[Beowulf] Servers Too Hot? Intel Recommends a Luxurious Oil Bath

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Sep 5 03:22:39 PDT 2012

On Tue, Sep 04, 2012 at 02:54:46PM -0400, Ellis H. Wilson III wrote:

> I know we've been taking things to the uber-scale level with this 
> conversation, but does anyone have suggestions for small (homebrew 
> Beowulf) clusters?  I've considered oil before, but for all the 

A major advantage of these forthcoming ARM server systems is that
they are air-coolable, and in fact even convection-aircoolable,
if you add a suitable funnel on top of the rack.

With SSDs, there are no movable parts. Float power will suck,
but there are GPGPU options there, and memory bandwidth can
be quite nice with memory cube like die stacking.

Arguably you can run this off battery-buffered 12 or 24 V DC.

> capillary concerns voiced in this list have avoided it.  I would 
> consider a reasonable gas (NOT hydrogen) if one could be suggested along 
> with a feasible way to keep that gas in a small rack or similar 
> structure, or an alternative to oil if a nicer one (albeit not as 
> efficient) could similarly be suggested.  Perhaps air or piped 
> water-cooling is indeed my best bet.

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