[erlang-questions] Intel Quad CPUs

Zac Brown zac@REDACTED
Mon Sep 3 15:01:28 CEST 2007

Tomasz Błachowicz wrote:
> Hi,
> There is a bit of buzz around the erlang and its ability to utilize
> modern multicore CPUs. Can you confirm that erlang/OTP application
> should scale well if I deploy it on the machine equipped with new
> Intel Quad CPU? Should I expect nearly double performance gain in
> relation to Intel Duo CPU? Can you help my understand how the erlang
> way differs from other programming language/platforms approaches to
> this very important issue of these days?
> Kind Regards,
> Tom
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At some level you probably shouldn't expect "double" performance, there
is something to be said for overhead and thread communication, though
thats fairly minimal in erlang. In my experience, more often than not
erlang can utilize your multiple processors just fine when initialize
the vm with "-smp" flag. The issue at hand is not erlang's ability to
utilize those processors, but rather your ability to write an algorithm
that has no bottlenecks in it that can smash an parallel algo straight
back to a serial algo. Assuming you have written such an algorithm, I
would say you can optimistically expect between 1.5 and 1.75 times the
performance going from dual core to quad core or from single core to
dual core.

As a side note, its often easier to notice the speed increase of an
algorithm when you use multiple machines as opposed to multiple cores.

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