[Beowulf] dual core intel/amd

Mikhail Kuzminsky kus at free.net
Fri Apr 29 09:23:53 PDT 2005

In message from "Jim Lux" <james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov> (Thu, 28 Apr 2005 
07:23:46 -0700):
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Vincent Diepeveen" <diep at xs4all.nl>
>To: <beowulf at beowulf.org>
>Sent: Thursday, April 28, 2005 6:16 AM
>Subject: [Beowulf] dual core intel/amd
>> hi,
>> Several programs tested under which Diep at sudhian.com
>> For diep :  http://www.sudhian.com/showdocs.cfm?aid=667&pid=2543
>> If you ask me intel is in serious troubles with respect to beowulfs.
>I don't know that Intel seriously cares about tailoring to cluster
>computing.  It's a tiny, tiny fraction of their overall sales.
I agree and disagree simulateosly :-)
Yes, HPC market gives few percents only, and you are absolutely right 
( :-( - for beowulfers)). But looking to Intel press-releases (yes, 
it's only words) we may find a lot of Intel attention to this area.
BTW, especially w/ Itanium 2. Of course, the reason may be pure 
prestige (how many Intel-based clusters fit into TOP500 etc).
But IMHO partially reason of this attention is that Intel must really 
confirm (show) that you need to upgrade your PCs to more 
high-performance CPUs. But most of "usual" applications don't need
more high performance (see your own message below).       

>  There may be, what, as many as 100,000 top of the line  Intel >processors sold for cluster computing.
>> The dual core opteron is just outperforming the dual core P4 so 
>> Partly because intel has weakened the weak L1 and L2 caches even 
>> <snip>
>The vast majority of Intel sales are probably for desktop and 
>server type applications. I suspect that Intel carefully looks a the 
>instruction mix generated by, e.g. WinXP or Longhorn or NT2003, or, 
>Linux, in a web server/file server/SQL backend/XML-XSLT processor 
>kind of
>environment, and allocates on-chip resources accordingly.
>Raw, pedal to the metal computation is a tiny part of what most CPUs 
>sold for.
Yes, but currently there is no hardware support for XML scan,
for example, and AMD chips, I beleive, are faster for like targets.
>  As I type this on my old 300 MHz notebook, running 
>Win2000, I
>notice that the CPU usage is never going above 5%. So, even for a
>notoriously inefficient environment (windows, outlook, graphics 
>etc.), the demands on the CPU are negligble.  The same is probably 
>true of
>95% of computers sold.
I agree w/you. The (difficult) task of Intel is to force upgrade
to new CPU models. But Intel's marketing staff works excellent.
They propose some new application areas (digital home, entertainment
PCs etc). HPC gives Intel some (very small) additional source for

>Even in "production servers", the rate-determining aspect is not 
>usually CPU
>speed, but ancillary stuff like networking, disk i/o, etc.

I agree, but may be there is some hope: may be for 64-bit processors
some databases may fit better in RAM -then CPU may be will more 
important ? 


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