[Beowulf] Keeping the Athlon MP cluster limping along

Andrew Piskorski atp at piskorski.com
Thu Dec 9 09:55:09 PST 2004

On Wed, Dec 08, 2004 at 02:25:55PM -0800, David Mathog wrote:

> cpuburn (20 minutes) doesn't even make them hiccup They run
> memtest86+ 24 hours without a glitch.  The problem never moved with
> memory anyway.  but leave them running linux, doing not much of
> anything, and you never know when they're going to come down.

Do these machines have hard drives?  If so, you definitely want to use
the drive somehow while doing stability testing, as that can be
necessary for a bad power supply to show itself (I have seen this).
Unfortunatley, AFAIK you can't do that with memtest86.

> The S2466N is an ATX form factor, each one has one Athlon MP
> 2200+ and 1 Gb of 2100 DDR RAM, a 40G ATA disk, a floppy
> and a little PCI graphics card in a 2U case.  If I could
> find a nice mobo/CPU combo for, oh, <$200 that could
> replace the S2466N and Athlon MP, and still do ECC, then I'd

Why exactly did you buy the more expensive Athlon MPs and dual
motherboards, and then use only 1 cpu per motherboard?

I believe the socket 754 and 939 Athlon 64s do not support ECC, while
the socket 940 Athlon 64 and Opteron do.  Prices per cpu seem to start
around $125 for socket 754 or 939, $190 for socket 940, and go up from
there, so you're going to have a very hard time squeaking in under
$300 for the CPU + motherboard that you want, never mind $200.  Under
$400, that you could do.

A cheaper option would be to keep the Athlon MP and simply replace the
motherboard.  The Athlon MP will work just fine in any motherboard
taking the Athlon XP, but finding a non-dual motherboard that supports
ECC might be tricky.  Of course, if you're willing to try a different
dual Athlon MP board, they'll pretty much all support ECC, and should
certainly be under $200.

I have a Tyan Tiger MP S2460 dual Athlon MP workstation that has given
me no problems at all, but then, I don't use it with cluster-like
workloads either.

Andrew Piskorski <atp at piskorski.com>

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