[Beowulf] Re: GPU boards and cluster servers

Geoff Jacobs gdjacobs at gmail.com
Thu Sep 11 00:20:21 PDT 2008

Jon Forrest wrote:
> Greg Lindahl wrote:
>> Well, then, why don't you run it on a low-end card that you already
>> have (finite/free = infinity)? If you aren't going to bother to
>> constrain the problem, you're going to get bogus answers.
> Easy. Because I don't already have a low-end card.
> What I'm going to try to do is to be able to show
> the faculty and grad students around here how
> easy it is to get a significant performance improvement
> by using CUDA as compared to using their normal
> i386 or x86_64 processors. The actual performance
> improvement isn't that important because even if it's
> just a 2X improvement it will be easy to justify.
> I'm expecting it to be a lot more because much
> of what goes on around here has already been ported
> and summarized on the CUDA web site with >=10X improvements.
> Then, once I've hooked the faculty I'll get them to buy
> a high-end card to get maximum performance.

Well, since you're starting from zero, you can start with either an AMD
card, such as the 4850, or an NVidia card, such as one of the 9800
series. The 4850 does DP while the NVidia has a slightly more mature
tool set. Take your pick for less than $200 either way.

Heck, you can purchase an AMD 4670 or NVidia 9500GT (both provisos the
same). Neither has the same level of performance, but either one can be
had for <$100, so you can afford to purchase both and do some experiments.

If you need DP, the cheapest NVidia card is the GT260 at ~$270.

Geoffrey D. Jacobs

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