[OS X TeX] speed of typesetting on a MacBook?

Justin C. Walker justin at mac.com
Wed Jan 11 13:42:38 EST 2006

On Jan 11, 2006, at 10:32 , Bruno Voisin wrote:

> Le 11 janv. 06 à 19:11, William Adams a écrit :
>> Apparently the 4-5 figure is based on multi-processing benchmarks
>> which naturally run poorly on a single-processor machine.
>> I suspect it'll be quite a bit better though, simply 'cause Mac OS X
>> is well-suited to multi-processor machines.
> Earlier this year <http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.tex.macosx/ 
> 11786>, speaking of dual-processor machines, Gerben told us:
> "Also, having a dual does not help run TeX itself faster. TeX runs  
> on a single processor (single threaded)."

Gerben is correct; a single-threaded application can only use one  
processor at a time.  Apparent performance may improve if other  
things are going on, because those other things will have an  
additional processor to use, thereby allowing the single-threaded app  
to continue running.

> Does this mean the TeX universal binaries cannot take advantage of  
> the dual core architecture?

You may be confused about the universal binary.  This is a  
"container" file format that holds executables for multiple  
architectures.  For Mac OS X, this means both PPC and intel binaries  
are in the same file.  This is what Mac OS X (and NeXT, back in the  
day) has called "fat" binaries.  This is orthogonal to the  
multiprocessor issue.

> BTW, Gerben and Richard, in case you're listening, are you some of  
> these developers who hired a development MacTel computer and who  
> are now, apparently <http://www.macbidouille.com/news/2006-01-11/ 
> #12173>, offered by Apple to exchange it for a brand new iMac? That  
> would be cool!

This is for real.

We may be in some danger of wandering off into the weeds here.



Justin C. Walker, Curmudgeon at Large
Institute for General Semantics
My wife 'n kids 'n dogs are gone,
I can't get Jesus on the phone,
But Ol' Milwaukee's Best is my best friend.

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