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Student and Professor Build Budget Supercomputer
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Old 31st August 2007, 14:07   #1
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Default Student and Professor Build Budget Supercomputer

This past winter Calvin College professor Joel Adams and then Calvin senior Tim Brom built Microwulf, a portable supercomputer with 26.25 gigaflops peak performance, that cost less than $2,500 to construct, becoming the most cost-efficient supercomputer anywhere that Adams knows of. "It's small enough to check on an airplane or fit next to a desk," said Brom. Instead of a bunch of researchers having to share a single Beowulf cluster supercomputer, now each researcher can have their own.

http://www.calvin.edu/news/releases/.../microwulf.htm
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Old 3rd September 2007, 03:47   #2
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Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!
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Old 3rd September 2007, 11:20   #3
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I assume they have been using 4 Intel Q6600?
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Old 3rd September 2007, 11:55   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutar View Post
I assume they have been using 4 Intel Q6600?
Quote:
For our CPUs, we chose AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800 AM2+ CPUs
-> http://www.clustermonkey.net//content/view/211/1/
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Old 3rd September 2007, 12:15   #5
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so, essentially you could double the power easily for a little added cost, now that the CPUs are so cheap
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Old 3rd September 2007, 12:28   #6
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"little added cost" hmmm.. not quite "little".

3800+ X2 : €59
Q6600: €249

100 Core cluster system 3800+ based: €2950
100 Core cluster system Q6600 based: €6225

... you can have 200 Core 3800+ cluster for the price of the Q6600 100 one not sure if it will be faster, but the goal was "budget", Q6600 is not
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Old 3rd September 2007, 13:05   #7
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they still had 165 $ in their table and the CPUs weren't the biggest cost factor
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Old 4th September 2007, 05:15   #8
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As stated in their article, the linchpin to having a Beowulf cluster is having equal parts bandwidth per core per RAM. They did 2-core+2Gb+2Gbit ethernet for each of the 4 "clusters".

Now imagine what 4-core, 4GB, 4Gbit ethernet per cluster would cost... Q6600 is not a viable option without major costs in networking hardware.

Interesting that they did not choose dual 1Gbit boards over buying 1GBit Ethernet cards though, would have saved some cash there.

Edit: Cost of their exact Beowulf cluster costs $1,281 today, with a DDR2-800Mhz mem upgrade at that. Didn't mess with the networking but total cost could probably be dropped further to about the $1,000 mark.

Last edited by Kougar : 4th September 2007 at 06:07.
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