[Beowulf] Intro question

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Tue Dec 2 16:11:37 PST 2008

On Tue, 2 Dec 2008, Lombard, David N wrote:

> An acoustic concern. A 1U is quite a bit louder than the normal desktop as
> (1) they use itty-bitty fans and (b) there's no incentive to make them
> quiet, as nobody is expected to have to put up with their screaming...

A good point.  I actually like Greg's suggestion best -- consider
(fewer) 2U nodes instead -- quieter, more robust, cooler.  Perhaps four,
but that strongly depends on the kind of thing you are trying to do --
tell us what it is if you can do so without having to kill and we'll try
to help you estimate your communications issues and likely bottlenecks.
For some tasks you are best off getting as few actual boxes as possible
with as many as possible CPU cores per box.  For others, having more
boxes and fewer cores per box will be right.

The reason I like four nodes with at least a couple of cores each is
that if you don't KNOW what you are likely to need, you can find out
(probably) with this many nodes and then "fix" your design if/when you
scale up into production.  Otherwise you buy eight single core node (if
they still make single cores:-) and then learn that you would have been
much better off buying a single eight core node.  Or vice versa.


> -- 
> David N. Lombard, Intel, Irvine, CA
> I do not speak for Intel Corporation; all comments are strictly my own.
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Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
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