February 25, 2004
Early supercomputers used parallel processing and distributed computing and to link processors together in a single machine. Using freely available tools, it is possible to do the same today using inexpensive PCs - a cluster. Glen Gardner liked the idea, so he built himself a massively parallel Mini-ITX cluster using 12 x 800Mhz nodes. This picture shows just one half of it.
The machine runs FreeBSD 4.8, and MPICH 184.108.40.206. After working with his machine and running some basic tests, Glen's cluster looks to be equivalent to at least 4 (maybe 6) 2.4Ghz Pentium IV boxes in parallel on a similar network - achieving a performance of around 3.6 GFLP. With the exception of the metalwork, power wiring, and power/reset switching, everything is off the shelf. Rather impressive we'd say - though he *is* root on a 1.1 TFLP 528 CPU monster, the 106th fastest computer in the world...
Glen Gardner's "Mini-Cluster"
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