[Beowulf] Selection of Beowulf cluster type

Per Lindstrom klamman.gard at telia.com
Mon Jan 19 12:07:07 EST 2004

Lars Henriksen wrote:

>On Mon, 2004-01-19 at 05:59, Per Lindstrom wrote:
>>Box 1
>>MSI Pro266TD Master-LR2 (MS-9105)  (I can not recommended MSI)
>>2 x CPU Intel Tualatin 1,13 GHz with 512 L2 cashe
>>4 x 512 MB DDR SDRAM PC2100
>>Box 2.
>>Intel model SE7505VB2 ATX PCI, FSB 533MHz
>>2 x CPU Intel 2,8 GHz Xeon with 512kB L2 cache 533FSB
>>2 x 1 GB DDR SDRAM PC2100 Reg ECC
>>The cluster is intended for numerical simulations (FEA) with ABAQUS
>First off: I do not really know ABAQUS, but i assume, that like most FE
>solvers, it is based on a MPI parallelization. By nature it has a
>strictly parallel execution flow. This would probably mean that the
>speed of which the execution takes place (if the problem is indeed CPU
>bound), is dictated by the slowest CPU in the system (beeing the 1,13
>GHz P3) - You might get better performance with running on just the dual
>Xeon. It can also be stated as follows: Does the program execute faster
>with 4 x P3 1,13 GHz than on 2 x 2,8GHz Xeons communicating through
>Though the 4 CPU setup might give better cache utilization... 
>I'm not saying that you shouldn't build a cluster, but i i'm very
>interested in your findings in this case.
>Please correct me if i'm rambling here :-)
>best regards
Tanks for your thoughts Lars, :-)

You are most probably right about that the Xeon machine alone will be 
the fastest solution, I will do some test and let you know the result 
and the problem used.

The main plan with the cluster exercise is, in the first order, to gain 
know how and experience of building, managing and solving FEA (ABAQUS) 
problems on a cluster and/or MPI network.

If everything vent well and it feels comfortable, the next step will be 
to replace the Tualatin machine with an identical  Xeon machine i.e. 
giving a 4 x 2,8 GHz  setup. (i.e. applied cash flow management ;-) )

Best regards
Per Lindström


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