top500 list (was: opteron VS Itanium 2)

Mark Hahn hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Mon Nov 17 11:50:14 EST 2003


> I'm seeing dual 2.0 G5 boxes with the Superdrive, 512 Megs of
> memory, and about 80 Gigs of storage for $3k (commercial
> pricing in single units). So, for laughs, let's assume $3k per box
> for the 4 Gigs of memory and the storage.

I did the pricing too.  afaikt, it's actually 8GB per node,
so the price was just under $5900 list.  I'd guess that the IB
hardware is at least $1500 list.

> Node cost: 1100 x $3k = $3.3 million

around 8M list.

> Total = $5.388 million

it's a very good price, no doubt.  it would be nice if Top500
would require full price disclosures - for instance, could I take
a same-sized pile of cash to Apple/Mellanox and get the same discount?
I doubt it.

besides price, lack of ECC is a big question.  how many other Top500
scores are ECC-less?  does anyone know the FIT rate for dram nowadays?
I figure BigMac has at either 7e4 or 1.4e5 dram chips...

how much does it help your HPL score to run 4GB/cpu?  I'd guess that most
clusters are lighter than that.

regards, mark hahn.

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