Virginia Tech PowerMac G5 Cluster Photos

Jeffrey B. Layton laytonjb at
Sat Sep 20 13:10:12 EDT 2003

Wow! It looks like they're only getting 12 nodes per rack.
That's only 24 CPUs per rack (or for a 42U rack it's like
1.75U per CPU). That's like a 4U to hold a dual CPU
node (welcome to the good-old days!). Yes, I know this is
the only way to get dual G5's right now, but wow (hey look
around this website. There's a seminar in the UK on 23 Sept.
to discuss the G5 Xserve). So, for 1,100 G5 nodes, it will
take at least 92 racks!
I hope they have the floor space, power, and AC ready. Cool
fans on the top of the racks though. Hey! If you poke around
the website, you'll find some notes from the VT presentation.
Here are some comments about the facilities:

    * 3 MW power, double redundant with backups - UPS and diesel
          o 1.5 MW reserved for the TCF
    * 2+ million BTUs of cooling capacity using Liebert's extremedensity
      cooling (rack mounted cooling via liquid refrigerant)
          o traditional methods [fans] would have produced windspeeds of
            60+ MPH

    * Racks were custom designed for this system

Yep, inexpensive, _custom_ racks (as much an oxymoron
as military intelligence as I've heard). If they charge $1000
a rack (pretty cheap IMHO), then there's almost $1 million
for the racks out of a stated $5 million. OK, should we have
a pool or a poll on who's bankrolling this thing?


P.S. Andrew - thanks for the link.

Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at
To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit

More information about the Beowulf mailing list