[Beowulf] K Computer built for speed, not use
hahn at mcmaster.ca
Wed Oct 10 21:37:57 PDT 2012
> Any general purpose system will inevitably underperform for some people,
>and many might argue that the art of managing such a project is making sure
>everyone squawks equally loud about how the stake is being driven into their
I think of it from the other direction: a specialized machine would need
to demonstrate really significant savings. an astrophysics machine might
actually use many times fewer transistors than a commodity processors
(as one of Makino's slides shows), but could it do anything else? perhaps
some forms of MD. but making transistors work harder is, today, not
necessarily a winning strategy, since managing heat is probably the
if a domain somehow looks like it's on the verge of a breakthrough,
and specialized hardware is going to give a 100x advantage, well,
that sounds pretty good. if a dedicated cosmology box is going to bring
only a 3x speedup and still be 1e6 away from resolving important processes,
well, I say "get in line for a general-purpose account"...
though this argument also hinges somewhat on the expectation of
demand being bursty _across_ domains.
regards, mark hahn.
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