[Beowulf] who is buying those $200 PCs from wal-mart?

bari bari at onelabs.com
Thu Nov 15 15:31:33 PST 2007

andrew holway wrote:
> I have been in contact with them to see if we can get some kind of benchmark.
> I want to see how they perform against AMD/intel. I might give it a go
> if the numbers work.
> Cheers
> Andy
> On 15/11/2007, Mark Hahn <hahn at mcmaster.ca> wrote:
>>> It is really interesting to see that they've sold out.  I do agree that
>> yes - I didn't want to reiterate the previous discussion.  my only
>> intended topic was the selling out and wondering whether anyone
>> would admit to building a cluster of them.  (not that there would
>> be anything morally suspect in building such a cluster ;)

The mainboard in the Wal-mart/Everext PC is a VIA Mfg. NO: PC2500E:

ClubIT Price: $59.99:

The cpu is a 1.5GHz VIA C7-D:
32 bit
400MHz FSB
sixteen pipeline stages
128KB full-speed exclusive L2 cache

The chipset is a VIA CN700:
and supports up to 2GB of DDR2 533/400 with a maximum memory bandwidth 
of 4.2GB/s.

The memory controller for the C7-D is in the chipset like the Intel's 
and not in the CPU's like AMD. LinuxBIOS support for the C7+CN700 was 
just posted earlier today.

There is an Intel Mainboard+CPU D201GLY that is only priced at $10.00 
more than the VIA board at $69.99:

featuring a Celeron Model 215 1.33 GHz CPU:
64 bit
Two 32-KB L1 Caches
512-KB L2 Cache
FSB bandwidth of up to 6.4 GB/s at 533MHz

and SiS SiS662 chipset:
1GB DDR2 533MHz 4.2GB/s max. bandwidth

Intel D201GLY $69.99 at:

Another inexpensive option with higher performance are the SiS761GX 
mainboards. Now with LinuxBIOS support!

Still no x11, dri, OpenGL drivers yet though (hint, hint SiS). Not 
really a problem for clustering though.

761GXM-M V1.0
2000/1600 mega-transfers per second - Hyper Transport
Socket AM2 Sempron processors
Memory bandwidth up to 12.8GB/s with Dual Channel DDR2 800

SiS761GX mainboard + Sempron CPU for $49.99.
ECS GOAL3+ AMD Sempron 3000+ 754 SiS 761 GX Micro ATX Motherboard/CPU Combo
3.2GB/s 400MHz DDR
1600MT/s system bus

only socket 754 but the AM2 versions are out soon.

For price/performance on the low cost end the AM2 Sempron + Sis761GX 
will be better than Intel Celeron + SiS SiS662 and also the VIA C7-D + 

The VIA C7-D cpu's consume much less power (only 20W maximum) than 
either the Intel Celeron-D (65W) or AMD Sempron(45-62W). It depends on 
how much you pay for power (and how long), floor space, enclosures, hard 
drives etc. to be able to compare the total long term/lifetime of the 
cost/price/performance numbers.


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