Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Life isn't always a two way street

SMP Seesaw

Remember that big kid dominating the SeeSaw in the playground. Now its time to throw your weight around and take control of your processes. Install the MSI then in task manager you have a new option to "set affinity". Here you can choose what processor does the heavy lifting.

This is interesting on the surface but I can see where the practical applications might be limited. Partially because you would really need to manage all processes that might get allocated to that resource. Just forcing a process to use one CPU doesn't keep others from using it. I can see the benefit in video playback while downloading. This might be good for core testing. In some cases it could allow you to troubleshoot a bad core.


SMP Seesaw is a utility for dual-CPU or dual-core computers that controls how Windows balances the compute load between the two processors. By default, Windows balances the processing load to both CPUs as evenly as possible among all programs. SMP Seesaw provides a convenient means to change the processor affinities for all running programs at once. In particular, the most common use is to dedicate one of your processors to a single program, thereby improving the performance or responsiveness of that program.

Full-screen games, software-based DVD playback, PVR programs like SageTV and BeyondTV, and VMware are examples of applications that might benefit from having exclusive access to one of your CPUs. Of course, not all programs would benefit: multi-threaded programs that are designed to take full advantage of several processors would actually be impeded. However, relatively few desktop applications are designed like this.

System Requirements: To use SMP Seesaw, your computer must have exactly two processors or cores, and you must be running Windows NT, 2000, 2003, or XP.

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