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Can anyone tell me how to link 2 PC's together to double the processing power? Answered

Can anyone tell me how to link 2 PC's together to double the processing power? And if so then perhaps it could be custom built into one case eliminating the need for 2 seperate power supplies.


The short answer is "no - it wouldn't work", but lets just pick it up and run with it for a bit . . . (I hate that expression.)

In theory, you COULD build 2 motherboards into one case doubling up on power supply connectors and making sure you don't overload the PSU.
You could network the 2 boards and control one from the other using a remote-control application like VNC so you'd only need one keyboard, mouse and monitor. You'd still need two separate hard drives.

Once you've got this hardware built, The only way it would give you a processing boost is in a situation where you were doing a lot of file-based operations. The software would have to be your own as this is a very custom set-up. The program would run on the 'master' and would 'farm out' chunks of data to process on the 'slave' machine. The slave would process the data, then update a file saying it had finished. The master would see this and reclaim the results of the computations.

Actually, this is exactly the way that 'massively distributed computing' programs such as SETI@Home work, but the processing is done by internet users allowing the SETI program to run on their computers in idle time. The site says over 3 million people are participating in this - you could too if you signed up. (SETI is the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence - They're looking for ALIENS! )

Returning to Earth, normal multi-core processors are designed to transfer data amongst themselves with absolutely minimal delays on a microsecond to microsecond basis. Any setup using two computers would be a few orders of magnitude slower than this.

. You can get a speed boost, but it will not be double. Some resources will be used to co-ordinate the processors and communication between the processors will be VERY slow compared to a multi-core processor. . It can be done, but it won't be easy and it won't double your power.

CPU manufacturers have developed e.g. dual and quad core processors to achieve the same effect. It would be very difficult to build a dual-core machine from two separate units. L