[Beowulf] Help: Raspberry Pi Cluster

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Dec 13 22:49:49 PST 2012

On Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 12:10:43AM +0000, Lux, Jim (337C) wrote:
> What's interesting about this is system is that it is a good illustration that there's a lot more expense and hassle than selecting the motherboard.
> While the RPI might only be $35, you also have to buy a SD card ($10-12) power supplies, cables, boxes or mounting hardware, not to mention a network switch, etc.  When you are looking at rock bottom price points, small things like the cost of the plug strip you plug it all into can be a significant fraction of the total.  If you're making a cluster out of $1000-2000 nodes in a rack, you can ignore things like the network cable or power cord cost, because they're in the $1-2 range, but if your computer costs $30, then a $1 network cable is a 3% increase in price.
> All of that might actually equal or exceed the cost of the processor.
> You might be better off getting a stack of inexpensive netbooks or low end PCs.. A bit of casual googling shows that there are quite a few netbooks out there in the under $100 category (odd brands, it is true) (heck, I found one place offering refurbished netbooks for $45 each.. )  Move up to the $150-200 price range and there's literally hundreds of major brand units available.

For a "toy" Beowulf it might be worthwhile to wait for the Parallella Epiphany.

P.S. SDK is already out, to a select audiience

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