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Old 05-12-2009, 10:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Multi-CPU workstation - $2000 budget

Hello everyone,

I have a staff member here that wants to know his options for a high end workstation with multiple CPU's. Yes multiple CPU's and not multiple cores. He wants this for doing complex mathematical simulations and things of that nature.

This is what he said after I asked what his uses would be:
"This will be a departmental computer. I have $2000 in an S&E account to spend however I choose. I want to configure a good workstation, with Mathematica 7.0 (IU site license) installed, that is capable of doing some serious computations. I'd like you to help me decide how best to do that."

Now just from doing brief searches I couldn't find anything other than servers that had multiple CPU configurations. I'm sure a server would work, but he doesn't need all that huge amount of hard drive space, just whatever is best for crunching some serious numbers. So what do you guys think? Since this is a university bought computer, it has to be a prebuilt. Is there any place I can look at that sells or configures a system that is specifically designed for mathematical computations? Also keep that $2000 figure in mind.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multi-CPU workstation - $2000 budget

Skulltrail technology instantly springs to mind
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multi-CPU workstation - $2000 budget

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Originally Posted by saltynay View Post
Skulltrail technology instantly springs to mind
Indeed it does, but that is not even possible under $2000 considering it only works with the Core 2 Extreme Quad...

Actually, something using the Cell BE or a newer version of it may be perfect for this. I'm not sure if Mathematica or what kinds of programs work on it, but everyone says it is a killer CPU for mathematics computations.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multi-CPU workstation - $2000 budget

I would suggest reading through this page before buying anything. Why would it have to be pre-built? Just save all the receipts and write up a invoice for labor.

High-Performance Computing with Wolfram Mathematica
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multi-CPU workstation - $2000 budget

Skulltrails is too expensive. And a multi CPU server is possible, however, will be expensive server equipment and it might just be better to go with an i7.

$2000 isnt much for a multi CPU workstation as both the server boards and the cpus themselves are extremely expensive.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multi-CPU workstation - $2000 budget

Wouldn't this be a more logical and effective approach for a university?
Wolfram gridMathematica: Multiplying the Power of Mathematica Over the Grid

I mean, I'm sure they have plenty of computers to Grid.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multi-CPU workstation - $2000 budget

Here is a link to a FREE online seminar about grid computing with Mathematica.

S17: Applied Parallel Computation with Mathematica
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multi-CPU workstation - $2000 budget

We do indeed have resources available to do these kinds of things. I'm not sure if they are constantly unavailable and he just wants to have something to do at home or what. It has to be prebuilt. The university is government funded and requires all computer purchases to be made through government resellers.

I'm just getting all the facts and options for him. I already assumed what he wants would be impossible for a mere $2000 budget. I had a feeling I was going to end up just telling him what he already probably heard, and that would be to use the current IT grid computers and clusters.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multi-CPU workstation - $2000 budget

I thought that any skt xeon or extreme 771 CPU would work with skulltrail.

Newegg.com - LGA 771, Processors - Servers, CPUs / Processors, Computer Hardware

Newegg.com - Intel BOXD5400XS Dual LGA 771 Intel 5400(Skulltrail) Extended ATX Motherboard - Intel Motherboards
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Multi-CPU workstation - $2000 budget

Quote:
Originally Posted by surgeVel View Post
I had a feeling I was going to end up just telling him what he already probably heard, and that would be to use the current IT grid computers and clusters.
lol, I mean... Doesn't that make far more sense?
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