[Beowulf] Ethernet break through?

Robin Harker robin at workstationsuk.co.uk
Wed Apr 4 04:31:29 EDT 2007


Mark,

You seam to be making an awful lot of assumptions about what a game
console can or can't do. Let's have some facts rather than vague
guesswork.

As I understand it the PS3 has a decent GigE port, it runs a standard
Linux OS, YDL, and it has both a general purpose CPU, (Power5) and 6 (I
think) cell processors.  I would have thought a repetitive application
like rendering would be ideal for a cell based system.

I do not understand your reference to SLI cards.

I do agree that a PS2 is probable not a good render node, but then again
it's ~4 years old.

Regards

Robin

>>       you say that, but don't PS2 and PS3 make ideal compute nodes for
>> some
>>       applications like rendering and 3D and 4D (time as the 4th) ?
>
> I doubt it.  while gaming consoles are admirably commoditized (actually
> sold at a loss in some cases), they're designed with constraints different
> from a cluster.  for instance, looking pretty, or working well in a
> livingroom environment.  or playing music, or reading hd-dvd's, etc.
>
> as render nodes, I don't think they're all that good, though perhaps
> effective for the price.  I would guess that for rendering, you would do
> the very best to use last-gen cards in the $150 range.  should be able to
> put two in a machine - sli support not necessary.  such cards have
> probably
> had a respin to give them smaller/cooler chips, as well.
>
> I'd guess that the ethernet in gaming consoles is also not great.
>
>>       Xboxes make good web servers for small scale. and use less energy
>> than a
>>       equivalent Piii or P4 system :-)
>
> gross.  webserving is so easy that tiny embedded chips to a good job,
> and something like a via low-power would do a great job.  95% of a game
> console would be wasted as a webserver.
>
>>       end desktop. it's just risen in the gaming market because people
>> want games
>>       which need greater computational power. likewise with gaming
>> computers, they
>
> unclear.  the gaming market is driven by eyecandy, and I sometimes wonder
> whether, for instance, humans can even see jaggies at 60 fps.  so much of
> the gamer market is driven by what game-geek sites say about blowups of
> stills of particular frames.
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Robin Harker
Workstations UK Ltd
DDI: 01494 787710
Tel: 01494 724498

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