Silent cluster project.

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Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: Poland

Silent cluster project.

Post by prodeous » Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:08 am

Want to build a small cluster (all fitting in a standard case). My current case is just around 19cm wide.

main board will be ... well not sure yet which one.

Generaly speeking rendering cluster is my concern, so keep that in mind.

Generaly speeking Core2Duo has overall best performace/watt ratio.

So for nodes it seems to bring up the best capacity.


Showing that an E4300 is about 21,02W, were as BE-2350 is 29,57W. And generaly speeking rendering will be faster on E4300. (not accouting overclocking) but then we don't have a direct performace guage since OC'ing alters power requirements not tested here.

Additionally, a system is as good as all their parts, and hence the problem.

Generaly AMD has the advantage of memory controler being build in, as i can get the cheapset motherboards and almost no performance loss.

Intell on the other hand has that issue.

And since i want this project to fit into a standard case i ended up with the following board.

ASUS P5VD2-MX SE - P4M890 - can't confirm if its dual or single channel. but fits the bill in the size department at 18.3cm

there is still a

ASUS P5PE-VM - i865G - is about 19.3cm. a tad to big, but is dual channel, (will have to check reviews for actual performance and compatibility with core2duo)

Still generaly speeking the first one is perfect for my case.

Since mDTX is no were to be seen in Poland, the first above board ASUS P5PE-VM seems to be the board to get.

Problem is that it contains single memory controler, based on the scares information i can get. I simply can not find any decent review of this board compared to dual channel board.

And hence my problem.

I need to find a review showing me performance loss between dual and single channel controler with regards to rendering output.

Will it be worth to sacrifice dual channel and go with single channel?

I guess this question also applies to AMD systems.

So if you recall any benchmarks for AMD and Intel with regards to single vs dual channel. This is for the new platforms, so S939 is out, etc.

Now above all of this i'm basing this project on my old case. I guess the simplest option is to upsize it to a wider case. Something more then 19cm preferably in the 22+cm range. Any recomendations with that regards.

But getting back to main issue dual vs single mem. Since i want to get each node as cheap as possible, looking into the dual vs single performance is of importance to me, so if you seen a review i'd appricate it.

And finaly i hope that you can read through this post and understand what i'm going for. ;)

Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: Poland

Post by prodeous » Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:56 am

now to add more spice to the project, and hopefully some help with dual channel/single channel question.

Generaly each node (CPU/MEM/MB) will run of a picopsu connected to a seasonic 550W 80+ 12v rail. :) And cooling will be passive (i hope) for each node.

Generaly i want to fit 3 or 4 nodes in one box.

And one master node.

Each nodes motherboard will have everything disabled, everythign except network card. So power consumption should be low for each node, current estimates based on the information provided in link above gives me:

on 12 vold rail (not the fake 4 x 12v rail, but as a single rail):
1 node 50-60w range.
3 nodes 150-180w
4 nodes 200-240w

That leaves plenty 12v power in a Seasonic 550w 80+ power supply for the main node. i estmate around 150 w accross all rails (3.3 5 and 12v)

Main node will have 4 gb dual channel probably running 690G chipset from the power perspective, but the nividia 6100 is also close.

And main video card powered only via PCIe slot, so probably 8600 or atis 2600 depends on performance. Or splearge on something a tad more hungry.

So that is why i'm asking about single vs dual channel. If the performace of each node drops significantly via single channel then i need to first of all look at a different candidate on the intell side, or worse wait and wait for mDTX form factors.

Was considering overclocking each node, a tad, but again not sure if the passive cooling system (mainly heatpipes routing cpu heat to the outside of a case where i plan to create a "zelman" like side cooler to which all nodes connect. And possibly 1 or 2 12cm or bigger fans undevolted.

Crazy idea, no?

Posts: 90
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: Poland

Post by prodeous » Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:22 pm

OK, i see not much intrest in this project. No worries, that was expected.

Generaly i would like to just find a good motherboard.

AM2 Requirements.

matx under 224 x 220
option to disable everything including onboard vid to reduce power to just CPU/MEM/NIC.
edit :: gigabit nic for netbooting.

edit :: i so hope that the mDTX boards will be availabe. Gigabyte mdtx will not be available in Poland :(

I would appriciate help in this.

As for an update.

Experiment with running a system (VIA K8T800 with AM2 X2 3600+) with a picoPSU connected to regular PSU 12v line was 75% successfull. Since pico didn't have P412v plug, i used the PSU cable. so motherboard didnt run 100% off pico and my voltmeter needs a fresh 9v battery to measure actual current/voltage when system is running.

Initial bios shows no drop in voltage, but then again BIOS system isn't exactly stressed :)

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