Powermac G5 Cluster

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by PDBM, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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  2. rjcalifornia macrumors 6502a

    rjcalifornia

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    #3
    well, the Powermac G5 was the peak of computing at the time. Nevertheless, if you are running that, you are probably not running OSX, may be some strange custom Linux flavor.

    Did you watch the entire video? Some pretty awesome specs!

    Also, I was considering using a PowerMac G5, install linux server for a software we're developing... We only need text mode as OS, so the G5 would handle it like a piece of cake ;)
     
  3. Swampus, Jul 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013

    Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #4
    In its day, Virginia Tech's G5 cluster was the 3rd most powerful supercomputer in the world.

    But it didn't run Snow Leopard. ;)
     
  4. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    #5
    Whoa, I'm thinking of getting a Dual core 2.3 G5 so it can share CPUs with my Quad, would it work?
     
  5. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #6
    I don't know much about clusters, but I know that they've been done with PowerPCs since System 8.something. Maybe earlier.

    Pooch works with PowerPC, Intel, or mixed clusters of PowerPC and Intel Macs: http://daugerresearch.com/pooch/download.shtml

    (The free download will work with up to four nodes)

    For more fun:
    http://exodus.physics.ucla.edu/appleseed/appleseed.html
     
  6. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #7
    Really, though, if a G5 Quad isn't enough for you, you might just need a more modern computer. I can certainly understand, even applaud, someone wanting to experiment with clusters as proof of concept or, heck, just for the fun of it. But if you're thinking about clustering G5s in order to meet your daily computing needs, that's just a waste of electricity in today's world.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not knocking PowerPC. I still enjoy my dual CPU G4 for most things that people use computers for, but my Intel Mac does the heavy lifting--Albeit with less personality--But certainly much less electricity than clustering my three G4s and G5 together.

    If your daily needs are beyond what a G5 Quad can deliver, then it might be time to get something with more horsepower, not less. Purchasing a dual core 2.3GHz G5 for the purpose of adding horsepower to your Quad is, IMHO, a step in the wrong direction regardless of the efficacy in doing so.
     
  7. Andropov macrumors regular

    Andropov

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    #8
    1100 PowerMacs G5 and they have 10.5 teraflops of procession power. A single Mac Pro has 7 teraflops of GPU processiong power. I wonder if it's still worthed to pay the electricity for 1100 G5s. Or why they didn't use G5 Xserves instead.

    I thought in doing the same for a while, but I can't use more than 3300W of electricity simultaneously and that's only three Quads or 5 Duals. However, if you have "free" electricity (for example, if you have a solar panel at home), the G5s are still a surprisingly cheap way of getting a lot of processing power for non-GPU computer tasks. But at this point, high performance computing is moving to GPUs, which are far more powerful than standard processors for some kind of things.

    There are a few Xgrid compatible programs that are easy to use. If they're also Universal Binary, you can use BOTH your Intel Mac and PowerPC. For example, VisualHub can use Xgrid for video conversion.
     
  8. PDBM thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    like I said thought what would you use all this for? 1 big ass server? Also wouldn't you be limited to software coded for powerpc?
     
  9. Andropov macrumors regular

    Andropov

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    #10
    The cluster of the video is used for scientific purposes doing highly parallelizable tasks that need a lot of computational power.

    At home, you can use it for video conversion, rendering...etc.
     
  10. ihuman:D, Jul 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013

    ihuman:D macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    You do know that most modern high-end GPUs have more Teraflops than CPUs?
    A nVidia GeForce GTX 280 can be up to 14 times faster than an i7 960.
     
  11. Andropov macrumors regular

    Andropov

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    #12
    Yes, I know. ;)

    Unfortunately not all the tasks are eligible for GPU processing.
     
  12. Jake0604 macrumors regular

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    #13
    If you want to do this yourself I think you need to use XGrid in Leopard Server.
     
  13. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #14
    They did the following year. The original cluster was built before the G5 Xserve came to market.

    http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/Virginia_Tech_Xserve_G5_Cluster_Hits_12.25_Teraflops
     
  14. Lil Chillbil macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

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    #15
    This settles it, every month from now on when I get paid I am going to buy 1 g5 quad and in 12 months I am going to link them all up together in a small room to finally be able to say that my company can do 4k video editing for people. It will basically be a hobby to use up some of my disposable income I have from living at my parents house and having a full time job (rocks to be a minor :p)


    now if someone could point me to

    A. a version of linux that supports cluster g5s

    b. a video editor for said linux
     
  15. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    #16
    You could link them with Pooch http://daugerresearch.com/pooch/whatis.shtmlin OS X.
     
  16. Andropov macrumors regular

    Andropov

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    #17
    Xgrid is also a valid option for some tasks, although is now "dead" on Mountain Lion. And, above of all, the speedometer with 0 to 8 Ghz labels is cool :p

    PS: Make sure your electrical installation can hold all the G5s of the cluster.
     
  17. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

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    #18
    I don't think that they are using Linux. I believe that they are using XGrid in OS X.

    I actually did have a sort of cluster running in my home. It isn't good for basic application use. Andropov was very correct in noting that it only supported tasks run in parallel - you can't calculate the Fibonacci sequence any faster with this because one number is directly related to the numbers around it, so you need to do it in order. Some things that clusters are good it are video and rendering tasks. This transcoding application the ability to use a cluster, so I will soon be replacing handbrake with this.

    Rendering apps like Blender also often have cluster features built in.
     
  18. Andropov macrumors regular

    Andropov

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    #19
    MacResearch makes some good tutorials about Xgrid for new users. Although Xgrid isn't supported anymore by Apple, it's interesting to read them. It also teaches some basics of parallel computing.

    It would also be interesting to know which Apple computer from 1976 to 2013 offers higher computational power per initial price and per watt (the last category will include probably only the latest intel machines). When I calculated that, I found that the cheapest way to make a powerful "network" is to buy a single new Mac, but it may have changed.
     
  19. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #20
    Absolutely. You also mention solar upthread. That's when you start to really become mindful of what you can do per watt. My i7 MBP offers so much for so little. It runs 100% on solar power. It has a single 160 watt panel that's dedicated to a homemade MBP charging station. Its built in battery offers enough of a buffer that it can take over 100% if there is sudden cloud cover. This alone amazes me until I remember that it's a laptop and it's supposed to work on its own stored power. It also has a small external battery bank to collect the surplus electrical harvest each day. When needed, it will get me through nearly a week of heavy cloud cover.

    That's the problem with putting solar to a G5, though. I can't imagine ever doing it. Even if you ran it only during the day, you'd still need a battery bank as a buffer. You'd need to attenuate for the minute to minute fluctuations in the power requirements of the computer, depending on what you're doing, and also for changing output of your panels, which, even on a sunny day, will change as the angle of the sun changes. Even the best system will only get peak for a couple of hours. Running a computer from solar is different from, say, a washing machine which might become a little faster or slower as conditions change. A computer needs a robust stable supply. The only way I know to accommodate this is with a battery bank acting as a buffer between the charge controller and the inverter. Batteries don't last forever, so the electricity then becomes somewhat less than free. I'd guess that you'd need at least a $500 battery bank to run a G5, more depending on how long into the night that you want to run it. Good quality batteries can be expected to last for five years. So now we're talking $100 per year minimum in batteries alone.
     
  20. Jake0604, Jul 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013

    Jake0604 macrumors regular

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    #21
    This thread made me want to try this my self so I kinda did this.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #22
    Awesome! Have you run anything on it yet?

    Andropov was right about the cool speedometer!
     
  22. Lil Chillbil macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

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    #23
    So I worked something out with a old tech school here in Cali, where I can buy 15 quads that have been well kept. all single pump, and make payments on them. Now all I need is the following


    tons of 2 gig ddr2 sticks (going to ebay)

    16 7800 gtx cards (damn are these things expensive)

    2 of those racks they used for the super computers (anyone know of where to buy these or would I have to build my own in the garage)

    4 single room a/c units


    Tons of network cable and network cards

    like 8 solar panels to mount on the roof of the house to assist in the power bill (and thats when this rig is running which will be almost never)



    my budget for this is the 15 grand I have in savings and I will make a youtube video once I get everything sometime next year or so about my progress
     
  23. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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    #24

    Are you high on weed again? With the 15 grand, just buy the latest 12-core pro and your good to go, 4 of them if you like. Use less electricity. Care for the planet man.
     
  24. Lil Chillbil macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

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    #25
    Disclaimer, Now I know I could of responded to this question in stating that yes I am under the influence of thc. and that I do care about the environment for the next generation. But I love powerpc and we most likely won't be here in 20 years and who gives a **** about the next generation So my only response is


    #Yolo
     

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