I do some scientific calculation on a PC(in fact several PCs) and I want to know how many jobs should I submit one time. lscpu shows:

CPU(s):                8
On-line CPU(s) list:   0-7
Thread(s) per core:    2
Core(s) per socket:    4
Socket(s):             1

The ambiguity is 'Thread'. I searched the net and learned something about it. But I still felt confused (it is said that how many jobs should I submit is depend). I do not care about the details of machines. For example, now I have an executable file. If I run it directly, it spends about 10 min. Assume now I have 800 of them need to be run. Should I run 4 of them a time or 8 to reduce the total time cost?

  • Is your PC dedicated to this one task, or must some resources be retained for other programs? – RonJohn Jan 15 '18 at 3:58
  • I use this PC to run jobs only. By the way, I use bsub (openlava). – hengyue li Jan 15 '18 at 4:48

If this PC has an Intel CPU, then the Thread(s) per core most certainly indicates hyper-threading.


For each processor core that is physically present, the operating system addresses two virtual (logical) cores and shares the workload between them when possible. The main function of hyper-threading is to increase the number of independent instructions in the pipeline; it takes advantage of superscalar architecture, in which multiple instructions operate on separate data in parallel.


Should I run 4 of them a time or 8 to reduce the total time cost?

It depends. Some tasks run faster under hyper-threading, and some don't. You'll have to test that yourself.

Assume now I have 800 of them need to be run.

I'd use GNU Parallel to handle this problem.


GNU parallel is a shell tool for executing jobs in parallel using one or more computers.

If you've got a list of of files in . which need to be processed, this will work:

find . | parallel -j4 yourprogram

If your earlier tests show that it runs faster with hyper-threading, then change the "4" to an "8".

EDIT: forgot to mention that sometimes programs run faster when you disable HT in the BIOS.

  • I made the program myself. Is there any guideline I can follow to write the code so that I can know if I use 4 or 8? – hengyue li Jan 15 '18 at 4:50
  • I don't know. Here's one link, though: software.intel.com/en-us/articles/… – RonJohn Jan 15 '18 at 5:40
  • You may have to use a number less than 4 if the memory requirements are large (you don't want to have thrashing) or there's a lot of file i/o required relative to the disk throughput that you have. Or you could use a number higher than 8 if each job alternates between periods of pure CPU usage and i/o wait. Best thing is to test. – Mark Plotnick Jan 15 '18 at 7:58

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