ServerWorks chipset

Josip Loncaric josip at
Wed Sep 20 08:15:30 PDT 2000

Alan Scheinine wrote:
> The ServerWorks chipsets LE and HE are now appearing on
> retail motherboards.  I need to buy some more nodes for a cluster
> of Pentium-based PCs and I would like to know the experience of
> other people with regard to Linux and Myrinet with motherboards
> based on this chipset.

Our first systems based on Supermicro 370DLE just showed up.  We are
just starting to test them, but it appears that things are working as
expected.  We'll be using Giganet cLAN.  Similar to Myrinet, Giganet
cLAN also exceeds the 32-bit PCI bus bandwidth, so we liked the 64-bit
PCI slots on 370DLE (which uses Serverworks III LE chipset).

We'll probably find some quirks along the way, but so far things seem to
be working.  Keep in mind that fast CPUs can draw very high amperage (up
to ~21A for a P3/1GHz) at low voltage (~1.7V), so you will need a
capable power supply.  Look for high amperage rating at the 5V power
supply line.

> The ServerWorks "Server Set" seems to be the chipset that Intel
> should have been making since the start of this year (if it were
> not for the contractual commitment to RAMbus).  Since I have
> purchase Myrinet, the 64-bit 66 MHz PIC bus mastering slots
> are very attractive.

My feelings exactly.

P.S.  The high-end "HE" chipset can support interleaved memory; this
should improve the performance of memory-bandwidth limited
applications.  The less expensive "LE" chipset does not do that, but
still we get about 488 MB/s (STREAM Triad) using PC133 ECC memory.  As
expected, this is about 1/3 faster than the PC100 ECC memory in our
other machines using Intel's old 440BX chipset.  On our new Supermicro
370DLE motherboards, the PIII/800EB processors peak at 636 Mflop/s
(ATLAS, double precision MATMUL), so we'll probably be getting about 100
Mflop/s on real CFD applications.  BTW, the peak performance is about
7.5% faster than I expected on the basis of clock speed alone,
presumably thanks to full speed cache on these "Coppermine" chips.
Dr. Josip Loncaric, Senior Staff Scientist        mailto:josip at
ICASE, Mail Stop 132C           PGP key at
NASA Langley Research Center             mailto:j.loncaric at
Hampton, VA 23681-2199, USA    Tel. +1 757 864-2192  Fax +1 757 864-6134

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