PC configuration for cluster

Eric Kuhnke eric at fnordsystems.com
Tue Sep 4 17:27:36 PDT 2001

1) No, but you could install something like the PC Weasel or AMI MegaRAC,
which emulates a video card and provides serial console.  However these
are much more expensive than a cheap video card, if you're trying to keep
costs down...  4mb PCI cards with the SiS 6326 chipset can be had for
around $20 each, and work nicely in every OS.
2) Yes, with the proper NIC.  I'd suggest Intel Pro/100+ 82559 chipsets
for inexpensive 100base-T, they cost about $25 each.  Intel model
3) Not required, but it's adviseable to get the same stepping of AthlonMP.
Currently 1.0 and 1.2GHz are available, within the next several weeks the
1.3 and 1.4GHz will be released.
4) Yes.
5) Roughly the same, in my experience, and going copper will save greatly
on cabling costs too.  The switch will still cost you an arm and a leg.
6) 99% of DVD-ROMs made in the last few years function as regular ATAPI
CD-ROM devices, and should boot from a burned CD-R or CD-RW just fine.

A final note, you may want to consider Tyan's S2460 TigerMP board, which
is roughly half the cost of the Thunder MP (S2462).  It has no SCSI, NIC,
or video onboard, and the DIMM slots aren't angled for 1U...  but it will
fit nicely in most mid-tower ATX cases and works with regular 300W power
supplies.  No need for the special NMB or Delta power supply.

Here's a review: http://accelenation.com/?doc=56

Eric Kuhnke
Lead Engineer / Operations Manager
Fnord Datacenter Systems Inc.
eric at fnordsystems.com
voice: +1-360-527-3301 fax: +1-360-647-0752

-----Original Message-----
From: beowulf-admin at beowulf.org [mailto:beowulf-admin at beowulf.org]On
Behalf Of Indraneel Majumdar
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 8:20 AM
To: Beowulf
Subject: PC configuration for cluster

My department is planning to build a cluster and I've some questions
regarding some of the components. If anyone is using these I'll be
grateful to hear of their experiences.

1. Does the Asus A7M266 boot without a graphics card?
2. Does the Asus A7M266 bios support network boot?
3. Does the Tyan S2462UNG (dual amd motherboard) require paired
processors (eg like in SGI and Sun machines)?
4. Can the Tyan S2462UNG boot off a SCSI disk (the motherboard has an
onboard SCSI controller)?
5. How is the performance of the Netgear GA622T copper gigabit network
card in relation to the fiber optic card (GA620) (This is my first
plunge into gigabit networking)?
6. Is it possible to boot a machine off a DVD Drive with a bootable CD?



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