[Beowulf] The Walmart Compute Node?

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Fri Nov 9 12:34:06 PST 2007

At 05:21 PM 11/9/2007, Jeffrey B. Layton wrote:
>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
>>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.

oooooh... I've done this kind of thing.  You'll spend some time 
figuring out how to power multiple mobos with one PS. For one thing, 
you'll have to scrounge up the correct connectors and deal with any 
of the feedback lines from mobo to ps (like standby/on, remote 
voltage sense, etc.)

Pretty soon, you've spent more in connectors, wire, solder, shrink 
tubing, etc., than just buying more power supplies.. not to mention 
your time, which could be profitably spent doing more useful things 
like drinking beer.

>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.

Look at the big totes/toolboxes. Even has a handy carrying case.


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