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I'm planning on having one dual-core system running two touchscreens, each in its own room in the house. I'd like to be able to use the internet on one, while someone else uses the other to record music - each of us interacting with the screen as we would separate computers. I was also thinking that running each screen, or certain programs, on its own core might make this work more smoothly. Will this setup work in Windows 7 Home on a mini-tower or do I need to invest in a server to get this sort of workstation/terminal setup to work?

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Unless the rooms share a wall: have you considered the expensive cabling you would need for that? – Arjan Jan 12 '11 at 14:43
KVM over ethernet would only require one cat5 – Tog Jan 12 '11 at 15:13
Is there any reason why you would want to use only one computer to power to monitors? It would be a lot more straightforward to have a server with two thin clients and use remote desktop connection. – Chuck Jan 12 '11 at 15:19
Aha, @Tog, so there are touch screens that mimic a mouse or something like that? Or KVM over ethernet that supports plain USB? – Arjan Jan 12 '11 at 20:20
@Arjan The touchscreens use a USB interface so I stand corrected, he would need a USB extender as well as cat5 for the video and keyboard. – Tog Jan 13 '11 at 9:31

What you're requiring is called 'multi seat configuration' - it isn't really supported without additional software (MS has multipoint server, which only works on a server OS, and is aimed at schools , and apparently there's other solutions like friendlyseats and a bunch of other possibilities in the comments here )and is probably going to be horribly complicated. It might be less expensive and simpler to just get a cheap and cheerful low end box for the second system, and share storage.

another possibility

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It's up to OS to assign tasks to CPU cores (or to individual CPUs in an SMP environment), and you cannot force affinity of certain processes to a given core.

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Actually, you can force affinity to a given core. In windows, at least, you can go to task manager, right click a process, and click "set affinity" – Eli Jun 15 '11 at 3:23

Getting a program to start up and align itself with only one of two cores depending on which screen it was started up on may not be an easy thing to accomplish. You would be much better off investing in some more powerful hardware. A quad-core i7 will certainly perform well in this situation, for example, and you wouldn't need to "dedicate" cores to certain applications. You certainly don't need a server, but a powerful full-tower desktop computer would be ideal in this situation.

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