In part 2 of this Dell Tech Center blog post by TACC’s Tommy Minyard and Dan Stanzione, we get more of their perspective on how real applications performance relates to clock rate, core count, and access speed to main memory.
At this point, it’s probably not going to be a surprise to you that what we’d like to propose in this post is that there are plenty of situations nowadays where leaving some cores idle is the smartest thing to do to maximize performance. This requires a little bit of a shift in mindset… You need to think of the cores on your processors as dynamic resources which you max out when you need them (like the network or the memory) rather than as something you need to utilize all the time to be productive. Hey, you spent money on a vacuum cleaner, and if you ran it every hour every day, that wouldn’t be better utilization, it would simply be annoying. If you use it enough to keep your house clean, that’s appropriate utilization. The important thing is it has the power you need when you turn it on. So, let’s start thinking about all those cores on your processors the same way. They provide the power you need in some situations, but you don’t need to use all of it all the time.