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I have an app, which is single-threaded. The source code is not available. The people who managed it before me didn't really understand the whole "single-threaded" business and bought a ridiculously expensive 24-core box. Of course, the performance didn't improve.

I am looking to increase performance. I've read that having a lot of cores actually decreases the performance of a single core.

So which CPUs are really good for single-threaded performance? Cost is no object. The chip should be x86 and x64 compatible.

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The App may be single threaded, but is it using anything like a SQL database which may benefit from the additional cores? If you explain more about what the app is doing we may be able to help more. –  Scott Chamberlain Jun 12 '12 at 6:19
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Also cost is always a object. If it really "is no object" then go pay a few 100 million to intel and have them make a one off chip for your box (I bet they would do it too for somewhere in the 100-500 million range) that is as fast as possible. –  Scott Chamberlain Jun 12 '12 at 6:22
    
can you benefit from multiple instances of this app? could you run benchmarks against a simple consumer level system instead? –  Journeyman Geek Jun 12 '12 at 6:22
    
@ScottChamberlain It does not use anything external other than a file. It truly is single-threaded. –  AngryHacker Jun 12 '12 at 6:50
    
@ScottChamberlain Looking at chips available out on the market, my employer can easily afford to buy pretty much any chip. –  AngryHacker Jun 12 '12 at 6:51
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

AMD's Turbo Core technology will rebalance cores when some of them become idle, giving the remaining busy cores a small speed boost.

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And so will Intel's Turbo Boost. –  Bob Jun 12 '12 at 6:36
    
@Bob: The article says that IDA is what does the same thing. Turbo Core doesn't require OS support though. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jun 12 '12 at 6:38
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Sadly, you will not find any AMD processors which can beat a top 10 list of Intel single threaded processors. –  Aniti Oct 29 '12 at 9:42
    
This is just one of the many benchmarks which tell the sordid story:cpubenchmark.net/singleThread.html . If you really need the highest single threaded perfomance get an enthusiast Intel chip and OC it to 5Ghz or so. If OC is not supported by management, then get a regular Xeon. –  Aniti Oct 29 '12 at 9:51
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