[Beowulf] Intel Quad-Core or AMD Opteron

Greg Lindahl lindahl at pbm.com
Wed Aug 22 20:07:20 EDT 2007


On Wed, Aug 22, 2007 at 09:53:20PM +0800, Li, Bo wrote:

> Quad-core means not only faster speed, but also cheaper system
> expenses. It can do much in HPC or HPS areas. Let's enjoy it.

The question in the cluster world is how well 2-socket systems do --
that's still the sweet spot.

There's no question that today's single-socket quad-core Intels are
great desktop machines -- I just bought a bunch for the new startup
that I'm working for (which is building a consumer website.) But for
our back-end cluster, our desire for low power consumption and big
memory leads us to lean towards Opterons, and if AMD can get their
Barcelona launch actually out the door, I think there'll still be a
clear advantage for AMD on 2-socket and bigger boards, for most
cluster applications.

A reseller showed me a new 4-socket quad-core Intel platform; it takes
128 gigs of memory... but you should see the heatsink on the
northbridge, and the ducted cooling needed by the fbdimms. And it will
cost an arm and a leg. And I shudder to think how bad the STREAM and
OpenMP benchmarks will be.

-- greg


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