Modern shared memory multiprocessor systems commonly have non-uniform memory access (NUMA) with asymmetric memory bandwidth and latency characteristics. Operating systems now provide application programmer interfaces allowing the user to perform specific thread and memory placement. To date, however, there have been relatively few detailed assessments of the importance of memory/thread placement for complex applications. This paper outlines a framework for performing memory and thread placement experiments on Solaris and Linux. Thread binding and location specific memory allocation and its verification is discussed and contrasted. Using the framework, the performance characteristics of serial versions of lmbench, Stream and various BLAS libraries (ATLAS, GOTO, ACML on Opteron/Linux and Sunperf on Opteron, UltraSPARC/Solaris) are measured on two different hardware platforms (UltraSPARC/FirePlane and Opteron/HyperTransport). A simple model describing performance as a function of memory distribution is proposed and assessed for both the Opteron and UltraSPARC.