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Fritz allows you to set the number of cores running - or as they call it the number of CPUs. This is dependent of course on which engine you have engaged. The basic Fritz 13 engine will only run on 1 CPU as the link shows but in fact it runs on all 4 cores on my machine, each core at 25% load. There also seems to be a limit of just over 1000 threads handled at any one time on the quad core (Core 2 Duo) Q9450, so hyperthreading would not increase chess engine efficiency - I'll eat crow on that. In comparing Houdini 1.5a 64x running 4 CPUs, that will run 4 cores at 100% load. So the Fritz 13 basic engine seems to be the same as Fritz 13 Pro, dumbed down to 25% efficiency. If you want the whole engine, you pay for what amounts to the key to unlock it.
From a practical standpoint, if I run Houdini 1.5a on "3 CPUs", I can let it run in the background and use my computer for more mundane tasks such as reading e-mail or surfing the 'net.
Hackers are able to take advantage of gpu's for brute force attacks now. I understand that what gpu's do is vector calculus. Dosen't that make them essentially math processors? Can our chess poeple please make use of this? I want more nodes for less dinero. More on topic though, the AMD FX-8150 overclocks to perform at what the AMD FX-8350 does on merely a Hyper 212 EVO (heatsink and fan). Therefore the AMD FX-8150 makes $500 chess super-computers available.
See the below links for Tom's Hardware comprehensive fritzmark benchmark (excluding dual-cpu) and also for a link to professional and competitive overclocking.
I think the basic problem is that most chess engines are written by amateurs, a few of them being commercialized. You'll usually see the programmer's name associated with any engine you find, including Houdini. The problem with off-loading calculations to the GPU is that the program must have been written to accomodate that. It isn't, as far as I know, simply a function of the CPU seeing all that GPU horsepower out there and sending the load away for faster computation. The program must be written to utilize the GPU, and not knowing what GPU is available since it varies with the system, I don't think our engines are (yet) capable of speeding up with a powerful GPU onboard.
Two years have passed now since the start of this thread. I'm curious if recommendations for the processor, cores, or RAM have changed in regard to running Chess Engines and what are the best economy options. Say under $2000 and under $1000.
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