[Beowulf] specific motherboard???

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Fri Dec 7 04:28:53 PST 2007

On Fri, 7 Dec 2007, amjad ali wrote:

> Hello all,
> I want to bulid a beowulf cluster of 16+1 nodes with each node having one
> Intel Core2Duo (2.66 GHz, FSB 1333MHz, 4MB L2) processor and GiGE as the
> interconnect. On this cluster, I would run my PETSc based CFD/FEM codes
> (REQURING VERY FAST MEMORY/high memory bandwidth). Please help me out to
> select out any one of the following boards:
> 1) Intel Server board S3200SH, System Bus 1333MHz, supprting 240-pin DDR2
> 800 MHz RAM
> 2) Intel Desktop board DX38BT, System Bus 1333MHz, supprting 240-pin DDR3
> 1333 MHz RAM
> See that RAM speed difference. Given that keeping up running the cluster all
> the time and loging on of many user simultaneously is not the concern. The
> cluster may be dedicated to be used by one user whenever required. But it
> may be the case that running a code for several days will be required.
> Would the desktop board DX38BT be suitable to run the cluster for several
> hours/days?

If you're asking whether or not it will work or wear out early or
something, it will be fine.  You can run "Desktop" boards 24x7 all year
long as long as you mount them in a case configuration and air
conditioned environment that keeps them COOL.  And that's true for the
server mobo too.

> Which Board you recommend for this scenario?

If memory is your (or "a") significant bottleneck, the one with the
highest memory bandwidth seems like it would outperform the other,
doesn't it?

But the best thing to do is to get one of each now and run your
particular code mix on each of them and compare times vs costs.  Loser
(speedwise on a memory-intensive computation) gets to be the head/server
node, which won't care quite so much about memory if it doesn't
participate in the computation.  [If it IS going to participate, use the
loser for your desktop or something.]


> Regards,
> Amjad Ali.

Robert G. Brown
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Web: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb
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