Xeon vs MIPS

Andreas Boklund andreas at amy.udd.htu.se
Tue Jan 9 08:15:24 PST 2001


When i read your mail i got curious over why you would want 
to add 2* 8-processor machines to your cluster. 

Sure the XEON processors are nice (we have a 4*PIII 550 xeon and
thanx to the cash it sometimes beat the main node of my cluster,
a dell 220 which has 2*PIII 866mhz on single runs and with other 
programs it doesnt give me any speed increase over a single 
PIII 550. Be sure to check the impact of the cash on your 

I made a fast comparition of some "virgin" computers from Dell:

1* DELL 8450 with 8*PIII XEON 700mhz and 4gig ram costs 500 000 SEK +taxes

1* DELL 6400 with 4*PIII XEON 700mhz and 2gig ram costs 200 000 SEK +taxes
	2 * DELL 6400 has 8 PIII XEON 700mhz processors
	and costs 400 000 SEK + taxes.

1* DELL 420 with 2*PIII 1000mhz and 256m ram costs 28 000 SEK +taxes
	20 * DELL 420 has 40 PIII 1000mhz processors (133mhz FSB)
	and costs 560 000 SEK + taxes.

It might be that your problem takes a lot of benefit from the large cash
of the Xeon processors, or that it requires a lot of network traffic. If
it doesnt i would definately think that last alternative would be a lot 
more tempting 10*dual PIII 1000mhz would cost around 280 000 SEK + taxes.

I have a cluster wich consists of 10 Dell precision 220's, i have had a 
small problem with the network interfaces but i think it will be fine now 
since i applied the latest drivers(edited jan 1'st)

I hope i didnt waste the skin on my fingers, and that atleast someone
finds this a little interesting :)


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On Tue, 9 Jan 2001, Gilberto Diaz wrote:

> Hello Beowulfers
>     We are trying to increase our computational resources and we are
> interested in a motherboard intel pentium III Xeon (8 processors, 700
> MHz - Model DELL poweredge 8450) to expand our beowulf cluster. We plan
> buy 2 of this motherboards. However, my boss think that a SGI 3100 (4
> processors) could be better choice to run molecular dynamics. We are not
> sure about the price-performance rates because we can not test the Xeon
> architecture. Does anybody have experience with these architectures to
> help us. thanks in advance.
> Regards
> Gilberto Diaz
> --
> Saludos/Best regards         | e-mail: gilberto at cecalc.ula.ve
> Gilberto Diaz (CeCalCULA)    |         gilberto at ciens.ula.ve
> Centro de Calculo Cientifico |
> Universidad de Los Andes     | http://www.cecalc.ula.ve/~gilberto

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