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How many processes per processor

Posted on 2013-05-22
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Last Modified: 2013-05-30
Hi ,
I have a customer who is asking

How many concurrent processes can you run on a single quad?
-         How much memory can be allocated to each process?
We are using Intel Processors.

Any input would be appreciated.
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Question by:c_hockland
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Lee W, MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 39189589
A processor core can only handle one task at a time.  With Hyperthreading, it can basically do two at a time.  But a preemptive multitasking operating system (which all x86/x64 OSs are these days as far as I know) will schedule time for each process on each processor core.

I'd suggest reviewing the comments and links here:
http://superuser.com/questions/168114/how-much-memory-can-a-64bit-machine-address-at-a-time
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by:Duncan Roe
Duncan Roe earned 1000 total points
ID: 39192810
With a quad, you can certainly have 4 threads actually executing concurrently. That's why it's important to use proper locking mechanisms between threads in a process - otherwise a variable being used by one thread could literally change in value between instructions in that thread because of the actions of another thread running in a different core.
There is a limit to how many processes a kernel can support: it is given by
08:30:23$ cat /proc/sys/kernel/pid_max 
32768
08:31:49$ 

Open in new window

I.e. on my 32-bit system it is 32768. Multiple threads actually consume 1 pid each, but this is hidden (unless you have a very old system).
This limit is independent of the number of cores.
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