Not a PPC person

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MilesPrower1992, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. MilesPrower1992 macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2018
    I'm not really a PowerPc person but does anyone know if i can set up a cluster computer with both x86-Windows and/or x86-Linux nodes and a PowerPC Linux node? I only ask because my friend has some PowerPC machines.
  2. miksat macrumors member


    Jan 27, 2018
    Republic of Serbia
    You're in the wrong forum, this forum is about PowerPC Macs. And you can't run x86 software on PowerPC machines.
  3. MilesPrower1992 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2018
    Ok, can you tell me which forum I should be in? And I meant, run PPC software on PPC machines, but have it run alongside x86 software on x86 machines, in a cluster computer.
  4. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    You're actually in the right place.

    It's just not common to run Linux on PowerPC Macs.

    I can only state that it's possible but I've never done that myself. There are problems with drivers and getting things to function though.

    So, your first hurdle would be getting the right version of Linux installed and then working properly. There are some here who can help with that as they have done it.

    That said, you may just have to accept that some things won't work no matter what you do.

    No idea if after that, what you want to do will work or not.
  5. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
  6. bobesch macrumors 65816


    Oct 21, 2015
    Kiel, Germany
    Oh, that seems to be a good project for the time after retiring: building a Super-Cluster with all collected PPC-Macs ...
    Might also replace our heating system during cold winter evenings ...
    "Elektrizität in jedem Gerät"
  7. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Even if you could set this up, the extra computing power you’d get wouldn’t be worth the electricity bill.

    I don’t mean to be blunt as I understand it’s hard to see unused computers go to waste when you feel they could be doing something. But honestly in this case it wouldn’t be worth the time or effort.
  8. AphoticD macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2017
    PowerPC machines can definitely run Linux and join in distributed computing as a node. I’ve used distcc / crossdev tools to distribute compiling of gcc builds across different architectures in a cluster (ppc + x86_64). The typical use case of this is to get my Mac Pro to do the grunt work for my ppc Macs though, not the other way around.

    If you're looking for pure processing power, the PowerPC Macs will lag behind massively and may not even have anything to contribute to an existing multi-core, multi-threaded cluster's processing capability. Where a single Intel system could fire off 16 threads (or more) at 4Ghz+, even the mightiest Quad G5 is limited to 4 threads (1 thread per core) at 2.5Ghz and an energy draw of something like 300 watts/hour or more. Then there are architectural constraints, from memory and bus speeds and SATA throughput, all of which are massively bottlenecked compared to a modern system.

    The answer is "Yes, you can. But is it worth the energy consumption?" If you were mining bitcoins with a bunch of G5, then you'd hope to have a massive (pre-installed) solar panel grid just to sustain the cost of running compared to modern GPU based parallel computing clusters.
  9. pl1984 macrumors 68020

    Oct 31, 2017
    Sometimes the reason for doing something is purely for the fun of doing it and / or a learning experience. If practicality were the requirement then this forum would disappear as I can't think of a think a PPC system can do that an older, low cost, Intel based Mac couldn't do faster.

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8 February 17, 2018