[Beowulf] cpu's versus gpu's - was Intel buys QLogic InfiniBand business

Steve Crusan scrusan at ur.rochester.edu
Mon Jan 23 21:02:26 PST 2012


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On Jan 23, 2012, at 8:44 PM, Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
> 
> 
> It's 500 euro for a 1 teraflop double precision Radeon HD7970...


Great, and nothing runs on it. GPUs are insanely useful for certain tasks, but they aren't going to be able to handle most normal workloads(similar to the BG class of course). Any center that buys BGP (or Q at this point) gear is going to pay for a scientific programmer to adapt their code to take advantage of the BG's strengths; parallelism. 

But It's nice that supercomputing centers use GPUs to boost their flops numbers. Any word on that Chinese system's efficiency? If you look at the architecture of the new K computer in Japan, it's similar to the BlueGene line.

PS: I'm really not an IBMer.



> 
> 
> 
> On Jan 24, 2012, at 2:19 AM, Ellis H. Wilson III wrote:
> 
>> On 01/23/2012 07:40 PM, Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
>>>>> On Jan 24, 2012, at 12:02 AM, Joshua mora acosta wrote:
>>>>> Nanosecond latency of QPI using 2 rings versus something that has a
>>>>> latency up to factor 1000 slower
>>>>> with the pci-e as the slowest delaying factor.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Doing cache coherency over that forget it.
>>>> 
>>>> Hear that Shai F?  Stop work on vSMP now, cause Vincent says it  
>>>> can't
>>>> work!!!
>>>> 
>>>> More seriously, with this acquisition, I could see serious  
>>>> contention
>>>> for ScaleMP.  SoC type stuff, using IB between many nodes, in
>>>> smaller boxen.
>>> 
>>> That would be some BlueGene type machine you speak about that intel
>>> would produce with a low power SoC.
>>> 
>>> This where at this point the bluegene type machines simply can't
>>> compete with the tiny processors
>>> that get produced by the dozens of millions.
>> 
>> For...chess?  ;D
>> 
>>> "The tiny processors have won"
>>>     Linus Thorvalds
>> 
>> *Torvalds, and if Linux (or any well-supported kernel/OS for that
>> matter) currently had data structures designed for extremely high
>> parallelism on a single MoBo (i.e. 100s to 10,000s of cores) then I
>> would agree with this statement.  As I currently see it, all we can
>> really say is that someday, probably, perhaps even hopefully:
>> 
>> "The tiny processors will win."
>> 
>> That's after we work out all the nasty nuances involved with designing
>> new data structures for OSes that can handle that number of cores, and
>> probably design new applications that can use these new OS features.
>> And no, GPU support in Linux doesn't count as this already having been
>> done.  We just farm out very specific code to run on those things.  If
>> somebody has an example of a full-blown, usable OS running on a GPU
>> ALONE, I would stand (very interestingly) corrected.
>> 
>>> Intel has themselves a second law of Moore. You can google for it.
>> 
>> Thanks, for a moment there, I almost used AskJeeves.
>> 
>>> A good example of massproduced processors are gpu's.
>> 
>> Was waiting for the hook.  Inevitable really.  I think if we were
>> discussing the efficacy and quality of resultant bread from various
>> bread machines versus the numerous methods for making bread by hand
>> somehow, someway, a GPU would make better bread.  Might be a wholesome
>> cyber-loaf of artisan wheat, but nonetheless, it would be better in
>> every way.
>> 
>> Best,
>> 
>> ellis
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 ----------------------
 Steve Crusan
 System Administrator
 Center for Research Computing
 University of Rochester
 https://www.crc.rochester.edu/


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