[gmx-users] Performance of Gromacs-4.6.1 on BlueGene/Q

Jianguo Li ljggmx at yahoo.com.sg
Tue Jun 4 16:02:53 CEST 2013

Dear All,

Has anyone has Gromacs benchmark on Bluegene/Q? 
I recently installed gromacs-461 on BG/Q using the following command:
cmake .. -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=BlueGeneQ-static-XL-C \
         -DGMX_XML=OFF \
make install

After that, I did a benchmark simulation using a box of pure water containing 140k atoms. 
The command I used for the above test is:
srun --ntasks-per-node=32 --overcommit /scratch/home/biilijg/package/gromacs-461/bin/mdrun -s box_md1.tpr -c box_md1.gro -x box_md1.xtc -g md1.log >& job_md1

And I got the following performance:
Num. cores       hour/ns
128           9.860
256          4.984
512          2.706
1024        1.544
2048        0.978
4092        0.677

The scaling seems ok, but the performance is far from what I expected. In terms CPU-to-CPU performance, the Bluegene is 8 times slower than other clusters. For comparison, I also did the same simulation using 64 processors in a SGI cluster, and I got 2.8 hour/ns, which is roughly equivalent to using 512 cores in BlueGene/Q. 

I am wondering if the above benchmark results are reasonable or not? Or Am I doing something wrong in compiling?
Any comments/suggestions are appreciated, thank you very much!

Have a nice day!

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