[OT] Maximum performance on single processor ?

Trent Piepho xyzzy at speakeasy.org
Fri Jun 20 14:07:59 EDT 2003

On Fri, 20 Jun 2003, Robert Myers wrote:
> You may have done better service to the readers of this list than you 
> have to yourself, since the readers of this list are naturally inclined 
> to think about the sort of question you have asked, and the answers have 
> been interesting to read.
> The fact that you are asking the question, though, begs an answer that 
> others have partially given: no plausible hardware purchase you can make 
> will be a substitute for you or someone you are working with to get 

I'm in agreement with what everyone else has said, if you're using an AthlonMP
2600 now, no < $20k single cpu system will give you a factor of 1000 speedup. 
A factor of two is probably the best you can hope for.

But, the original question is still unanswered.  If you had a non-parallel
scientific fortran code, what current system <$20k would run it the fastest? 
Opteron, Itanium, Xeon, Athlon, Power4?  Of course, I realize that the correct
answer is, "it depends."  Things like memory access patterns, suitability for
SIMD instructions, floating point mix, etc.  all make a big difference.  But
without that knowledge, what would the best guess be?

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