[Beowulf] Cluster newbie, power recommendations

Eric Geater at Home rokit at bellsouth.net
Sun Mar 19 20:09:42 EST 2006


Howdy, everyone!

Maybe this is a question better suited for hardware heads, but I've become
Beowulf curious, and am interested in learning a hardware question.

I have access to a bunch of old ATX computers.  The most likely common
processor will no doubt be Pentium II 400, with hard drive space around 10gb
each.  If I part out all the RAM from candidate boxes, I might be able to
max them out at 384mb RAM.  But the underlying fact that drives me to this
curious point is that they're all free, and thus candidates for
experimentation.

My greatest question, though, revolves around power distribution.  It seems
kinda weak to simply use one PSU per motherboard, especially if I take the
time to devise a cabinet in which to operate the goodies.  Is it possible to
run maybe two or three motherboards off a single power supply, given that
the amount of known power committed to run a mobo is light, compared to the
total workload of the average 350w PSU?

This is a power-saving concept... if I could run 16 mobo's on 8 (or even 6)
power supplies, it might be more beneficial to my health and well-being when
the electric bill comes in.

Thanks, and I'll take any suggestions you might have.  Google has not been
friendly to me in this search.

Eric Geater
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