the mac mini

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by andych, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. andych macrumors member

    andych

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    #1
    excuse my total ignorance on this matter but can the mini be linked to another mac,as to use both processors together,meaning twice the power..?
     
  2. iBrow macrumors regular

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    Mar 31, 2006
    Location:
    England
  3. CoMpX macrumors 65816

    CoMpX

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #3
    No it can't. Lol, that would be sweet! I would just have like 10 minis stacked on top of each other and have a compact supercomputer at my fingertips.
     
  4. ebow macrumors 6502a

    ebow

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2001
    Location:
    Trapped in a world before later on
    #4
    Xgrid?

    What about Xgrid? I only glanced over its capabilities, but it seems like it might allow andych to do exactly what he's asking about.
     
  5. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
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    CA
    #5
    Wow, that is an awesome idea! Is there anything like that out there?
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    I think XGrid requires you to run OS X Server on one of the computers that controls / hosts the grid. But I could be wrong. I'm also not sure what kinds of programs are capable of giving work over to the grid... I don't think it's quite like you turn XGrid on, and your stack of Minis is exactly like sitting in front of a super-über-fast computer. Like most app processing tasks won't get sent out over the grid at all, unless you distribute them to the grid explicitly, AFAIK....
     
  7. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    #7
    Yes, there is a way but not for the Mac mini. The job needs an open PCI slot for an Infiniband switch. Here is some info about the hardware. However, I don't think you're considering paying many thousand of dollars to do the job. It's what System X uses, though. Pretty neat architecture for the node computing.

    If there was a way to do this, at a reasonable cost, with the Mac mini, I would go nuts. A shelf of Core Duo minis would be SUPERcool.
     
  8. ebow macrumors 6502a

    ebow

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    #8
    Oops--that's the clincher right there. Never mind on Xgrid, then. :p
     
  9. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    #9
    No, I don't think it's possible.

    Kinda like saying the PowerMac G5 2.5GHz Quad is 1THz.

    Woah THz.. sweet... :D
     
  10. ebow macrumors 6502a

    ebow

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    Apr 30, 2001
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    #10
    :) Sorry, that would only be 10 GHz. Still sweet, but no THz.

    Mmm... terahertz...
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #11
    Well, the situation with a multiprocessor or multicore computer is slightly better, because there is no huge overhead hit with farming a task out to another cell in the grid, since the processor is already there. A multi-processor Mac will be fairly good at distributing tasks among processors and threads within multi-threaded tasks among processors / cores so that it can use a lot of the raw cumulative processor speed it has....

    The big limitation would be when you are doing a single task / process which is intensive and is not multi-threaded. Then, the best you can really do with it is to give it the single fastest core or processor, with the most memory available, in the grid or computer. But since it cannot be split up, it will not run much faster than it would on a computer by itself that had only that one processor.

    I think the traditional estimate is that a dual processor computer runs at about 170% the original speed? So a 2.5GHz Quad might be comparable, in terms of CPU power (but not graphics, etc, since it doesn't have four of each subsystem) to a computer running at... ~7 GHz? Something like that?

    But with a farm / grid setup, I think it'll be worse than this, in the sense that basic tasks will not be split up (even operating system processes can be directed to one core or another, but they are not going to get farmed out to another cell)....

    I think, though, if what one wanted was to run a grid of computers on which to do animation rendering or something of the like, that XGrid and a set of Mac Minis would work just splendidly. If you stack them up, though, don't let them overheat! :eek:
     

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