[Beowulf] Better C2D or Quadcore

Eric Thibodeau kyron at neuralbs.com
Thu Nov 29 05:52:00 PST 2007


    You might want to consider looking into Tyan's VX50 systems, that 
system is able to handle dual core Opterons (8*2=16 cores, it does not 
support the 9000 series quad core though) and it can go up to 128Gig of 
RAM. Some advantages are:

Each Opteron chip (datasheets: 

- has its own internal MMU (Memory Management Unit),
- is interconnected to another chip using Hypertransport
- is a single system which consumes and generates very little heat 
compared to multiple systems connected together
- and many more...

Though I would love it if the other that are showing speed results post 
a link to the test program so that I could also post some results so we 
could compare ;)


amjad ali wrote:
> Hello,
> I planned to buy 9 PCs each having one Core2Duo E6600 (networked with 
> GiGE) to make cluster for running PETSc based applications.
> I got an advice that because the prices of Xeon Quadcore is going to 
> drop next month, so I should buy 9 PCs each having one Quadcore 
> Xeon (networked with GiGE) to make cluster for running PETSc based 
> applications.
> Which is better for me to get better performance/speedup?
> My question is due to following as given in PETSc-FAQ:
> *What kind of parallel computers or clusters are needed to use PETSc?*
> PETSc can be used with any kind of parallel system that supports MPI. 
> BUT for any decent performance one needs 
>     * a fast, low-latency interconnect; any ethernet, even 10 gigE
>       simply cannot provide the needed performance. 
>     * high per-CPU memory performance. Each CPU (core in dual core
>       systems) needs to have its own memory bandwith of roughly 2 or
>       more gigabytes. For example, standard dual processor "PC's" will
>       not provide better performance when the second processor is
>       used, that is, you will not see speed-up when you using the
>       second processor. This is because the speed of sparse matrix
>       computations is almost totally determined by the speed of the
>       memory, not the speed of the CPU.
> regards,
> Amjad Ali.
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