[Beowulf] noobs: what comes next?

Tomislav Maric tomislav.maric at gmx.com
Mon Jun 22 16:24:27 EDT 2009


Jon Forrest wrote:

> My suggestion to you is to forget about buying anything new
> right now. Instead, find some cheap used P4 PCs with at least
> 1GB of RAM. In the US such things can easily be found for ~$150.

I've thought about collecting old PCs from my friends, but they are all
different, and I would like to follow the general rule of newbish
clustering: use homogeneous nodes.

Second problem is that I can get miniITX motherboard for 89$. That's the
optimal price. I'm worried about the power consumption of regular pc's,
and the power needed for miniITX is really low (90 wats for the
motherboard and CPU included).

The third issue is that I'm not just using this cluster for learning. At
the end, it would be amazing to be able to run about 500 000 control
volume CFD cases used so far (ship hydrodynamics simulations - movement
of the ship excluded) for about 6 days worth of 20 seconds physical time
on a cluster that's easily moved and uses regular PC's PSU (cheap on
electricity).
    For scaling info: I've ran 175 000 FV cells on my dual core laptop
(HP compaq dual core 1.73 Ghz) for 6 days to get 4 seconds physical
time. Does this sum up to a cluster being about 14 times faster machine
than my laptop? I would be satisfied with much less. :)

Thank You very much for Your advice,

best regards,

Tomislav
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