[Beowulf] The move to gigabit - technical questions

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Mon Mar 14 12:34:12 EST 2005


Good evening,

It's interesting to investigate what gigabit can do for small home clusters.

Any latency oriented approach is doomed to fail obviously at gigabit. But
they're cheap. For 40 euro i see several getting offered already.

First important question is of course how much system time those NIC's eat
when fully loading their bandwidth.

Example, i have an old dual k7 here with pci 2.2 (32 bits 33Mhz).
Suppose i put a gigabit card in it.

In say 6 messages a second i ship 8MB data at a time. Ship and send in turn.

So it ships a packet of 8MB, then receives a packet of 8MB.

Other than the cost of the thread to store the packet to RAM, does such a
card in any way stop or block the cpu's which are 100% loaded with
searching software (my chessprogram diep in this case)?

What penalty other than that thread handling the message is there in terms
of system time reduction to the 2 processes searching?

Oh btw, i assume that gigabit can handle 48MB/s user data a second?

Vincent

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