Intel C++ and Fortran compiler and Athlon MP...

Martin Siegert siegert at
Tue Jan 29 12:10:23 PST 2002

On Tue, Jan 29, 2002 at 02:23:26PM -0500, John Burton wrote:
> Greetings,
> I am in the process of upgrading a small Beowulf cluster. The current 
> cluster has 8 1U processing nodes with dual 1GHz Pentium III processors 
> on a SuperMicro 370DER motherboard and 2GB of RAM.  I will be getting a 
> 1U APPRO 1124 which has dual AthlonMP 1900+ processors and 2GB of RAM as 
> an evaluation unit in the next couple of weeks.  I am expecting some 
> speedup and will be using application code to do some realistic 
> benchmarking. Part of the application codes uses the BLAS and LAPACK 
> libraries. I am also looking at the Intel compilers to help improve 
> performance.  My questions for this group are:
>     * Does anyone have any experience / comments on the ATLAS subroutine
>       libraries on Intel vs. Athlon systems?
>     * Same question, except Intel vs. GCC compilers?

First of all, I recommend to read
This is absolutely essential if you want to get the best performance out
of ATLAS on an athlon system.

I compiled ATLAS (on RH 7.2) using pgcc, gcc-2.96-98, and egcs-2.91.66
on an athlon MP 1.2GHz cluster. egcs-2.91.66 gives the fastest code.

>     * Would the standard BLAS libraries compiled under the Intel
>       compilers approach the performance of the ATLAS libraries?

Almost certainly not. Using ATLAS is more important than the question
which compiler you are using.

>     * Does anyone have any experience / comments on the APPRO 1124 box?
>       I've seen some comments here about heat dissipation problems for
>       1U dual athlon systems, is this the system in question?
> Basically I'm looking at 3 variables (subroutine libraries, 
> architecture, and compiler) with two possible values each. From that I'm 
> trying to come up with the best combination for my particular 
> application set.  Anyone have any thoughts? comments?


Martin Siegert
Academic Computing Services                        phone: (604) 291-4691
Simon Fraser University                            fax:   (604) 291-4242
Burnaby, British Columbia                          email: siegert at
Canada  V5A 1S6

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