[Beowulf] Re: gamers: evil or just useless? ;)

sNAAPS eLYK 3lucid at gmail.com
Wed Aug 9 17:48:11 PDT 2006

On 8/9/06, SIM DOG <steve_heaton at iinet.net.au> wrote:
> Somewhat more seriously, yes, I understand 'market forces'. But as Mark
> and gl & hf point out catering to a specific market can be a double
> edged sword. A physics coprocessor is a great idea but their cross
> market ability is hampered by limiting their focus to just gaming.

I understand why Ageia might be limiting their options by only
catering to gamers - but what I don't understand is the concept of the
PPU in the market.

In spite of my limited experience [5+ years?] with computer hardware,
I have noticed an increasing trend towards what I like to call
"parallelism". First hyper-threading, then dual-core, quad-core, and
IMB's Cell. I see the PPU as the same thing, just another processor in
the system to compute more tasks, or in the case of gaming, increase
performance while computing one, albeit complex, task. The PPU, and
the GPU even, are in a sense just specialized processors just like
your Pentium or Athlon, right? But I guess "parallelism" is what
Beowulf and clustering has been doing the entire time anyway?

So how is having a PPU any different from dual- or quad-core? Or do
the advantages lie in it's specialized physics-handling abilities
[programming, instructions]?

Hypothetically speaking then, what would a Linux friendly PPU bring to
a Beowulf cluster?

P.S. - I should probably rectify this. My name is Kyle Spaans [read:
snaapS elyK backwards], my email account "name" just spawns from my
earlier days when my parents would warn me about revealing my real
name to strangers on the internet.

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