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number crunching computer

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boobesque | 20:14 Tue 21st Aug 2012 | Computers
3 Answers
Hi all,

I need a computer for running a couple of mathematical programs. I'd like it to be fast as on my current computer these equations can take over a month. There will be no watching movies, no playing games etc.

I will use CentOS without a GUI and the programs are in C but I'm not a pro so i can't be programing for CUDA GPU or anything.

So what am i looking for? high end cpu? what is an L2 cache? if I only run 1 of my programs at a time do i really need lots of RAM? if i wanted to run multiple instances of the program should i use multiple processors or hyperthreading or something for better performance?

I need to know what's important and what's not so i can save money by skimping on the not so important parts.


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What are you using at the moment, a Commodore PET?

Crunching numbers is what any computer is good at. I think your problem may be the condition/state of your puter, not the model.

Please state your computer brand and model so the techies can help you.
Anybodies guess really!

A lot will depend on how the software you are running is written, if it's not written to use multiple cores and/or hyperthreading then there will be no benefit from having more cores or hyperthreading, and even if it has been written to use multiple cores then there is by no means any guarantee it would scale linearly across the cores.

You've also not said if its a 32bit or 64bit application, there's no point in putting more than 4GB of RAM in unless both the OS and the application are 64bit and will address the extra RAM.
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the computer I'm using at the moment is about 10 years old, amd sempron 1Gb ram. The program is quite simple, generating sequences of prime numbers, perfect numbers etc, but has to run through billions of iterations.

So 4Gb max ram. would i need this much?
I'm guessing that processor is the most important thing. What should i look out for? the names mean nothing to me but L1 cache, L2 cache, clock speed etc?

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