[scribus] Scribus on 'modern' machines

John Beardmore John at T4sLtd.co.uk
Fri May 16 12:27:22 CEST 2008

Asif Lodhi wrote:

> Hi John,
> On 5/7/08, John Beardmore <John at t4sltd.co.uk> wrote:
>> Asif Lodhi wrote:
>>> Though I don't know how to do it using Linux but, if you're using
>>> WinXP, you can distribute each process' load equally on ALL the cores
>>> from the Task Manager
>> But if the task is single threaded, can that help ?
> May be. As it is the operating system (XP in this case) that schedules
> and allocates all the jobs to whatever cores you have in your
> processor. Though I have yet to study Intel's multi-core processor
> achitecture, I think it's about parallelization and re-arrangement
> (for better optimized execution) of machine instructions "inside" the
> processor. And, though I have yet to investigate how the generated
> multi-threading code (i.e. assembly/machine language code generated
> from C/C++, for example) looks like but I DO know that Intel
> processors have tasks scheduling instructions at the machine language
> level at least since Intel's 80386 processor. This means that all the
> threading primitives that, for example, Windows and Linux, provide at
> the operating system level obviously make use of those
> processor-provided threading primitives internally. I personally think
> that multiple core technology is currently being used by the OS to
> "interally" parallelize the instruction execution inside the same
> processor at the same time.
>>> (just right click on any process in the task
>>> manager and you'll see the option) OR you can also allocate processes
>>> on a per core basis (same option just remove the check from the cores
>>> that you want to allocate to other tasks than the one you're
>>> focusing).
>> Does this work on XP pro ?
> YES. ABSOLUTELY. But I guess you'll notice the difference in
> graphically intensive applications such as Photoshop, etc. You CAN
> allocate a single-threaded application one or more cores as I earlier
> said. By default, XP seems to allocate all processor to all the cores.
> Of course, assigning fewer cores to a software application process
> means less performance. You can use it to assign fewer cores to
> low-priority applications and all the cores to higher-priority
> applications.
> In addition, you can even change the priority of a running process
> from the process tab of the Windows XP task manager - just right click
> on any process and select "Set Priority" to change the current
> priority.
>> To what extent is the exploitation of multi core technology on the road
>> maps for these ?  Photoshop perhaps ?
> I have noticed "tremendous" speed boost in highly graphic intensive
> applications on my Intel Core Duo 2   2.6 GHz machine with 2GB RAM
> even though I am still using the old IDE based hard disks - not SATA.
> In your case, it absolutely means a visibile gain in Photoshop
> performance. But I would say that the "mother board" and the
> components used to build the board also matter a lot. That's why I
> earlier provided a list of related hardware websites that you can use
> to review the various hardware components, computers, etc.

OK, but I thought Photoshop had had code to exploit dual processor 
systems for years ?  If so, it can presumably handle multiple
cores ?

>> Further, in many systems, is CPU the bottle neck, or memory
>> bandwidth ?
> Compute-intensive applications such as Blender, Photoshop raster
> operations/filters, Inkscape bitmap trace (autotrace or potrace), etc.
> are CPU hogs. So more RAW CPU power is nice to have when using these
> applications. Also, many Java desktop applications are CPU hogs when
> performing most of the operations. I've always noticed visibly
> substantial difference in Java speed whenever I've upgraded.

Hmmm...  Years ago I was involved in writing a market research 
application that everybody thought was a CPU hog.

We started off with 20MHz 386 CPUs, then upgraded to 33MHz.  From 
memory, it ran about 12% faster.

Given that disk use didn't seem to be an issue, we concluded at the time 
that it was probably limited by memory access.

> Use the "Performance" tab of the Windows XP Task Manager to find out
> if you need more memory. If the PF Usage (Page File Usage) is GREATER
> than zero then it means that Windows XP is using the page file (a disk
> file to store temporarily store memory contents) as an extension of
> your main memory - because of your higher memory requirements. This is
> a very good indicator as to how much more memory you actually need.
> Increase your memory and you'll only seldom see the PF usage greater
> than zero - only when you use many applications at the same time that
> collectively use more memory than available, that is.
> You can view the memory, CPU requirements of EACH application/process
> using the Windows Task Manager. Run Task Manager, switch to the
> "Process" tab, select "View/Select Columns" from the Task Manager's
> menu bar and then select
>                               CPU Usage
>                               Memory Usage
>                               Page Faults
>                               Virtual Memory Size
>                               Thread Count
> from the list to include these columns in the "Process" tab view of
> your Task Manager - re-size the task manager's window appropriately
> wider to see all the columns. You can also SORT various columsn in
> ascending or descending order.
> More memory is always nice to have. Even if the applications that you
> use don't use much memory, the extra memory can be used to run many
> applications at the same time.

:)   Yes -  already doing that.

> You can always add more memory if you
> notice in Task Manager that some applications that are important to
> use have a higher memory usage and higher page faults, for example.
> Check out the "Performance" tab of the Windows XP Task Manager when,
> for example, you run a compute-intensive filter in Photoshop - you
> will see a sudden spike in the processor usage graph.

I've got 2 gig in this machine and we seldom use more than 1.5 so I 
really don't think memory is a big issue.

Cheers, J/.
John Beardmore, MSc EDM (Open), B.A. Chem (Oxon), CMIOSH, AIEMA, MEI
Managing Director, T4 Sustainability Limited. http://www.T4sLtd.co.uk/
Carbon Trust Consultant: Energy Audit, Carbon Footprint, Design Advice
Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme, (EEAS), Registered Assessor
Phone: 0845 4561332   Mobile: 07785 563116   Skype: t4sustainability

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