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I am looking to buy a new workstation to run a custom app that is heavily cpu intensive. Right now it runs on a Windows 7 (64bit) dual processor (intel 5690) workstation with 192 gb of ram. So, the system as configured has 12 physical and 24 logical cores, yet takes over 30 minutes to do the crunching required. I can see, using Resource Monitor, that the bottleneck is the cpu, not the I/O.

So I want to buy a system with 4 Intel e5 processors (not yet sure whether the e5-26xx or the e5-46xx cpu's would be the better choice).

So my question is: I have read that Windows 7 only supports 192 gb of ram, but does it support 4 processors? When I find a company selling quad cpu workstations, they only offer Windows Server or Linux variants as the OS choices, leading me to believe that perhaps Windows 7 does not support more than 2 processors. Is this true?

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What kind of number crunching? Is it a process that can be passed to your GPU? The GPU will be able to typically (depending on the task) to calculate much faster than the CPU. – kobaltz Feb 9 '13 at 19:34
If you're transcoding/analyzing audio or video streams then you could set up a beowolf cluster. In the past, this has taken 15 hours of HD video rendering time off of my laptop and into 4 hours of rendering time on the cluster. – kobaltz Feb 9 '13 at 19:37
You can install Desktop Experience on a Windows Server 2008/R2 or 2012 and in practice it acts almost identically to its Windows 7/8 cousin. – Michael Hampton Feb 9 '13 at 20:37
  • The Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate version support 2 physical CPUs
  • The Starter and Home editions support 1 physical CPU

PCs with multiple processors (CPUs):

Commercial servers, workstations, and other high-end PCs may have more than one physical processor. Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate allow for two physical processors, providing the best performance on these computers. Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, and Home Premium will recognize only one physical processor.


However, Windows 7 will support up to 32 logical CPUs.

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