[Beowulf] GPU Beowulf Clusters

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Sun Jan 31 14:06:34 PST 2010

>> Be very very sure that consumer geforces can go in 1u boxes. It's not so 
>> much
>> the space as much as I'm skeptical with their ability of handling the 
>> thermal
>> issues. They are just not designed for this kind of work.
> I've had to go to 2u and eventually to larger boxes because of power supply 
> and air-flow requirements. This is a big issue.

I'm a bit puzzled here.  sumermicro sells servers that take either two 
M1060's, or two C1060's, or two of any pcie 2 x16 cpus.  their airflow 
design seems at least thought-about, and their PSU is 1400W.

C1060 specs merely say "200W max, 160W typical" - which is probably 
about the same as gtx275 according to wikipedia.  so something like 
600W expected from 1U - not really that hard, especially if you don't
have a wall of 40u racks full of them...

>> Note that geforces are overclocked (my gtx 285 by 30% compared to a tesla 
>> with
>> the same chip)

well, they're tuned differently: gf cards have substantially higher memory
clocks and lower shader clocks.  tesla has higher shader and substantially
slower memory clocks (presumably because there are more loads on the bus.)

>> and are actively cooled, which means that you need to get 
>> air
>> flowing into the side fan. That's exactly why they put the tesla m and not 
>> the
>> c into those boxes.

why is this a problem with 1U?  or do you really mean "double-wide cards
don't provide enough clearance in 1U to get air to the card's intake"?

-mark hahn

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