[Beowulf] Southampton engineers a Raspberry Pi Supercomputer

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Wed Sep 12 09:42:17 PDT 2012

On Sep 12, 2012, at 6:02 PM, Ellis H. Wilson III wrote:
> In short, you've shared this negative, "if it's not faster then forget
> about it" sentiment before Vincent, and it's neither constructive  
> to the
> conversation nor to be reasonably expected from Professors trying  
> to run
> a solid class on a budget.

You total go over the line here doing this statement.

You fully misunderstand normal people.

99.99% of everyone on this planet has this mentality.

A raspberry pi isn't that much cheaper than a 2 socket Xeon L5420 to  
give an example.

For $150 on ebay you get those 2 socket machines, usually in fact  
your own university throws them away.

Couple 8 of them together and it's faster than any machine of any  
student at home. This for $1200 in total hardware costs.

That's your typical beowulf type hardware. Commodity x64 machines, or  
even P3 machines, in order to do a
monte carlo search faster than any single socket machine of a student  
can do at home (actually enough P3's easily
win it from an i7 there). Dirt cheap.

And it's loud, it's noisy and it draws some power. THAT is HPC.

Building a beowulf using hardware that is not even representative for  
what got used in HPC,
that is what i would find weird and not a normal type beowulf and the  
average human being will be total desinterested
as even 64 core raspberry pi is gonna lose it from home PC's of those  
students. Furthermore it's total low power,
it's not loud. It's kind of lego meanwhile you want to give them a  
HPC experience. They will guess HPC is for geeks who
didn't take a bath past year, who wear woollen stockings with  
jerusalem sandals, in the middle of the winter, and especially
don't achieve anything, as all those machines together still don't  
beat their windows PC.

That's the average persons reaction onto your raspberry pi cluster  
and nothing else.

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