[Beowulf] Re: Re: GPU boards and cluster servers.

Jeff Johnson jeff.johnson at wsm.com
Mon Sep 8 19:14:58 EDT 2008


> A Xeon is a Xeon is a Xeon.
>   
This is a very true statement.

Unfortunately for many, the commonality ends where the processor and 
socket meet. There is a great deal of deviation in motherboard designs. 
Some are much better than others and it is not always based on the 
location of the factory (China versus Japan, USA, etc).

Intel, as an example, releases a reference design and bios definition 
that is usually the gold standard for a particular type of platform. 
Many companies will take this design and modify it to fit their needs 
and in the process streamline the design. That is usually a cost driven 
exercise.

The end result is usually a decent server platform that performs well in 
a file/print or even enterprise space. Unfortunately for those who have 
been bitten, we all know there is a difference between how a well tuned 
HPC environment can put demands on hardware, challenge tolerances and 
expose any of the cost driven "changes" made to a motherboard.

I have seen HPC sites that can make a Dell 1950 stumble with little 
difficulty. Granted, that requires a well tuned environment and skilled 
savvy users that can place demands on machines where the various 
shortcomings are exposed. A fair number of the previously mentioned 
sole-source contracts end up being penny-wise and dollar-foolish as well 
as detrimental to the people actually relying on the hardware for 
productive research.

-- 
Best Regards,

Jeff Johnson
President / CTO
Western Scientific, Inc
jeff.johnson at wsm.com
http://www.wsm.com

5444 Napa Street - San Diego, CA 92110
Tel 800.443.6699  +001.619.220.6580
Fax +001.619.220.6590

"Braccae tuae aperiuntur"


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