[Beowulf] Re: GPU boards and cluster servers

Jonathan Dursi ljdursi at gmail.com
Wed Sep 10 18:42:02 PDT 2008

2008/9/10 Jon Forrest <jlforrest at berkeley.edu>:
> 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.

So I agree with you about nvidia & CUDA -- there's a huge programming
toolset and lots of example code for the CUDA environment, so in terms
of getting your feet wet, and getting up and running quickly, that's
almost certainly the way to go, even if OpenCL is going to come in and
take over down the road.

Any of the GeForce cards listed at
http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_learn_products.html will do; they'll
be single precision, but for testing purposes in many situations
that'll be fine.   They have different specs, but for the purposes of
learning some CUDA, just get the beefiest one you can find for under
$(line at which you start to need permission) from your favourite
reseller.  For many PDE-solving type applications, getting factors of
10x over the CPU is fairly straightforward, and then you really have
to start thinking -- but the payoffs for some problems can be well
worth it.

If you haven't found it already, gpgpu and the forumns there can be
useful sources of info.

Jonathan Dursi
ljdursi at gmail.com

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