[Beowulf] SuSE 9.3 and dual core Opterons

Don Kinghorn kinghorn at pqs-chem.com
Mon Jul 11 16:04:35 PDT 2005

I'll start this thread to kill two birds with one stone ... gee that's not a 
very nice old saying is it :-)

To answer the question about using SuSE 9.3. -- Yes you can use it in general 
and yes, you can use it with dual-core Opterons too. 

However, I had to jump through some insane hoops to get it running on a Tyan 
S2891 board with dual-dual-core 2.0GHz Opterons, 4GB mem .... 

The results were quite satisfying though. We benchmarked our computational 
chemistry software (PQS) against a 2 node dual Opteron setup with the same 
general configuration. [2x Tyan S2875 and 2.0GHz Opterons 2GB/per board, SuSE 

We got better performance for most 4 process parallel (pvm) jobs on the 
dual-core system than on the 2 dual-node setup. The only slower jobs were MP2 
jobs that did heavy disk i/o but this was expected. ... I have SATA-II drives 
on order :-)

The main problem with the SuSE 9.3 install on the dual-core setup was that the 
install didn't create the correct initrd to boot the system. I've worked 
around it using the SuSE 9.3 Live CD, (which does boot and run fine), by 
mounting the installed system and chroot'ing into it and fixing the initrd.  
>From now on I'll clone it.

I'll be doing our cluster systems with the new Tyan board and  dual-core 
Opterons with a configuration running SuSE 9.3 for our next hardware 
iteration starting in Sept.. 

Hope this is helpfull info.

Best wishes

Dr. Donald B. Kinghorn Parallel Quantum Solutions LLC

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