[Beowulf] Register article on Opteron - disagree

Patrick Geoffray patrick at myri.com
Mon Nov 22 05:23:26 PST 2004

Hi Jeff,

Jeff Layton wrote:
> Did anyone else notice that once the Columbia numbers were publically
> announced and within a day or two of the Top500 announcement,
> BlueGene/L suddenly appeared on the list at the top? I thought there was
> some kind of deadline, but evidently, if you are a sponsor of the Top500
> site, then deadlines mean little.

As a matter of fact, the BluGene number was ready way before the 
Columbia number. And as all of the major players are sponsor of the 
Top500 site, your assumption that it can buy you an advantage is not 
quite logical.

The ultimate deadline for everybody was set for October 25th. As soon as 
they got their number, SGI/Intel turned on the PR machine and flooded 
the headlines, vigorously claiming being #1. Of course without knowing 
for sure. The IBM strategy was to stay quiet up to the official release 
of the list, and I guess disgrace SGI/Intel at the last minute. 
Unfortunately, the BluGene number was leaked and published before the 
official release.

> However, I guess it's understandable since, as rgb points out, the Top500
> is an advertising thing anyway. Doug Eadline has a great quote about

RGB is wrong. I will repeat it one more time: the top500 is a 
statistical study. It is an advertising thing only in the eyes of the 
believer. If you don't like what the Top500 is trying to do, just ignore it.

> the SuperComputer show and the Top500. I can't repeat the quote here,
> but it has something to do with "size." After experiencing the show, the
> observation is ABSOLUTELY right on target.

Do you know any effort involving benchmarks that do not ultimately look 
and smell like a penis contest ? It's human nature :-)

> Also, the CPUs in BlueGene/L are specialized. I haven't heard anything
> from IBM about marketing those CPUs in a real system. In talking to
> IBM they are even reluctant to talk to us about their 970 or Power5
> systems, nevermind testing them. At least Cray created a product from
> Red Storm.

Ask for the JS-20 BladeCenter if you want to test their PPC970. I know a 
few customers that have been testing it. You can even buy it from the Web.

Has Cray deployed Red Storm machines except the one at Sandia ? At this 
time, BluGene and Red Storm are both a product, or both not one.


Patrick Geoffray
Myricom, Inc.

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