Technology is advancing. A year ago, I was building my new machine and researching hardware. CPU’s were a major consideration for me. What was the best gaming CPU and what was important for good performance in Second Life?
That last question is a significant point of debate in Second Life. I think it mostly comes from the lack of information about how the viewer works. In SL it seems old information hangs around forever. The viewer is changing just as technology does. Since Oz Linden’s arrival and later promotion to director (?) of Second Life development the backside of Second Life has been getting lots of attention, especially for the last year, 2016-2017
So, most of that old information is wrong. In particular, the idea of whether the viewer runs multiple threads. It does.
A thread in computer-geek-speak, is an independent task, like decompressing an image. Other independent tasks would be retrieving the image via download or finding it in the cache.
A CPU can run a single task. We now put multiple CPU’s, called cores, in a single CPU CHIP. So, a single CPU chip is really multiple CPU’s and can run multiple tasks in parallel.
Intel has been steadily improving their ability to task switch. A CPU must pull program instructions and data from computer memory. To speed things up there are subsystems that set up program instruction cues and data cues. What Intel calls hyperthreading is the highly optimized process of switching out data and program instruction cues for one task for another. The effect is a 6-core CPU can perform as if it were a 12-core CPU, almost. It is so close that for most purposes we consider it as 12-core. Continue reading