need help identifying SMP limits...

Charles C. Bennett, Jr. ccb at
Tue Feb 15 14:45:40 EST 2000

Hi Christoph -

    The 2.2 and 2.3 kernels are capable of recognizing 32 CPUs.
VA Linux Systems sells a fair number of 4-way Xeon systems
(VARServer 3500) and we feel that this is the practical high-end
for SMP on the IA-32 architecture with 2.2.X kernels.

   There is an Intel IA-32 chassis and motherboard (ProFusion)
which supports as many as 8 Xeon processors.  We demoed this
platform at the Linux Expo last spring.  The performance scaling
from four to eight CPUs does not justify the substantial added
cost of 8-way processing using the 2.2 kernels.

   Substantial work is being done with 2.3/2.4 kernels to give
smoother scaling to 8 Intel CPUs.  I can't speak for other
architectures - perhaps one of the Sun or API guys can give us
an update on SMP capabilities of those architectures.


Charles C. Bennett, Jr.                         VA Linux Systems
Systems Engineer,                               1382 Bordeaux Dr.
US Northeast Region                             Sunnyvale, CA 94089
+1 617 543-6513                                 +1 888-LINUX-4U
ccb at                       

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