Specific Question about Single vs. Dual Processor System

Douglas Eadline deadline at plogic.com
Mon Apr 7 14:31:34 EDT 2003


On Mon, 7 Apr 2003, Rocky McGaugh wrote:

> On Sun, 6 Apr 2003, Chih King wrote:
> 
> > Hello.  I am a member of the University of Iowa Student Supercomputing
> > Project (UISSP), and we are planning for the purchase of our first cluster.
> > Currently we are divided between a sixteen node single-processor Pentium 4
> > system and a seven node dual-processor Xeon system.  Here are the brief
> > specification of both machines:
> > 
> > 16 Pentium 4 single-processor system (total cost $7,407):
> > 
> > Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz 533FSB 512KB
> > ASUS P4S8X 533FSB SATA GB 8X MB w/ 10/100/1000 LAN
> > 512MB PC2700 DDR333
> > Maxtor 20GB Ultra100 Hard Drive
> > ATI Rage Mobility VGA Card 8MB AGP
> > CG 6039L 350W USB Midtower Case
> > Linksys LNE100TX 10/100 Network Adaptor (2nd LAN channel)
> > 
> > 7 Xeon dual-processor system (total cost $8,400):
> > 
> > INTEL XEON 2.4GHZ 533FSB PROCESSOR x2
> > TYAN S2723GNN E7501 GLAN MOTHERBOARD
> > PC2100 256MB ECC/REG DDR x2
> > Maxtor 20GB Ultra100 Hard Drive
> > Chenbro Beige Server Case
> > NMB 460W Xeon Power Supply
> > MITSUMI 54X CD-ROM Drive
> > 
> 
> Given the above options, i'd go with the dual Xeons. Memory bandwidth is 
> greater on the 2723 due to its dual-DDR setup. It is also a server-class
> motherboard. The i7501 chipset was designed for server use and works well 
> for clusters.

Of course it all depends on the application(s). Depending on the
application mix, you may not realize the full potential DDR offers.  
(look at some of the numbers for SMP motherboards on cluster-rant.com)

This is a very important question - single vs. dual. In addition to
sharing the memory, they will also share the interconnect. 

I wonder if systems built from boards like the Tyan 2707 or the SM X5SSE
would provide better price to performance for some applications than
using dual MB's. I have some testing planned. Nice thing about the Tyan
board is it has GigE on a PCI-X bus and a PCI-X slot if you need one.

Doug
> 
> The Asus board has a SiS chipset. It is fairly safe to assume that this 
> board was optimized for AGP speed which wont matter much to you.
> 
> I think you'll find much better reliability with the servers.
> 

> 

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