[Beowulf] Re: Beowulf Digest, Vol 10, Issue 16

Maurice Hilarius maurice at harddata.com
Fri Dec 10 22:12:13 PST 2004

Couple of comments below:

David Mathog <mathog at mendel.bio.caltech.edu> wrote:

1.  We were hoping the price of the MP chips would fall dramatically,
allowing us to fill out the servers.  What happened instead is that
it leveled out at around $150/chip and then they disappeared. (The
same trick had worked once before for us, with
some Intel Pentium II 400s and ASUS motherboards, the second CPUs
were dirt cheap when we bought them a few years after the initial
system purchase and they extended the life of those workstations.) 

Currently AthlonMP 2600+ with 512K cache can still be bout new, in 3 year warranty boxed version with heatsink and fan for around $160

2.  We needed ECC - these nodes run continuously.  ECC for
Athlons was very hard to find at the time we purchased
these machines.

>> I believe the socket 754 and 939 Athlon 64s do not support ECC, while
>> the socket 940 Athlon 64 and Opteron do.
It's hard to tell what the 754 boards support since many say they
will _accept_ ECC memory but they don't say that they can actually
_use_ it.

If you want ECC in Opterons, you need socket 940
Socket 939 supports 128 bit memory path, no ECC
Socket 754 supports 64 bit memory path, no ECC
Some may accept it, but will NOT be able to use it.

I was thinking of a 754 option primarily - 70 for motherboard + 130
for Athlon 64 2800 CPU (more or less.)

I would look at Socket939
128 bit memory path
And HT bus is at 2000 on the current VIA chipset.
It is still only at 1600 on the socket 940 boards.
Also, the new nVidia nForce4 chipsets supports 940, with 2000HT bus.
Also has PCI Express 16X, and there are already dual Opteron Socket 940 with this chipset.
Look, for example at the Tyan S2895 which just came out.
There is really nothing wrong with the S2466N-4M.
I would be more inclined to distrust power, cooling or RAM.
Have you installed lm_sensors on these?
BTW, for a good load/burning try running the distributed.net keygen. One can easily use all RAM and CPU on that.
memtest86 is only a memory tester, and even then does not work it hard enough to create significant heating.
Also, if using factory heatsink fans you might want to check them.
AMD had a bum bunch of AthlonMP fans in the time frame of April to December 2002. If asked they will replace them.

>> 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. 
Doubtful you will find ANY AthlonMP boards any more. This stuff is now end of life.

With our best regards,

Maurice W. Hilarius        Telephone: 01-780-456-9771
Hard Data Ltd.  FAX:       01-780-456-9772
11060 - 166 Avenue         email:maurice at harddata.com
Edmonton, AB, Canada       http://www.harddata.com/
   T5X 1Y3

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