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Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Falleron, May 19, 2004.
Anyone have any info on the reasons why they used Macs? PDF's or something?>
The word from the Mother Ship:
VT has their own site on the supercomputer, which says more or less the same thing but with more in the way of technical details.
Steve said at the last Keynote that they did look into all the Platforms before coming to a decision, I guess the G5 was the right price and they liked the G5 capabilities, thats all I know about that
OSX, the G5 and pricing were the major reasons.
A google search will bring up all sorts of articles. What specifically are you looking for?
are they using OS X on that thing. I would have thought they'd be using some linux/unix varient. Can OS X be used on a cluster like that?
AFAIK, they are in fact using OS X, which makes it an even bigger thing for Apple.
Yep, It's OSX.
Dr. Varadarajan said he like the fact that he can use the same apps on this super computer as his desktop one. You can see that on the video.
wow, that's cool. Thanks for the info.
At the volume they were buying, and the publicity Apple got, Steve gave them a really really deep discount.
Interesting to note that he is the CTO of the company that installed/built "Thunder" for LLNL (which is the 2nd fastest supercomputer in the world at almost double the Linpack numbers of VaTech's cluster.) Thunder uses Itanium2 processors running Linux.
Also of note is that the VaTech cluster is non-existent at the moment while waiting to do the switch-over to the Xserves and has been effectively dismantled for a long time now (and it looks like it's going to be a month more because of Apple's production problems; it will also be dropped from the Top500 list since it has been offline too long.) In essence, the cluster has done nothing scientifically important to date and has been nothing but an advert for Apple and a tool for running benchmark software. All in all, disappointing for any large installation...
why would they disassemble the G5 tower cluster so soon before the xserves come in? maybe they needed the cash from selling the towers to switch to the xserves..
I just know someone that is a PC person who was really intriqued as to why it was not cheaper to use PC's. YOu know, macs have the reputation for being more expensive.
PC folk are weak-minded simpletons, please leave them alone. Don't they already suffer enough??
the answer to that is that you don't build a cluster out of emachines. You need workstation level chips, preferrably 64 bit for this kind of stuff. The x-serves also bring error correcting ram, whcih is a big thing too. You compare this set up to similar setups of xeon processors, opterons, power4 or itaniums running on quality hardware, not pentiums running on cheap architecture. Thats when you find out that macs are very competatively priced for what you get.
Whcih brings up the other point. A lot of what normal consumers need on a computer these guys may not have needed. For instance, apple doesn't need to charge them to recover development costs for iDVD on each machine because they wouldn't be using it probably. Probably other internal stuff was stripped out to, allowing apple to make them cheaper.
harsh, very, very harsh
This PC person is happy to accept that this cluster is very good even though its a Mac. As far as he is concerned, he just wants to understand its capabilities, how it runs etc
It would be interesting to get 1,000 emachines running Windows in a cluster. It would show the world what cheap really means.
No RAID, No Athlon 64, no ECC memory. Just standard consumer machines with the necessary network adapter. The Walmart Super Computer.
I am surprised with 95% of the market, there isn't someone out there that hasn't tried it. Even if the project fails, you still have the PCs to sell or use in some other capacity.
Actually if you have old Macs with ethernet card lying around doing nothing, you can set up a small cluster with http://www.apple.com/acg/xgrid/