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Can Win-98 benefit from CPU with hyperthreading?


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I know that Win-9x/me natively utilizes only one core (on multi-core CPU's) but I was wondering if the Intel feature known as "Hyperthreading" would perform some sort of automatic or transparent multi-threading (transparent to the OS). In other words, all else being equal, would Win-9x (and/or any apps running under 9x) see a performance increase when running on a CPU with hyperthreading? I'm thinking of intensive apps like 1080 video playback (VLC) or maybe photo editing (photoshop).

I'm trying to figure out which socket 775 CPU would give the best performance for win-98, knowing that the specs for a dual or quad-core CPU are largely meaningless in this case. And it might even be that no socket 775 cpu even has hyperthreading (maybe only limited to socket 478?).

Passmark CPU tests show scores for single-threading performance, even for multi-core CPU's. Is that what will ultimately allow me to determine which CPU is likely to have the best performance running under 9x?

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I know that Win-9x/me natively utilizes only one core (on multi-core CPU's) but I was wondering if the Intel feature known as "Hyperthreading" would perform some sort of automatic or transparent multi-threading (transparent to the OS). In other words, all else being equal, would Win-9x (and/or any apps running under 9x) see a performance increase when running on a CPU with hyperthreading? I'm thinking of intensive apps like 1080 video playback (VLC) or maybe photo editing (photoshop).

 

No. Not at all. :no:

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Windows 95/98/Me only utilizes one processor core, sadly enough. Nobody has ever found a way around that to my knowledge. The NT line however does utilize more than one core, even Windows NT 4 I believe does that. But 9x you're limited to just one.

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No, absolutely no.

Look at this mobo for example:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/intel/p4i65g/ (my personal favorite for 98SE IMO)

In it's manual, which you can read here:

ftp://66.226.78.21/manual/P4i65G.pdf

on page 23 it says:

Hyper Threading Technology

To enable this feature, it requires a computer system with an Intel Pentium®4

processor that supports Hyper-Threading technology and an operating system that includes optimization for this technology, such as Microsoft®Windows®XP.

So, you better take care of the L2 cache, and the MHz's, instead of HT. They'll help much better.

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Windows 9x knows about and uses one Hyperthread in one Core. The Kernel is not reentrant enough to be able to add Multi-Core support. Applications can be written to use more Cores but they have to manage the Cores themselves. I have written a Multi-Core API for application writers to use. Unfortunately the big Software companies have abandoned Windows 9x completely.

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Windows 9x knows about and uses one Hyperthread in one Core. The Kernel is not reentrant enough to be able to add Multi-Core support.

 

With all due respect, and just to avoid any misreadings of your above statement, and considering that hyperthreading provides two Hyperthreads per Core, I understand what you just said means "Win 9x knows about and uses one single Hyperthread from just one Core, and nothing more, regardless of how many Hyperthreads and Cores may exist in any given processor it's running on"... and that means you're confirming, albeit in a more detailed way, the other replies preceding yours, mine included, right? 

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Windows 9x knows about and uses one Hyperthread in one Core. The Kernel is not reentrant enough to be able to add Multi-Core support.

With all due respect, and just to avoid any misreadings of your above statement, and considering that hyperthreading provides two Hyperthreads per Core, I understand what you just said means "Win 9x knows about and uses one single Hyperthread from just one Core, and nothing more, regardless of how many Hyperthreads and Cores may exist in any given processor it's running on"... and that means you're confirming, albeit in a more detailed way, the other replies preceding yours, mine included, right?

Correct.

To be even more precise, THE Hyperthread in THE Core of THE CPU handed to it by the BIOS.

Normally this would be the BP (Base Processor) designated by the Hardware.

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Even if it were possible, it wouldn't serve much purpose. Most of the applications that could benefit from it won't run on 98 anyway.

So software like VLC 2.x or Adobe Flash player (what-ever the most recent that runs on win-9x with Kex) or browsers (like Opera 12) wasn't coded with multi-threading capability?

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"Multi-threading capability", however exactly one may define that, will avail nothing to a process, when the OS is single-threaded. At most, that process will be duly divided in two or more threads that do less work each than a full single-threaded process would, but the advantage that would be derived form such threads actually running at the same time in parallel cannot ever accrue, because the OS is single-threaded. The OS is king: if the OS knows nothing about multi-threading (unless something like the multi-threading API RLoew's written is explicitly compiled in the executable), no process can ever benefit from multi-threading, despite its eventual ablility to divide itself in multiple-threads.

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"Multi-threading capability", however exactly one may define that, will avail nothing to a process, when the OS is single-threaded.

I'm not disputing that. I'm questioning what herbalist said:

"Most of the applications that could benefit from (multi-threading or multi-cores) won't run on 98 anyway."

If what he said is true, then software such as media players (VLC or Flash) browsers (such as Opera 12) must not be written with multithreading / multicore operation in mind. Because that software obviously *DOES* run on windows 98.

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OK.  Then, when herbalist said:
 

Most of the applications that could benefit from it won't run on 98 anyway.

 
He left unsaid: "then again, those few which could benefit from it and actually manage to run on 9x/ME, will also reap no benefit whatsoever, because, in any case, the OS is single-threaded, and therefore all threads created must execute one at a time, and never truly in parallel.
 

"Multi-threading capability", however exactly one may define that, will avail nothing to a process, when the OS is single-threaded.


I'm not disputing that.

Sure you are! With all due respect, you're actually bargaining and must eventually move on to acceptance. :D

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They may run on 98 but do they work the same way on 98? I'd suspect that they're designed to take advantage of multi-threading/cores when it's available in a way they understand. As I understand it, it would take a complete rebuilding of 98 to accomplish that. By the time that happened, it wouldn't be 98 any more.

I'd like to see the ability on 98 to assign a processor to an application, like giving Tor or VPC its own processor without having to completely rewrite or recompile the application. Then again, the current versions of both don't run on 98, even with KernelEx.

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OK. Then, when herbalist said:

Most of the applications that could benefit from it won't run on 98 anyway.

He left unsaid: (...)

Well I can't exactly agree (or disagree) with what he left unsaid. So why put words into his mouth?

He said that software that could benefit from multicore / multii-threading won't run on win-98.

Is VLC or Flash (just to name 2 modern CPU-intensive programs) written to be compatible with single and multi-core systems? If so, do they not run under win-98?

How much software, written between 2000 and 2006, was written to be compatible with windows 98/me, AND at the same time was written to utilize more than 1 core (when multiple cores was available for their use, obviously when run under some version of NT) ? According to Herbalist, the answer is zero.

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