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More CPUs doen't equal more speed

I've got a short script that loops though a number of files and processes
them one at a time. I had a bit of time today and figured I'd rewrite the
script to process the files 4 at a time by using 4 different instances of
python. My basic loop is:

for i in range(0, len(filelist), CPU_COUNT):
    for z in range(i, i+CPU_COUNT):
        doit( filelist[z])

With the function doit() calling up the program to do the lifting. Setting
CPU_COUNT to 1 or 5 (I have 6 cores) makes no difference in total speed.
I'm processing about 1200 files and my total duration is around 2 minutes.
No matter how many cores I use the total is within a 5 second range.

This is not a big deal ... but I really thought that throwing more
processors at a problem was a wonderful thing :) I figure that the cost of
loading the python libraries and my source file and writing it out are
pretty much i/o bound, but that is just a guess.

Maybe I need to set my sights on bigger, slower programs to see a
difference :)


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Bob van der Poel ** Wynndel, British Columbia, CANADA **
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