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Old 06-25-2004, 01:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best CPU for number crunching

My friend and I are going to build a computer(s) to solve complex math problems. (Problems that will take months to solve.) So, I'm asking what CPU should I use? Should I go with a P4, Celeron, AMD XP, or AMD 64bit? Or possibly a dual processor board. (Xeon or P4 are the only chips I've seen that have mobo's to support dual processing.)

If we go with a dual processor computer, we will build only one. If we go with a single processor computer, we will probably build two.

Also, would ram be very critical, since it's the cpu that does all of the calculating?

Finally, could someone please list some stores that possibly sell dual processor boards?

Thanks alot.

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Old 06-25-2004, 01:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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for number crunching a P4 would probably be best. You wouldnt need a dual processor for number calculations, but if you feel that you would a P4 with hyperthreading would do fine. At least 512Mb of decent ram would be fine, however you can go to 1 gig if you feel the need. However ram would not be the most critical part of this machine. The CPU would, so invest more money in that.

Out of curiousity, what sort of maths problems are we talking about here??

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Old 06-25-2004, 04:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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case: Raidmax ATX-847WTP descent good looking case, lots of fans - $49

PSU: Thermaltake Slent Purepower 480W silver a very reliable power supply, with plenty of wattage - $56

motherboard: MSI K8T Master2 dual socket 940 - $205.86

CPU/s: 2x AMD opteron 64-bit 2GHZ you'll get a lot of power, even more than a dual Xeon, and can process 64-bit - $258.98*2=$517.96

video card: Radeon 9600 Pro 128mb descent but not too expensive video card - you don't need a powerful video card for number crunching - $131.95

RAM: Corsair Micro 2x512MB the fastest RAM ever with 2-2-2-5 latencies, and a gig of the stuff too - $359

CD drives: LG 52x32x52 CDR/RW $23.95

HDD: Seagate 120GB SATA Seagate drives are very reliable, one of the fastest, and are the quietest ever 7200RPM drives. also, Seagate are one of very few companies which make drives that run purely on SATA rather than using ATA133 and emulating SATA, which is slower and less reliable - $90.95

OS: Windows 2000 Pro Windows 2000 is the most stable of all Microsoft OS's, for what you say you'll be doing, you'll probbably need it - $39

Monitor: KTC 17" nothing special, but it doesn't affect number crunching power - $99

CPU coolers: Thermaltake Venus 12 you'll need descent fans to keep your CPU temps down so you'll get the most performance out of your opterons - $28.99*2 = $57.98

Sound Card: Sound Blaster Live pretty ordinary but descent sound card - $23

speakers: Logitech X-220 good quality, but not too special - $33

and no computer would be complete without a
Mouse and Keyboard: Logitech Black Optical Desktop what can I say, nothing special but it's not something cheap - $20

-- total $1706.65 --

not bad for a dual 2GHZ opteron eh?
it's a 64-bit power machine without the high cost
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Old 06-25-2004, 05:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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im a fan of AMD, but for a number crunching machine intel would take the lead...64-bit architecture only helps if you have 64-bit applications
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Old 06-25-2004, 06:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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im also a fan of AMDs but for what u want to do with it id def go with a P4 system and dependin on how much u wanna spend will decide if ur gonna get a dual cpu or sinple cpu system.
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Old 06-25-2004, 07:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally posted by sithspawn
im a fan of AMD, but for a number crunching machine intel would take the lead...64-bit architecture only helps if you have 64-bit applications
no that's the thing, a dual 2GHZ opteron will outperform even a P4EE and a dual Xeon
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Old 06-25-2004, 09:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Whatever processor you use don't use windows as the operating system. Use something like Gentoo Linux with 64 bit processors as you can compile it natively as you install. This will allow you to get the maximum punch out of the machine as you can strip the kernel right down to only what you need.

You will be best off writing your own code to tackle the maths problems. FORTRAN or C would probably be the best choices for this, both have 64 bit complilers available. That way you can optimize the maths routines for your particular system.

If these problems will take run-times of months a couple of % efficiency gain could save you days of run-time.

With windows you will be stuck with the OS and GUI overhead on your processors. Also I would place a bet that the windows based system will not stay up for a month. What happens if your run crashes half way through? Will all that work be lost?


Is it just me, or does something smell suspicious about all this?
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Old 06-25-2004, 09:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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yeah but 1700 isnt exaclty real cheap :\
He could build a moderate p4 for much less and get the job done
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Old 06-25-2004, 02:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 06-25-2004, 08:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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P4 H/T or P4EE if u have the cash. An AMD 64 would rock too.

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