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I have 2 laptops (one of which is my primary PC) and a desktop PC. The desktop run on Vista Home Edition, the secondary laptop also runs on vista and the primary laptop runs on windows 8.

It is possible to link these machines in order to increase the processing power and speed of my primary laptop?

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Mokubai, EBGreen, Scott Chamberlain, Zoredache Sep 19 '13 at 0:03

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You cannot link computers in this way to increase their processing power. –  Ramhound Sep 18 '13 at 17:50

3 Answers 3

No. what you are describing is called High Performance Clustering, and it requires specialized hardware and software that is capable of distributing the load over multiple processing units.

Here is one type of supercomputer that can be built with a HPC composed of normal computers, customized for the task. it still needs a specialized OS and applications however.

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What your looking for is not possible without clustering. The processing power can be increased with a second or third etc. processor, but these are called multiprocessor systems (not to be confused with multicore processors). These systems have more than one processor on the motherboard.

Trying to emulate this over a network using typical hardware would be folly. You would have to compensate for bandwidth speed over your network as well as the fact that two machines are running Windows Vista which is not an OS you want to use whenever performance is a factor.

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There are no seamless solutions for this (other than specialized HPC setups), but you can do this for some sets of tasks.

If you are running video transcodes, for example, you could remotely access your desktop system and run the transcoding there.

If you are compiling source code, you could use distcc to use the compile abilities of your desktop system. Note that Apple had included a similar feature in Xcode, but it seems like network overhead prevented this feature from having much benefit.

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