slow CPU vs. number of CPU's - whats the limit?

Discussion in 'Distributed Computing' started by Selecter, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. Selecter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    West Virginia
    #1
    Hi yall.

    Been looking thru the ebay listings in search some something I could build with little money for a folding farm. I see stuff like Dual Pentium Pro's for giveaway basically. Could such a thing be used, say, in a 16 board (24cpu) farm to effect, or would just be too slow to have much effect? I could build a pretty massive farm for almost nothing -

    Whats the tipping point for CPU numbers vs. speed of completed WU? Would I be able to stay under the deadlines? Is there a widely used Mhz number to stay above? Is a dual 200Mhz PPro w 1MB cache worth trying in a farm setup or just a waste of time?

    I would be willing to build it if it was of use. it would be fun to make some old junk useful again.

    Also, I'm not stuck on a PPro system, some dual AMD stuff is very cheap also. I'm looking for maximum bang for the buck power to use in a farm for folding, nothing else.
     
  2. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Location:
    west of Philly
    #2
    Think about your power bill

    I think what you'll end up finding is that it's going to take stacks of Pentium Pro level CPUs to compete against a single modern CPU and it will probably cost you the same to buy a stack of old machines vs. a single new machine. Also when(if) you get all those old machines up and running, you're going to notice your power bill go through the roof. Just a little math based on my power bill, say that old machine uses 200 watts/hour (typical for a machine of that day) and you leave it on for 24x7, your looking at ~$12 a month extra for your power bill. Your mileage may vary based on your cost/KWH.

    That does not include having a monitor hooked to it or the extra cost of your air conditioner trying to keep your place cool with a folding farm running. Multiply that by the number of old machines you're running and those machines that were basically given away becomes a lot more expensive.

    My suggestion would be to find something in the 1 or 2 year old range or put together a cheap Athlon XP box. You can probably put a stripped down one together that would run folding faster than any half dozen Pentium Pro machines for about $300.

    Regards
     
  3. Selecter thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    West Virginia
    #3
    Ok thanks, I'll shift my focus to the AMD MP athlon area. MP13~1500's are going pretty darn cheap as well.
     
  4. Plutronics macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Location:
    Illinois
  5. ltgator333 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Albion, MI
    #5
    yeah..

    you could also maybe if your stuck on the clustering idea maybe make a couple cheap single proc AMD's and do it with that.. maybe use XP 1800+ with a built in ethernet controller perhaps, check zipzoomfly.com they got all kindsa AMD boards.
    Can anyone tell me what OSes on what processor types you can do folding on? I have FreeBSD on a dual AMD, is that any good for that?

    PS-
    I can run Linux binaries as well, as long as there not too exotic
     
  6. Selecter thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    West Virginia
    #6
    I am now zeroing in on the new AMD Duron 1.6/1.8 Ghz. Seems like a hell of a cheap folding farm chip. I can get them new on ebay witha DDR MB with warranty for about 60 bucks each. :D I think thats the cheapest new chip with speed money can buy. If you go older of course you get cheaper, not really by much it seems.

    5 or 6 of those in a blade config would crunch. They have the same FPU as the Athlon IIRC.

    I am still hung up on dual's but dual's command a big price premium all up and down speed range. You can get 3 single cpu's/boards for the price of 1 dualboard with no cpu's, unless you go down to MP1200's...... still looking.....
     
  7. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2001
    Location:
    1 Block away from NYC.
    #7
    Also just to tell you... you will still get POINTS if the work is submitted after the deadline... but the bad part is they don't use those work units... so you 'for sure' want a system that passes under deadline.
     
  8. Selecter thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Location:
    West Virginia
    #8
    Ok, 10-4. This is going to be fun. :D

    gator: DL the linux client and see if it works? Should not be too hard to get it going. I believe I'll be going *nix myself, I dont see myself using winders.
     

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