[CentOS] Motherboards for HPC applications

John R Pierce pierce at hogranch.com
Tue Mar 9 04:08:51 UTC 2010


Eduardo Grosclaude wrote:
> Hello,
> Can somebody recommend CentOS-OK, dual socket motherboards for compute
> elements? 


for real numeric stuff (as opposed to things like video processing that 
utilizes sse3), the AMD processors often outperform Intel.  current AMD 
dual socket server processors have SIX cores each, but I dunno who's on 
top of the performance curve this year.  The Intel I7 family, including 
the E5500 server chips, are screamers.   what really counts in large HPC 
clusters is gigaflop/$$$

a number of vendors make 1U chassis designed to hold TWO compact dual 
processor server boards so you can get 2 nodes per U, but if you go this 
route, you really have to watch your cooling and power (50 or 60 of 
these in a rack means you'll have a REALLY high power/thermal load per 
rack).  An example such board is 
http://www.intel.com/products/server/motherboards/S5500HV/S5500HV-overview.htm
with the Intel E55xx series, you want to populate your memory 6 dimms at 
a time (assuming two CPUs), using 2gb or 4gb dimms, for max performance 
(each processor has 3 memory channels)

for a high performance compute cluster, you'll probably want to use 
management software like Oscar, which integrates system management with 
MPI based distributed computing such that you can manage a cluster of 
100s of servers like its a single big system




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