opteron VS Itanium 2

Butti Gabriele - Dottorati di Ricerca gabriele.butti at unimib.it
Tue Oct 28 04:58:04 EST 2003

Dear all, 
      we are planning to build up a new cluster (16 nodes) before this
year's end; we are evaluating different proposals from machine sellers,
but the main doubt we have at this moment is whether choosing an Itanium
2 architecture or an AMD Opteron one. 

I know that ther's had already been on this list a debate on such a
topic, but maybe some of you has some new experience to tell about. 

There is a wild bunch of benchmarks on these machines, but we fear that
these are somewhat misleading and are not designed to test CPU's for
intense scientific computing. The code we want to run on these machines
is basically a home-made code, not fully optimized, which allocates
around 500 Mb of RAM per node. Communication between nodes is a quite
rare event and does not affect much computation time. In the past we had
a very nice experience using Alpha CPU's which performed very well.

To sum up, the question is: is the Itanium2 worth the price difference
or is the Opteron the best choice?

Thank you all

Gabriele Butti
                                -(o o)-
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              |             Gabriele Butti               |
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              |      Department of Material Science      |     
              |      University of Milano-Bicocca        |     
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              |      Tel (+39)02 64485214                |           
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