[Beowulf] Socket AM2 Opterons?? and comments requested...

Thomas Carroll tcarroll at ursinus.edu
Thu Jan 3 18:43:29 PST 2008

  I recently posted a potential build for my new cluster nodes and got
some great advice (thanks especially to Bill and Mark).  I've done some
additional research and concluded that AMD will likely give the best
performance for my code and also the best bang for the buck.  AMD also
has many more appealing mobo options.  Here's my current prospective

AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ Windsor 3.2GHz Socket AM2 125W Dual-Core 
G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)   
GIGABYTE GA-M61P-S3 AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 ATX AMD Motherboard 
Rosewill R804BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 300W

I've scored some free hard drives and dvd drives so that I can start
diskful and get simulating before I figure out exactly how I want to do
diskless.  I'll also be going with GigE and doing the best I can; it
seems others have had success with ScaLAPACK and GigE for my type of
application.  (Hopefully a small grant in the near future will allow an
upgrade of the network - myrinet is beyond my budget right now.)

My main question (besides throwing this configuration out there for
comments) is about the CPU.  I noticed on newegg that there are a few
socket AM2 dual core opterons (the Santa Ana).  Does anyone have any
experience with these?  There are only a few (most of the opterons seem
to be socket F and the socket F mobos are far too expensive).  The
opteron seems to be a popular cluster choice - any thoughts on whether
these would be superior to my choice above?

Again, thanks everyone for the help!


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