Cheap pa-risc nodes

Bill Broadley bill at
Fri Mar 8 17:58:16 PST 2002

Just heard about a new node from HP that sounds potentially interesting
for beowulf type duty.  Not sure on how functional they would be with
linux, but anyways, more info:

Part number is A6889A, HP claims list price is $1095 or so:
        650 Mhz PA-8700 with 2.25 MB cache
        2 64 bit/66 Mhz PCI slots.
        128 MB ram 1.9 GB/sec (claimed peak), 2 GB max (in pairs).
        Maximum 2 hotswap disks (each has a U160 channel)		
        Ultra scsi and Ultra2 scsi
        100baseT and 10BaseT (2 ethernet I believe)
        2 serial (inc serial console)


It has no disk, but HP says they will ship it diskless, the disk prices
are unfortunately insane.  Granted it's not quite an Athlon or P4 killer
on specbench 2000, but the PA-risc cpus do seem to perform rather well
on certain workloads.  PA-risc while not quite as legendary as the alpha
for the various performance titles often wasn't far behind, at least 
compared to sun.

Adding a 36 GB SCA U160 disk for $USA $150-$200 would make it usable
under HPUX (alas unsupported because of the 3rd party disk).  I'm unsure
of the linux port at the moment (I just joined the parisc-linux list).

In any case I thought it was interesting to see such a nice machine
at such a low pricepoint.  A move to keep sun from stealing the entry
level with the Netra X1 I imagine.

Bill Broadley
Mathematics/Institute of Theoretical Dynamics
UC Davis

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