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Good Platform For Cluster Pc's?


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#1 Viper

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 09:09 PM

What is a computer deal right now or server deal for like 5-10 pc's for folding@home? Of course I'd love to get a quad core G5 or an intel itanium computer, but I want the best bang fro the buck.
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#2 boltsniper

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 10:29 PM

You must have money to burn man....
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#3 Enigma1313

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 11:16 PM

Uhh...just outta curiousity...whats "Folding@home"?
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#4 The Infinite Shindig

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 12:06 AM

Uhh...just outta curiousity...whats "Folding@home"?

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Read the forum's sticky!
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#5 baelnorn

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 09:04 PM

I did some research about diskless nodes about 2 months ago. I was not going to use them for F@H, but for textual data processing, but they will work well for F@H. The idea behind them is that you have essentially just mobo's and CPU's sitting behind a main server that gives them all assignments, in this case work units. The server is just any box with a fast ethernet port. You have the nodes boot off of the lan, with the server set up to network boot each one to a barebones linux system running F@H. When they complete they send the unit to the server which sends it to the F@H servers.

Here is what I was I had as a diskless node's hardware(Prices as of 2 months ago, newegg.com)
Athlon XP 2600+ 79.99
Asus A7V600-X 58.00
Zonet Zen3300E 10/100/1000 12.50
Wintec Ampo DDR400 512mb 39.99
Spire 5F271B1L3 9.99

Total: 200.47

I think that diskless nodes might be your cheapest option, and there may be a new deal on newegg for a better proccessor, I haven't checked lately.

Hope this helps,

Baelnorn
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#6 cxwq

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 02:06 AM

Thanks for posting what I fully intended to post a couple days ago. That's the way I would go as well.

Basically the project falls within the ideal specs for a 'compute node' farm where each PC has limited-to-zero storage, memory, graphics, etc but as fast a CPU as is cost-effective. This is exactly what Google did when they were serving millions of searches per day on a near zero budget as a Stanford grad project way back in the day. Of course they threw the Google File System into the mix, but therein lies the genius.

I like baelnorn's specs overall. In general, weigh the cost of the entire system against the performance of the CPU. Get yesterday's RAM, the lowest-cost mobo you can find from a reputable manufacturer, onboard everything, and the fast proc that mobo will support.

It will also work well as a render farm if you're into video processing.
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