[Beowulf] noobs: what comes next?

Hearns, John john.hearns at mclaren.com
Mon Jun 22 09:21:06 PDT 2009

>    We're trying to assemble something that's really cheap (both on
> hardware as well as power costs) and that still can do some work. I
> would run some coarse grid CFD cases for my MSc on the little guy.
> this make any sense at all?
>    We know that the proper thing would be to benchmark, and then
> but in this noobish cheap baby case, there's nothing really to
> benchmark
> for. If we manage to get it working and it proves to be worth doing at
> least some coarse grid CFD runs, it would be great for a start.
It does sound good.

I would guess you are looking are looking at using OpenFOAM for the CFD
One thing to look at though - how much RAM does each of these board

You might be better using the recipe for the cheap cluster on Doug
Eadlines Clustermonkey site.
By doing away with the cases they made a much cheaper cluster.
If you use standard-sized motherboards you might get cheaper parts to
suit them,
And also have spare PCI clots for (say) a second gigabit network.

Pps. I hate to say this, but pragmatically with 6 of these boards you
get 12 times 1.6Ghz cores.
You can buy single workstations with eight cores of Nehalem at 2.6 Ghz
for not a lot of money.
You can still program these using MPI, and run Openfoam on them if your
aim really is to get runs done
For your MSc.
If on the other hand, you want to learn about clusters buy the boards
and let us know how it works!

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