Hardware Basics

Understanding hardware basics is equally important for DBA as the performance and licensing costs of SQL Server depend on it and in this blog, we will see the basics on processors.

Sockets = A socket is a connector that connects the physical CPU to the PCU board. The PCU Board can contain multiple sockets. The maximum no of physical CPU’s a computer can have is the total no of sockets you have on the PCU board.

Processor Cores = Processor Core is integral part of the physical processor and it does the actual work. Most modern physical processors have multiple cores.Dual core means it has two cores inside the physical processor while quad core means it has 4.

Hyper-thread = When enabled, each core processors splits into 2 logical processors. Per my knowledge, the additional processor can help by reducing the processor wait times by pre-fetching the data for the next execution.

So,to calculate the total no of processors:
No.of.Sockets*No.of Cores* Hyper-threading enabled
If you have Hyper-threading, it will be called “logical” processors.

My workstation is Intel Xenon W3530 @2.80 GHZ. It has one socket with 4 cores and hyper threading is enabled.So,using the formula above,there are total of 8(1*4*2) logical processors.

This can be verified using a simple method.Go to RUN(Windows key+R) and type ‘msinfo32’. In the system summary, you can see the processors,cores and logical processors on the server.