[gmx-users] Performance of beowulf cluster

Szilárd Páll pall.szilard at gmail.com
Tue Aug 5 14:16:14 CEST 2014


You need fast network to parallelize across multiple nodes. 1 Gb
ethernet won't work well and even even 10/40 Gb ethernet needs to be
of good quality; you'd likely need to buy separate adapters, the
on-board ones won't perform well. I posted some links to the list
related to this a fed days ago.

The AMD FX dekstop hardware you mention is OK, but I'm not sure that
it's gives the best performance/price. If you find (very) discounted
Sandy Bridge-E (i7 3930K) or the cheaper Haswells like i5 4670 may
actually provide better prerformance for the money. Ivy Bridge-E or
Haswell-E as Mirco suggests are the best single-socket workstation
options, but those are/will be pretty expensive.

Finally, unless you have a good reason not to, you should not just
consider GPUs, but consider what CPU/platform works best with GPUs.


On Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 7:01 AM, Abhishek Acharya
<abhi117acharya at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello gromacs users,
> I am planning on investing in a beowulf cluster with 6 nodes (48 cores) each with AMD Fx 8350 processor, 8 GB memory  connected by 1 Gigabit Ethernet switch. Although I plan to add more cores to this cluster later on, what is the max performance expected from the current specs for a 100,000 atom simulation box ? Also, is it better to invest in a  single 48 core server ? The cluster system can be set up at almost half the price of a 48 core server, but do we lose out on performance in the process??
> Regards,
> Abhishek Acharya
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