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Does Software Slow Fast Chips?

Posted August 17, 2010 7:49 AM

Microprocessors boast increasingly high clock speeds but bloated software means our computers run little faster than they did a decade ago. Now, Intel has demonstrated a silicon photonic optical link operating at 50 Gb/s and promises terabit-per-second operation in the not so distant future. Do you think we'll really see any performance bump from this technology or do you think software will suck up all of the additional speed?

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#1

Re: Does Software Slow Fast Chips?

08/17/2010 10:30 AM

but bloated software means our computers run little faster than they did a decade ago.
Exactly. we don't need faster hardware we need better written, better designed operating system software.
It's cheaper to write sloppy bloated software than concise fast well thought out stuff.
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#6
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Re: Does Software Slow Fast Chips?

08/18/2010 12:35 PM

Concise software doesn't include all the bells and whistles, safety protocols, and marketing addons. In order to expand the market from just a few specially trained people to the general public, you need to make the software more user friendly towards a public who isn't specially trained in that specific version of a software package from a individual manufacturer. Case in point AutoCAD 2010 is exteremely slow to load and bit slower than previous versions, but is probably more user friendly then say R13 was for the general public (even though it annoys people trained and proficient in much older versions who rely on text commands still rather than point and click buttons). Assembly code or other highly efficient languages can generate better software, but it would be insane to expect the current software "engineers" with certificates from the local community college or some online training to do what it would have taken highly expertise PhDs qualified in assembly code from the 1970s and 1980s to even conceive of doing. As it currently stands bloated code is the cost of using cheaper more poorly educated staff trained to use code libraries built up from generation after generation of old C routines that may have just been a bandaid at that time to solve some problem quickly not necessarily efficiently.

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#2

Re: Does Software Slow Fast Chips?

08/17/2010 2:17 PM

Just as your media library grows to fill your free disk space, software feature creep will eventually consume all the available cpu/io bandwidth.

I do think the new optical link will improve things though as most tasks are i/o bound, not cpu bound today (replacing a hdd with an ssd makes a world of difference).

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#3

Re: Does Software Slow Fast Chips?

08/18/2010 2:14 AM

I have several bits of useful software that still run under WinXP perfectly, though they have no right to.

For example Eagle CAD, from the time of OC with 286 chips. Complete on a single 1.44MB diskette!!

The autorouter runs like an oiled lighning strike.......it has surface mount support and I can deisgn new bits......its totally incompatible with the Eagle CAD of today......but who cares.

I also have a small converter program for most things of areas, lengths etc.. it still runs fine too and is many years old....

Older software was written in machine code/assembler, and consequently was physically far smaller, concise and therefore runs far quicker......

Look around for "Abandonware".........

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#4
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Re: Does Software Slow Fast Chips?

08/18/2010 2:34 AM

GA.
That example sounds absolutely classic to me.
There's a tricky job... oiling those damn lightning bolts.

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#5
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Re: Does Software Slow Fast Chips?

08/18/2010 3:18 AM

....but it really gets them moving!!

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#7
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Re: Does Software Slow Fast Chips?

08/27/2010 10:37 PM

/convertall

there of are course more efficient choices for software than Windohs.

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