[Beowulf] Xeon D systems? (and 10G in general)

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Tue Mar 10 12:42:45 PDT 2015

Intel recently introduced an interesting product:
Xeon D is a Broadwell (Haswell shrink) SoC.

It only has 8 cores, not high-clocked and only 2 dimm channels, 
so it's definitely not at the same level of fat-node goodness 
as an e5-26xx v3.  But for 45W, you also get 2x onboard 10Gb!

Anyone working on an HPC system based on these quite compact 
building blocks?  the SoC also has stuff like PCIe and SATA,
which is why a lot of the coverage is calling it a chip 
for desktop NAS, etc.  But for HPC purposes, the CPU is 
quite decent, memory balance is reasonable, and it's hard
to argue with two free 10G...

On that topic, I've read some work recently on performance 
tuning of Intel 10G, but not in an HPC context.  Is 10G still
sucking for MPI latency?  (SFP+ DA noticably better than 10GbT?)

If you're thinking of saying "why bother with an x86_64 SoC
when you can get a 64b Atom SoC", well, can you?  (for cheap,
at commodity volume, etc...)  Do any of the surviving Atom SoCs
still have onboard multiport switching fabrics?

thanks, Mark Hahn.

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