/. US DOE gets a $24.5 Million Linux Supercomputer

Arthur H. Edwards edwardsa at plk.af.mil
Thu Apr 18 13:21:20 EDT 2002


On Wed, Apr 17, 2002 at 02:31:31PM -0500, Richard Walsh wrote:
> 
> Eugene Leitel wrote:
> 
> >http://slashdot.org/articles/02/04/17/1324227.shtml?tid=162
> 
> >An anonymous reader wrote in to say "Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 
> >(US DOE) signed a $24.5 million dollar contract with HP for a Linux 
> >supercomputer. This will be one of the top ten fastest computers in the 
> >world. Some cool features: 8.3 Trillion Floating Point Operations per 
> >Second, 1.8 Terabytes of RAM, 170 Terabytes of disk, (including a 53 TB 
> >SAN), and 1400 Intel McKinley and Madison Processors. Nice quote: 'Todays 
> >announcement shows how HP has worked to help accelerate the shift from 
> >proprietary platforms to open architectures, which provide increased 
> >scalability, speed and functionality at a lower cost,' said Rich DeMillo,
> >vice president and chief technology officer at HP. Read Details of the
> >announcement here or here."
> 
> Mmmm ... working through some numbers ...
> 
> 8.3 TFLOPS (if they are quoting peak) with 1400 processors 
> would mean they are getting chips with 1.5 GHz clocks (peak
> performance would be 6 GFLOPS per chip [4 ops per clock]). 
> 
> Stream numbers for this 1.5 GHz chip (estimated) would be around                
> 250 MFLOPS for the triad. Using the triad as a baseline for performance
> for this and several others systems and relating it back to 
> some estimated cost for several other systems (government purchase 
> price only, no recurring costs) this is $70 per MFLOPS sustained 
> for the Mckinley (again using triad) ... or more than the CRAY SV2 
> ($65), EV6($55), EV7 ($50), Pentium 4 ($30).
> 
> Interesting number ... the high-end IA-64 stuff does not look 
> cheap when stream triad defines sustained performance. Of course, 
> blocking for cache will push the sustained number up (maybe alot
> and on all the systems), but you would think that QCHEM stuff 
> they run at PNNL (G98) will be mostly memory bound and therefore 
I think they will be using NWChem- an intrinsically parallel code. It
has some really bad numbers for serial but apparently scales fairly well.
> the stream triad sustained performance is not too far off.
> 
> I am not sure this looks like a very good deal. 
> 
> rbw
> 
> 
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Arthur H. Edwards
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