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Number-Crunching System for Work - Finalized! :)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have a budget of $1500-$2000 Canadian for a computer to do a lotta number crunching(^), so I wanna get some ideas.

The places I can use are:

- Dell Corporate
- NCIX Canada
- A-Power Canada

I have a fair amount of latitude to configure the system the way I want. In general the apps I use are single-threaded but can be run in multiple instances so SMP is a valuable thing to have.

Key requirements:

- Needs to be fast (i5 / i7 / AMD Phenom II)
- Needs loads of storage (~4 TB)
- Needs loads of RAM too (~8 GB)
- In particular, must not have issues with Linux distros (I had an issue like this where Scientific Linux refused to install on an i5 750 + P55 motherboard and I had to use Fedora); I might be able to have a small Windows install on there, but chances are work won't want to fork out for a Vista/Win7 licence.

Oh, and note that included in the above budget is a couple of Samsung 23" monitors. I've had good experiences with Samsung (I have a 22" Samsung) so I'd like to stick with that for work.

So, give me your ideas, folks

---

(^) By this I mean taking on the order of about 200 gigs+ of data and extracting out information from that raw data.
Edited by Quantum Reality - 3/31/11 at 8:46am
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post #2 of 14
What kind of number crunching are we talking about?
You might be better off with a general CPU and a couple CUDA cards..
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
It's not the kinda thing that can use CUDA, sorry. If I could do some fancy-ass recompiling of the code to use CUDA-specific stuff, sure, but that's not real likely.
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post #4 of 14
If you don't need any heavy graphics then try to go for a multi-CPU system. I'm guessing that the workload is highly parallel? Also, it might be worth your time to setup a raid system so you don't lose data.
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Was planning to put like a 5450 or perhaps a GT 430 in it at most. The CPU power, storage availability and memory size is what I need, so the decision is between an i5, an i7 or AMD, as noted in my OP.
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post #6 of 14
Alright so, if you were to go for a multiple-CPU build then you can get a board like this, but keep in mind you have to use ECC memory.

http://ncix.com/products/?sku=54967&...ufacture=Intel
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=43070&...L%20TECHNOLOGY
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=54040&...ufacture=Intel

That would give you 2x4 core Xeons at 2.33 Ghz each core (8 cores), and 12 gb of ram if you buy 2 sets. I don't know if this would have any compatibility problems with your Linux distribution. I think someone more knowledgeable can shine some light on that.

If you do not need that much processing power, just an i7 4-6 core will be fine.
Edited by Darkknight512 - 3/27/11 at 6:15pm
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Whew! Heh, that would be pretty beefy, all right, but I think the budget won't quite stand for it. Sounds like an i7 9xx series is the way to go - unless AMD has anything that can put raw speed to work?
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post #8 of 14
looks like darkknight has you set


Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum Reality View Post
Whew! Heh, that would be pretty beefy, all right, but I think the budget won't quite stand for it. Sounds like an i7 9xx series is the way to go - unless AMD has anything that can put raw speed to work?
you could go for an opteron (spelt that wrong) server, lots of cores if your program can use the extra threads then it may be feasable for you
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post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
That's the issue - the stuff I use to do all the processing is written mostly in C, and as such isn't SMP-aware. That being said I can run multiple instances of the program on the same raw data set so multiple cores is still an advantage.

How many known issues are there with Linux and Opterons, though? And I bet Optys are kinda expensive too
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Samsung 850 EVO SSD Samsung DVD/CD-writer Corsair Hydro H60 Windows 7 
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post #10 of 14
There are no known Linux issues with any of the CPU's as far as I'm concerned, I have booted Ubuntu 10.04 on everything from Pentium III to i7's. I don't know why your distribution is special.
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