly limited, it is better to have a good programmer, who understands the issues related to parallelization, to take a look at it.There probably is no general-purpose highly-optimized parallel operating system on PCs. Compilers and operating systems are probably just not smart enough to take a generic program and parallelize it optimally. Of course, certain computation problems are better suited to certain configurations of distributed processors [which, of course, requires knowledge of the cpu capabilites, memory speeds, networking speeds, and topology]. ...but I'm no expert. I took a class in parallel-computation a while back.
Does it make a difference? In terms of an operating system making full use of what is available, what impact does dual versus quad core have?are u talking about dual or quad cores?
The consensus seems to be standard Linux can handle the multiprocessing. As for the multi-threading of programs, that would appear to be a function of using such tools as MPI or OpenMP, would you agree?To my knowledge the supercomputer clusters in ontario are dual core that run linux as the OS. ANd use either MPI or openmp. And i believe bluegene has the same structure. As for personnel dual core PCs. MPI/openmp.
Not quite general purpose but NVIDIA is coming out with Tesla. These are GPU based parallel computing units with 128 processors. Starting from next month you can buy the entry level unit that can reach 500 GFlops peak performance for about $1500. The C based toolkit is already available. Unfortunately the first generation is 32bit only.Currently there is no general purpose massively parallel computer system available that I know of, unless you are willing to pay millions.
Yes, you are correct. My concern was for various scheduled tasks to run on a different processors as allocated by the operating system to effect greater overall throughput. The same holds true for general applications not necessarily written for a multi-processor environment.I don't actually think that it is importand for an OS to take advantage of a multiple core processor. The important thing is for the applications to use the multiple cores for the various processes. Suppose that you have just an OS with no other programms installed. What good is there to use 2 or 4 cores just for the OS. The importand thing is for the OS to "see" the multiple processors and for the applications to use them. Except for the case that you want to run many computation heavy apps at the same time... but how many times does anyone do that?