[Beowulf] Re: Intro question

Geoff Jacobs gdjacobs at gmail.com
Wed Dec 3 15:42:13 PST 2008

Bogdan Costescu wrote:
> On Wed, 3 Dec 2008, Mark Hahn wrote:
>> I don't know whether there would be any problem putting a real
>> interconnect card (10G, IB, etc) into one of these - some are designed
>> for GPU cards, so would have 8 or 16x pcie slots.
> Yes, they often have 2 slots, a PCIe 16x one for a graphics card and a
> PCIe 1x or PCI one for a TV card (for HTPC use ;-)).
>> there are "book" format SFF's that might do well for the
>> gigabit/integrated approach too.
> If raw performance is not your main interest, yes. These often have
> previous generation or significantly lower speed CPUs and memory and a
> rather bad cooling solution dictated by the space contraints. In
> comparison, most "normal" SFFs can take current generation CPUs and memory.
> One advantage coming from their lower speed/power components is that
> some of the "book" ones use an external power supply, laptop style,
> which generates no noise and eliminates the possibility of broken fans.
>> I wouldn't mention HTPC, though - in stores around here at least that
>> term implies a box specialized to look like AV components, often with
>> milled aluminum bezel, fancy displays, etc.
> Is there a law against sexy cluster nodes ? :-)
> How about making those fancy displays show a job ID and the current CPU
> load ? Would there be any more need for nagios or ganglia ? :-)
>> I think SFF's would be very nice, though probably would mean giving up
>> any
>> pretense of server-ish-ness, such as dual sockets or IPMI
> I have looked some years ago at such a SFF barebone with 2 CPU sockets
> from Iwill. For some reason I couldn't (maybe still can't) get easily
> Iwill products here, so I quickly lost interest. But this shows that
> someone did think of it and that it's technically possible. However
> today, with multi-core CPUs being mainstream, I can't really see a
> market case for a SFF with more than one CPU socket.
> IPMI is the one thing that I really miss in these SFF computers. Not so
> much for sensors monitoring as for power on/power off/reset and console
> redirection. I was hoping that at least the Intel vPro would be adopted
> for SFFs...

What is the capability of EDAC on AM2 and AM2+ CPUs? Does the
motherboard chipset impose any limitations?

Geoffrey D. Jacobs

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