After you've used Parallel Inspector to identify problems, you can then fine-tune your application and verify that it's making optimal use of the processor cores. This is where the Parallel Amplifier comes in. Amplifier will again analyze your running program and verify that the program runs optimally, taking advantage of the cores. Of course, you're limited to the number of cores on the machine you're testing on; if you have a dual-core processor, you won't be able to test how your software will perform on a machine with a quad-core processor.
From a user standpoint, I can think of many applications that I use daily that could benefit from being redesigned under Intel Parallel Studio. Think how many times you look at your Task Manager and see a program that is hogging one core at 100 percent while not making any use of the other core. If coded properly, the programs could use part of each core and run faster, leaving plenty of room for other programs to run without slowing your machine down.
A fully functional, 30-day trial version of Parallel Studio can be downloaded from http://software.intel.com/sites/products/irc/ipsdownload.html?Sequence=984485.
The full version of Parallel Studio costs $799, not including Parallel Advisor Lite. Parallel Composer, Parallel Inspector and Parallel Amplifier can also be purchased separately for $399 each. Academic pricing is available, with the full Parallel Studio costing $199.
Jeff Cogswell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.