[Beowulf] who is buying those $200 PCs from wal-mart?

bari bari at onelabs.com
Thu Nov 15 18:31:33 EST 2007


andrew holway wrote:
> I have been in contact with them to see if we can get some kind of benchmark.
> 
> I want to see how they perform against AMD/intel. I might give it a go
> if the numbers work.
> 
> Cheers
> 
> Andy
> 
> On 15/11/2007, Mark Hahn <hahn at mcmaster.ca> wrote:
>>> It is really interesting to see that they've sold out.  I do agree that
>> yes - I didn't want to reiterate the previous discussion.  my only
>> intended topic was the selling out and wondering whether anyone
>> would admit to building a cluster of them.  (not that there would
>> be anything morally suspect in building such a cluster ;)

The mainboard in the Wal-mart/Everext PC is a VIA Mfg. NO: PC2500E:
http://www.via.com.tw/en/initiatives/empowered/pc2500_platform/index.jsp

ClubIT Price: $59.99:
http://www.clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=A4842001

The cpu is a 1.5GHz VIA C7-D:
http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/processors/c7-d/index.jsp
32 bit
400MHz FSB
sixteen pipeline stages
MMX, SSE, SSE2 and SSE3
128KB full-speed exclusive L2 cache

The chipset is a VIA CN700:
http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/chipsets/c-series/cn700/index.jsp
and supports up to 2GB of DDR2 533/400 with a maximum memory bandwidth 
of 4.2GB/s.

The memory controller for the C7-D is in the chipset like the Intel's 
and not in the CPU's like AMD. LinuxBIOS support for the C7+CN700 was 
just posted earlier today.

There is an Intel Mainboard+CPU D201GLY that is only priced at $10.00 
more than the VIA board at $69.99:
http://www.intel.com/products/motherboard/D201GLY/index.htm

featuring a Celeron Model 215 1.33 GHz CPU:
http://www.intel.com/products/processor/celeron/index.htm
http://download.intel.com/design/processor/datashts/31854602.pdf
64 bit
Two 32-KB L1 Caches
512-KB L2 Cache
FSB bandwidth of up to 6.4 GB/s at 533MHz

and SiS SiS662 chipset:
http://www.sis.com/products/sis662.htm
1GB DDR2 533MHz 4.2GB/s max. bandwidth

Intel D201GLY $69.99 at:
http://shop2.outpost.com/%7BU123qOK-liVHcXT1Px+VhQ**.node1%7D/product/5325528;jsessionid=U123qOK-liVHcXT1Px+VhQ**.node1?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121317&Tpk=D201gly

Another inexpensive option with higher performance are the SiS761GX 
mainboards. Now with LinuxBIOS support!

Still no x11, dri, OpenGL drivers yet though (hint, hint SiS). Not 
really a problem for clustering though.

761GXM-M V1.0
http://www.ecsusa.com
2000/1600 mega-transfers per second - Hyper Transport
Socket AM2 Sempron processors
Memory bandwidth up to 12.8GB/s with Dual Channel DDR2 800
http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118_11599,00.html

SiS761GX mainboard + Sempron CPU for $49.99.
ECS GOAL3+ AMD Sempron 3000+ 754 SiS 761 GX Micro ATX Motherboard/CPU Combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135060
3.2GB/s 400MHz DDR
1600MT/s system bus

only socket 754 but the AM2 versions are out soon.

For price/performance on the low cost end the AM2 Sempron + Sis761GX 
will be better than Intel Celeron + SiS SiS662 and also the VIA C7-D + 
CN700.

The VIA C7-D cpu's consume much less power (only 20W maximum) than 
either the Intel Celeron-D (65W) or AMD Sempron(45-62W). It depends on 
how much you pay for power (and how long), floor space, enclosures, hard 
drives etc. to be able to compare the total long term/lifetime of the 
cost/price/performance numbers.

-Bari

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