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Best options for FLOPS/$

post #1 of 2
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This summer I'm going to be working on a few algorithms that should be fairly processor-intensive. I'm going to need a computer to execute the programs as quickly as possible while at the same time being relatively cheap. Oh, lastly, I doubt I'll be overclocking it, as stability will be of the utmost concern and I'll be dealing with extremely large numbers.

Here are some generic questions I have, feel free to answer any/all of these:

-- If you were trying to create the best build for this sole purpose, what you would get?

-- I would assume AMD is going to be the best in price/performance, but would the new sandy bridge quad cores change this?

-- Will going the six-core route provide any benefits for me? I would assume so.

-- Will I get more of an advantage of faster memory or more memory? Or should I get faster AND more memory

-- Would a server be the right solution for me??

Thanks in advance everyone, +REP for all of the most helpful answers
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HP Envy14
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post #2 of 2
Intel i5-2600K would be an excellent processor for a single socket system. Ive seen them (overclocked of course) achieving 130+ gflops in linpack with hyperthreading off.

Faster memory is paramount to achieving a high gflops capability. the more data can be force-fed to your processor, the better, as it doesnt have to wait as long for the memory to send it. High FSB numbers help as well, although the 2600k cannot be FSB overclocked.

Right now, AMD's hex core processors fall behind. Sure they are powerful beasts in their own right, but against any processor equipped with the AVX instruction set, the one with the new instructions will win every time. This situation will hopefully change when AMD busts out Bulldozer and delivers a solid arse-kicking to intel, one which is much needed.

For maintaining stability while overclocked: Testing. LOTS of testing. Once you achieve the desired speed (4.5ghz should be more than sufficient), run Intel Burn test 100 times using as much memory as possible. If it passes that, it will pass anything you can throw at it. 20 runs using 2GB of ram is considered stable by the vast majority, and 50 successful runs is considered rock solid. 100 runs? You have nothing to worry about.


Now, about doing a server. As you may very well know, there are hundreds possibly thousands of board configurations. If you decide to go this route, AMD becomes much more attractive here, as their highest end server processors have 12 threads. The problem is that going this way, while netting you up to 48 real threads per system, will be horrendously expensive. Each 12-core processor alone will call for ~$1000, and then there is the ram for each one (yes, you have to get each processor at least 2 sticks, 4 if you want to go quad channel per core) which in its own right is not cheap, and then there is the board, the case, etc etc etc. It can get expensive very fast, but if the situation demands it, is quite worth it.

It all depends on what is to be done with these systems and how much you are willing to drop on it.
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Leviathan
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Patriot Pyro 60GB Xigmatek Gaia Windows 7 Ultimate Acer S230HL 
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