[Beowulf] Which is better: 32x2 or 64x1

Bill Broadley bill at cse.ucdavis.edu
Thu Apr 27 16:18:37 PDT 2006

On Wed, Apr 26, 2006 at 11:04:52AM -0500, hpc at gurban.org wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm going to build a beowulf linux cluster for my
> coledge. Thay want 64 core cluster with Opteron
> processors.
> Now I want to know which is better (performance & price)?
>   * 64 x Opteron Single Core

Twice the memory bandwidth.  Great if you are memory bandwidth limited.

>   * 32 x Opteron Dual Core

Cheaper, no slower if you are CPU or cache limited.

Ideally you would take the codes that justify spending the money and
benchmark it on a single core vs dual core node and establish some kind
of price/performance metric.

If you pay for power, cooling, or rack space you might want to include
that in your calculation.  The dual core will take 1/2 the space, and
somewhat less power.

Bill Broadley
Computational Science and Engineering
UC Davis

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