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Ok here is the idea, I have a main tower, plus a dozen or so old ones.  I wsa wondering if it is possible to some how link 2 motherboards so that one acts as a slave for the other. 
   First thought was that it may be as simple as running a cable from the ide ports.  That may be totally off but that is where I got the idea.

Target goals of theory
1. Additional disk drives- this would allow you to use additional HDD in the other case this was my primary objective.
2. Might the additional processor be able to split the tasks of the computer as a whole? In theory would it then be ran as 2 seperate computers or as one whole with dual processors (does such a thing exist?)
3. extra usb space.
4. additional vga outputs- I have 5 screens right now using the onboard, a dual port pci-e and a pci vid card plus a usb adapter one.  rather clusterry.  I have a additional screen but no card space for it.  I intend to eventually be able to use each independantly or as one large 2x3 screen for watching movies, but that in itself is not as of yet crucial to the theory.

So can it be done buy this method or for that matter any method?
If so how would I even start?

I thank all those much wiser on this that I in advance


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10 years ago

I think essentially what you're trying to do is distributed computing.

So, yes, it is possible and done fairly regularly. A lot of times this is the set up universities use to solve complex problems in science and mathematics. 

As far as getting it done, you have to have a specialized controller on the boards to control algorithms to distribute the work over the computers. Unfortunately, this isn't as easy as connecting the machines via IDE cable. Typically, the algorithm architecture describes how memory is shared (typically asynchronously) between the processors and how the different processors can communicate to keep calls to memory organized. Read the Wikipedia article on distributed computing. It may answer some of your questions.

Aside from the goal of processing speed, most of the other things you said you want to be done can be done with software over a network. If all of the machines have ethernet ports (or at least USB ports; adapters exist for ethernet) you can connect the machines and do things like file sharing, use USB conncected devices on other machines, and share hard drive space.

Depending on what operating system you're using, all of this functionality may be worked into the OS already (like file and device sharing). It may be as simple as reading a few man pages!

I hope this answers your question, and if you have more feel free to ask and I'll do my best to explain what I understand.

Happy computing!