[Beowulf] getting a phi, dammit.

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Wed Feb 27 13:01:06 PST 2013


thanks for all the replies.  so far, the impression I get is:

- Intel isn't interested in resellers, only a few OEMs.
- even OEMs are not really on top of things.
- there many claims of Phi being quite picky about PCIe and BIOS.
- OEMS generally want to sell you a $5k server with that $3k Phi.
- some OEMs offer surprisingly dense solutions (not necessarily
   a good thing...)

I find the PCIe/BIOS stuff quite dubious, though I suppose Phi is still
elatively immature.  maybe the next version will be the one that will be
generally applicable.  I suspect by contrast that I can buy a K20 card
and drop it into most any gen1/2/3 PCIe x16 slot and it'll work (assuming
I provide the right power and cooling, of course.)

all this seems rather surprising to me.  I know HPC isn't the center 
of the universe, but to me it looks like Intel is executing Phi poorly.
NVidia has a huge headstart, and frankly, AMD's HSA stuff seems a lot 
more coherent and thought out (though obviously still vapor-phase.)



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