Gentoo - Multiprocessor, Hyper-Threading and Dual Core Systems

Many computer systems are based on multiple processors, but not always in immediately obvious ways.

  • Many of Intel's CPUs support a technology which they call hyper-threading, which is where the CPU is actually viewed by the system as two logical processors.
  • Some of the most recent Intel/AMD CPUs actually consist of multiple physical processors inside a single package, these are known as dual core processors.
  • Some high-end computer systems actually have multiple physical processors installed on specialised motherboards to provide a significant performance increase over a uniprocessor system. You'll probably know if you have such a system, since they aren't cheap.

In all of these cases, you need to select the appropriate kernel options to obtain optimum performance from these setups.

Code Listing 3.6: Configuration for multi-processing

Processor type and features  --->
[*] Symmetric multi-processing support
Select the above option if you are on a multi-processor system (of any type)
[*] SMT (Hyperthreading) scheduler support
Select the above option if you are on an Intel Hyper-Threading CPU
[*] Multi-core scheduler support (NEW)
Select the above option if your CPU is dual core