[Beowulf] cpu's versus gpu's - was Intel buys QLogic InfiniBand business

Prentice Bisbal prentice at ias.edu
Wed Jan 25 14:01:48 PST 2012

On 01/24/2012 12:02 AM, Steve Crusan wrote:
> On Jan 23, 2012, at 8:44 PM, Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
> > It's 500 euro for a 1 teraflop double precision Radeon HD7970...
> Great, and nothing runs on it. GPUs are insanely useful for certain
> tasks, but they aren't going to be able to handle most normal
> workloads(similar to the BG class of course). Any center that buys BGP
> (or Q at this point) gear is going to pay for a scientific programmer
> to adapt their code to take advantage of the BG's strengths; parallelism.
> But It's nice that supercomputing centers use GPUs to boost their
> flops numbers. Any word on that Chinese system's efficiency? If you
> look at the architecture of the new K computer in Japan, it's similar
> to the BlueGene line.

I attended a presentation at Princeton U. on Monday about the state of
HPC in China. The talk  was given by someone who has been to China and
spoken with the leaders of their HPC efforts. While the Chinese systems
get great scores on LINPACK, even the Chinese concede that on their
"real" applications, they are getting well below the theoretical max
flops, because their codes aren't getting the most out of their systems.
In other words, on real programs, they aren't all that efficient (yet).


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