[Beowulf] a cluster to drive a wall of monitors

Brian R Smith brian at cypher.acomp.usf.edu
Wed Oct 13 09:05:57 PDT 2004


We just built a smaller version of that, a 4x3 display wall.  We went
the dual-output video card route and deeply regret it.  The performance
is rather lackluster and getting the screens to align correctly e.g. not
displaying broken chunks of images, is damn near impossible with
DMX/Chromium.  We originally configured it so that each video card ran
two frame buffers, one for each screen, allowing us to configure each
displays bounderies manually.  The problem was that running two frame
buffers on each card resulted in further degrading each machine's

If at all possible, make sure you have one machine for each screen.  Of
course, YMMV, but this has been our experience in the matter.

Good luck.

Brian Smith

On Tue, 2004-10-12 at 21:47, Evan Cull wrote:
> Hi all,
> I was told this list would be a good place to ask for advice on the 
> following project.  (I've tried to search through list archives for 
> related info, but I haven't managed to spot anything so far.) 
> I'm helping with a project that want's to drive a wall of about 50 LCD 
> panels with a linux cluster running Syzygy:
> http://www.isl.uiuc.edu/syzygy.htm
> I was considering a cluster of either 50 single processor nodes or 25 
> dual processor + dual output graphics card nodes.  I suppose 50 dual 
> processor nodes would be nice, but I'm pretty sure that's well out of my 
> budget range.  I'm betting that the 50 single processor nodes would 
> easily have twice the graphics performance of the 25 dual nodes because 
> they have 2x as many video cards.  The tradeoff here is that the dual 
> processor nodes might be more useful for other more general computing 
> tasks we could run on them. 
> Does anyone here have experience buying rackmountable cluster nodes 
> *with graphics cards* who can point me to a vendor?
> For that matter, have any of you built a similar system & have any 
> suggestions / comments?
> thanks,
> Evan Cull
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