[Beowulf] The Walmart Compute Node?

Jeffrey B. Layton laytonjb at charter.net
Fri Nov 9 17:21:25 PST 2007

Jim Lux wrote:
> At 01:03 PM 11/8/2007, andrew holway wrote:
>> Im still not convinced, bang for buck your going to get more
>> clustering this junk than buying commodity hardware. Benchmarks at the
>> ready.
>> Andy
> No question there..
> However, if you want a low capital investment toy cluster to learn on, 
> the $200 node is quite attractive.

OK, I'm coming out of the closet and admitting that I was seriously
looking at these low-power motherboards with the VIA C7-D
(links from www.thinkgos.com) "Hi, I'm Jeff and I'm a Cluster-Holic"

My thought was to get a reasonably large ATX case with a good
power supply and cram 4 of this little motherboards into the case.
Having 4 of these systems with an Intel GigE NIC inside a case
with a couple of 120mm fans kind of interested me. You make one
of the boards the head node and connect some hard drives and CD
to it along with using the on-board 10/100 for external connections.
I was also going to put a 5-port GigE switch in the case also.

But, as people have pointed out, this little board may not be worth it.
While it is extremely low-power (20W max) is very alluring, I didn't
realize it's only 32-bit. Shame about that.

I still may get a board of the $200 Walmart box just to see how little
power I can get before the performance is so bad I dump the box.


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