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Number crunching machine on a small budget?

  1. Jun 17, 2010 #1
    I'm looking for as much computational power as possible for maybe 2-3 grand.

    This looks like a nice setup fit to the purpose, but I thought it would be good to ask and see what other people know or have been doing. (fyi I'm not really a hardware guy myself)

    Glad for any input!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 18, 2010 #2
    You should take a look at this set-up. It is a fairly cheap way of handling "number crunching" type situations without spending too much money. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.12/beowulf.html" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Jun 20, 2010 #3
    3 grand will get you a lot of compute power. AMD's new 6 core chips can be had for $200 (it's called the 1055t, I think?), throw one of those on a $100 motherboard with 4GB of RAM (also about $100) for each node with the standard power supply/case/networking/storage stuff and you'll have a pretty good setup. A system using hex core chips should be cheaper and more efficient than one consisting of many dual core machines since there's much less duplication of hardware.
  5. Jun 21, 2010 #4
    I've actually got the new Hex core and I am pretty happy with it.
  6. Jun 22, 2010 #5
    I wouldn't use a 1050t or 1090t for number crunching when you got 2-3 grand to spend. Right now the best flop for the buck is the new g34 chipset from AMD. Nothing else is really going to come close unless you get a good deal some used stuff.

    I start with a good dual socket G34 mobo;

    with two of these;

    Then buy a good PSU, some TB drives, and then spend the rest on some 1333 DIMMs.
  7. Jun 22, 2010 #6
    Thanks everybody for the input! I didn't even know they made 8-core chips. :p

    So far this is what I'm planning to order, which hopefully accounts for everything:

    Component: ASUS KGPE-D16 Dual Socket G34 AMD SR5690 SSI EEB 3.61 Dual 8/12 Core AMD Opteron 6000 series Server Motherboard
    Price: 439.99 + 10.18
    Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131643

    Component: AMD Opteron 6128 Magny-Cours 2.0GHz 8 x 512KB L2 Cache 12MB L3 Cache Socket G34 115W 8-Core Server Processor
    Price: 305.99 (x2)
    Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819105266&cm_re=magny-_-19-105-266-_-Product

    Component: Chenbro Case RM21706 (RM21706T-T) 2U DP with, 6 x Hotswap HDDs, SAS/SATA BP, Zippy Power Supply 510W (PS-P2G-6510P-T), Ideal For General Purpose Server - OEM
    Price: 314.99
    Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...123142&cm_re=zippy_psu-_-11-123-142-_-Product

    Component: Dynatron A5 60mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
    Price: 33.99+2.99 (x2)
    Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...cm_re=amd_g34_heatsink-_-35-114-112-_-Product

    Component: Athena Power CA-SWH01BH8 Black Steel Pedestal Server Case 2 External 5.25" Drive Bays
    Price: 269.99 + 27.91
    Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811192058

    Component: ASUS DVD-E818A6T/BLK/B/G Black 18X SATA DVD-ROM Drive - Bulk
    Price: 16.99 +6.98
    Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...135202&cm_re=dvd_drive-_-27-135-202-_-Product

    Component: TRENDnet TEG-PCITXR 10/ 100/ 1000/ 2000Mbps PCI Copper Gigabit Network Adapter 1 x RJ45
    Price: 13.99 + 2.99
    Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...139&cm_re=network_card-_-33-156-139-_-Product

    Component: ASUS EN8400GS Silent/P/512M GeForce 8400 GS 512MB 64-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
    Price: 24.99
    Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121360

    Component: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Price: 59.99 (x2)
    Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...&cm_re=sata_hard_drive-_-22-136-319-_-Product

    Component: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM
    Price: 105.99 (x10)
    Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...3_desktop_memory_model-_-20-231-275-_-Product

    Total: 2994.82
  8. Jun 22, 2010 #7
    Why do you have two cases on your list? Also, the 510watt PSU included in that one case might be a little underpowered. I would recommend something in the 600+watt region which will also give you a bit of room for growing.

    I would get something like this
  9. Jun 23, 2010 #8
    A single 5970 will give you nearly 5 Teraflops on 32-bit float. If you're looking for number crunching this will crunch numbers laughably faster than anything else that has been proposed, and at a fraction of the price.

    It does require knowledge in GPU programming paradigms. That's knowledge you will want to pick up sooner or later in any case.
  10. Jun 23, 2010 #9
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  11. Jun 23, 2010 #10
    Oh, yes, that was a mistake! Thank you!

    Well, let's say GPU programming is on my to do list, but it may be a while before I get to it. However, that is some pretty impressive output from the 5970. Maybe it would be worth getting one upfront as a bit of hovering encouragement to learn CUDA. :p

    I'll be doing that when necessary, this will just makes it necessary a little less, and there's quite a few advantages besides $/FLOP to having a machine on hand. It's also one of those things where you have a budget to buy some hardware, so hardware is what you buy!
  12. Jun 23, 2010 #11
    Bear in mind that for CUDA you'd need an Nvidia graphics card (unlike the 5970 which is an ATI/AMD one, though there's always open CL, whih might be the better option for the future).
  13. Jun 24, 2010 #12
    GPUs do give you a lot of power for the money but sometimes the PCI-E pipeline can significantly bottleneck computation time if using of card memory. So while the cost of the card(s) may be cheap, the cost of the mobo may not be.
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