[Beowulf] Has anyone actually seen/used a cell system?

Andrew Shewmaker agshew at gmail.com
Sun Oct 1 18:23:58 PDT 2006

On 10/1/06, Andrew Shewmaker <agshew at gmail.com> wrote:

> It looks like a preproduction 2.4 GHz Cell is 2-6 times faster than a 2.93 GHz
> Core2 at SGEMM.  That's an awfully big range, so hopefully someone
> wil be kind enough to benchmark libgoto on Core2 for us.  The history file
> indicates that libgoto is optimized for Core2, but I don't have one to test.

I apologize for replying to my own message, but the 2-6 times faster isn't a
good range since it assumes only one of the Core2 cores is used for the
upper bound (80/12.5).  Assuming that ScienceMark's BLAS scaled
perfectly across two cores, the upper bound would be about 3.

So, it looks like a preproduction 2.4 GHz Cell is about 2-3 times faster than a
2.93 GHz Core2 at SGEMM.

However, IBM intends to scale production Cells to 3.2 GHz (let's assume a
1.3x speedup).  And Intel intends to double their cores again, and we expect
them to lower the clock of those cores too.  Anandtech thinks 2.66GHz
is the fastest we'll see.


So, that might give us a 2.66/2.93*2 = 1.8x speedup for SGEMM on Intel's quad
core.  The Cell may only be 1.4-2.3 faster at SGEMM than an Intel solution by
Q107.  Most people I know would love to have that kind of speedup if it didn't
take too much effort.  Sequoia looks like it might make the level of effort

FYI, Charm++ is also working on the difficulty of Cell programming.


Andrew Shewmaker

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