Intel PRO/1000CT Gigabit ethernet with CSA

Roland Stumpf rrstump at sandia.gov
Thu Jun 26 12:36:07 EDT 2003


Hi everybody !

We are configuring a ~40 node cluster for parallel materials modeling
applications (e.g. VASP code from Vienna). My guess is that the sweet
spot in terms of communication speed versus cost is with gigabit
ethernet. Does anybody have an opinion on the new Intel PRO/1000CT
Gigabit LAN controller that travels through the CSA (Communications
Streaming Architecture) bus ? The Intel fact sheet is, as often, short
on quantitative detail but it looks promising:

http://www.intel.com/design/network/products/lan/controllers/82547ei.htm

We would be especially interested in an improvement of the latency for
MPI communication over other Gigabit or 100Mbit ethernet. Another
concern is if the faster GigE cards could saturate a fully connected
modern 24 port switch like the Dell PowerConnect 5224, leading to
dropped packages and crashing jobs.

Thanks,
Roland

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