By 2007, most processors shipped will be dual-core designs, according to a report from analyst Gartner. The analyst recommended companies begin testing the processors from AMD and Intel now, to take full advantage of their higher performance.
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Martin Reynolds, vice-president at Gartner Dataquest, said dual-core processors will deliver up to 70% better performance overall than a single-core processor of equivalent speed for certain applications, such as on servers with processors running at high utilisation - for example, when running virtualisation software or performing technical computing.
Reynolds added that dual-core will benefit users of desktop applications including media editing, computer-aided design, simulation programs, and applications such as Adobe Acrobat and some video games.
“Prepare to test applications on dual-core platforms. There should be no major compatibility problems, but consider replacing or redesigning applications that do not deliver expected performance gains, rather than upgrading them,” said Reynolds.
“Ensure that adding extra processor cores does not bring licensing risks. Microsoft is generally liberal with dual-core licenses, while Oracle treats dual-core as two separate processors for licensing purposes," he added.
"Other suppliers will sit between these extremes. Pre-negotiate multicore software licenses to avoid unpleasant budget surprises.”