[gmx-developers] GROMACS performance on Opteron Dual Core processors!

Erik Lindahl lindahl at cbr.su.se
Mon Sep 25 22:36:25 CEST 2006


On Sep 25, 2006, at 7:09 PM, Axel Kohlmeyer wrote:

> On Mon, 25 Sep 2006, Florian Haberl wrote:
> FH> The market for cpus is always in fast movement, today Woodcrest  
> (posted on the
> FH> mailing list some weeks ago) is faster, but noone can say if  
> the new opterons
> FH> (better socket, perhaps quad cores) is faster, or if even Cell  
> or Clearspeed
> FH> will be the next big number.
> apropos cell. i've head rumors about a gromacs version for cell
> processors. there is no mentioning in the sources and i found
> erik's somewhat discouraging remarks on it in the mailing list
> archives. can anybody (dis-)confirm this and/or provide details?

We're working with IBM on Cell optimization, and Vijay's group has  
made significant progress on GPU (graphics cards) programming that  
might also be applicable to the Cell. None of this is ready for  
general use yet, and I'm partly on NDA, but if it proves useful we  
will certainly share it. To tell the truth, it might very well turn  
out that we get better performance from the soon-to-be-announced quad- 
core Intel kentsfield CPUs.

One issue is that the hardware is a bit special. The clock frequency  
is indeed impressive, but they have gotten rid of dynamic instruction  
scheduling and lots of other stuff, which makes it hard to compare  
the performance with normal CPUs, not to mention a pain to program :-)



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