[OS X TeX] What kind of operation is TeXing? (concerning hardware)

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Thu Mar 3 05:55:26 EST 2005

On 3 Mar 2005, at 7:46 am, Bernhard Barkow wrote:

> This might explain why the results were not as fast as I had expected 
> on my Dual G4 (with 1.25GB RAM); I'm not enough of an expert on these 
> issues, but probably typesetting is something which is not easily 
> scalable to multiple processors.

Typesetting in general could be scalable, but TeX in particular is a 
traditional single-threaded program; making it multi-threaded (and 
therefore able to take advantage of multiple processors) would be a 
pretty major undertaking, I think. Unlikely to happen except as part of 
a major reimplementation effort such as NTS or ExTeX.

(FWIW, XeTeX does benefit from running on a dual-processor machine, as 
it runs the pdf-generating backend as a separate process. However, 
because its Quartz-based PDF generation is much slower than pdfTeX's, 
it still performs slower overall.)

Of course, if you're doing anything else at the same time as TeXing, 
having dual processors will help overall.


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