Best Mac for the job?

Thomas Tempelmann already wrote a very nice multi-core framework and made it available for free.

http://www.tempel.org/RB/MultiProcessing

You can use MBS to get the number of cores or use some shell commands to get the info (not at my Mac to get the info).

Btw Handbrake (on the Mac) also uses all available cores but everything remains responsive (I know as I just ripped my whole DVD and BR collection to my media server)

system_profiler SPHardwareDataType

with MBS

[quote]SystemInformationMBS.ProcessorCount(Mode as Integer = 0) as integer
method, System, MBS Util Plugin (SystemInformation), module SystemInformationMBS,
Plugin version: 8.2, Mac: Yes, Win: Yes, Linux: Yes, Console & Web: Yes, Feedback.

Function: Returns the number of processors on the target system.
Example:
MsgBox str(SystemInformationMBS.ProcessorCount(1))+" "+str(SystemInformationMBS.ProcessorCount(2))
Notes:
With plugin version 13.3, we added mode parameter. Pass 1 for physical CPU and 2 for logical CPU count on Mac/Win.

On Windows or Mac OS the number of cores.
On Linux the number of configured CPUs.

Returns 1 on any error.[/quote]

without MBS

Mac:

markus$ sysctl -n hw.physicalcpu
2
markus$ sysctl -n hw.ncpu
4

-n Use this option to disable printing of the key name when printing values.

Linux:

In Linux, the sysctl interface mechanism is also exported as part of procfs under the /proc/sys directory (not to be confused with the /sys directory). This difference means checking the value of some parameter requires opening a file in a virtual file system, reading its contents, parsing them and closing the file. The sysctl system call does exist on Linux, but does not have a wrapping function in glibc and is not recommended for use.

The most simplest tool comes with glibc and is called getconf:

$ getconf _NPROCESSORS_ONLN
4

grep -c processor /proc/cpuinfo

Win

You can call the GetSystemInfo function and use the dwNumberOfProcessors member of the SYSTEM_INFO structure.

Have a look at the following example code:

Declare Sub GetSystemInfo Lib “kernel32” Alias “GetSystemInfo” (lpSystemInfo As Ptr)

Dim SystemInfo as MemoryBlock=new MemoryBlock(36)
GetSystemInfo(SystemInfo)
Dim ProcessorCount as Integer=SystemInfo.Long(20)

The SYSTEM_INFO structure has a size of 36 Bytes. The members before dwNumberOfProcessors have a size of 20 bytes.