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Old 2002-08-22, 20:11   #1
Angular
 
Aug 2002

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Default Optimal Hardware for bare GIMPS client

What is the optimal, in the sense of performance per dollar, hardware configeration for a GIMPS client? I am looking at building up 1 or 2 clients with a NIC but no FDD,HD,VCard,case.

Athlon XP, P4 Celeron? A Cheap 128 MB DDR DIMM is plenty, right?

Thanks.
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Old 2002-08-22, 20:37   #2
Tasuke
 
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A northwood P4 with an SIS chipset DDR board and 128 megs of pc2100 would do you just fine. The 2.0 or 2.2 are the sweet spot right now, or if you are into overclocking, getting a 1.8A and running @2.4 is a very real posibility. The ECS p4s5a is good for not overclocking, ASUS p4sX33 (3 or 5 for X) have been stellar when overclocking.

Remember that the P4 is 50% faster than the AXP clock for clock on GIMPS, and the cost/value for a celeron is not worth it, as they are williamette cored and not northwood, so run at higher voltages(more heat) and have 1/4 of the cache.
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Old 2002-10-04, 01:51   #3
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Actually, it's a tough call - I've been crunching cost/performance numbers, and I come up with the P-IV 1.8a OC to 2400 being slightly MORE in cost than a pair of Athlon-1800+ (about the SAME in total cost if I factor in 3 years of electric usage), and roughly a tossup on speed, depending on how far you can get those 1800+ to overclock and the RAM you use on each (usually they'll go to at *least* 140 FSB easily, most will go 145-150).

Biggest problem is that the CPU is *well* over double the cost for the P-IV ($140+ vs $69), with the motherboard being very CLOSE to double ($90 vs. $55). There isn't anything *close* to the M7VKQ in price on the P-IV side. This gets worse when I factor in "barebone" systems - I've not seen ANYTHING on the P-IV side that was significantly less than the sum of the parts alone, while I have seen a LOT of Athlon barebones with case/PS that were less then the best prices I could find for *just* the CPU and MB ($118 for a Athlon XP1800+ / M7VKQ / case / 300w PS).
I could go for a $133 Athlon XP 2000+ version of the same barebone for $133 - which is a *hair* less cost-effective 'till I factor in the cost of electric to run the things for a few years.

I *have* been thinking "Monster", though - if you build full systems, the single P-IV does come out a little cheaper in comparison mostly due to redundancy on drives.

The kicker for ME is twofold

1) I won't be running Mersenne forever.
2) The incrimental *per node* cost is a LOT less for the Athlon setup.


Worst case, any "Monster" can be converted into a Beowulf box.

8-)
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Old 2002-10-04, 06:54   #4
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At mwave.com I can get 1.8A, floppy, case, P4s533 and 256 ddr combo for $350.

A P4S533 alone is less that $100

For gimps, it will be faster than 2.5 of your 1800+ combos(2 days versus just about 5 for the 1800+ on current doublechecks) if you only get to 2.2

Any higher and you will be more than cost effective, and use less power each month.(real biggie in california)
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Old 2002-10-08, 21:26   #5
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That P-IV 1.8 Northwood, *if* it will overclock to 2.4 (very high probability from several reports), will be *barely* more than 2x faster than an XP1800+ 128MB DDR machine running BONE STOCK speed.

Cost - I can build that XP1800+ for around $140, possibly a little less - that's using a NEW 1800+/M7VKQ/Case/PS barebones, new DDR, and a used low-end HD. VGA and LAN onboard. I can build a similar P-IV 1.8A for a little less than your $350 quote - I don't have the exact figure with me, but I think it worked out to a hair under $320.

From the benchmarks page, your Northwood at 2.4 overclocked should pull about .100 to my Athlon's .210 (as reported by my Fileserver machine *in actual usage* for the last few days - Athlon XP1800+ on a Tyan s2460 with DDR2100 - the M7VKQ should be able to match that with DDR RAM).


Like I said, pretty much a tossup. VERY much a tossup if you figure in electric usage for the probable lifetimes of each machine (I usually use 3 years as a benchmark figure - though that might be on the low side). Though power here is a lot less than I've been hearing about California. I'm sure this colors your estimates - as it should. 8-O
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Old 2002-11-15, 15:59   #6
tjkwak
 
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Default How about a P4 Celeron, 2.0ghz overclocked to 2.6 or 3.0 ghz

Hello all,

Does a P4 Celeron overclocked make sense for GIMPS?

Thanks,
TK
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Old 2002-11-15, 23:15   #7
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Default Re: How about a P4 Celeron, 2.0ghz overclocked to 2.6 or 3.0

No - even if you hit 3.0 you won't be any better off than a 2.0 and the problem gets much worse as FFT size grows. The only place this might make sense is for a dedicated trial factoring box but even at that it will be useless if you ever want to crunch something else.

Not worth the few $$ saved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjkwak
Hello all,

Does a P4 Celeron overclocked make sense for GIMPS?

Thanks,
TK
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Old 2002-11-16, 00:38   #8
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Not really - the "P4 Celeron" is very limited by it's small cache and it's total lack of SSE2 support. Cost-effectiveness WAY inferior to Athlon solutions.

A 1.8A Northwood P-IV overclocked to at least 533 FSB (most of them work FINE at that speed - same die as the 2.0 and 2.2 and I believe the 2.4) is probably *the* most cost-effective Intel-based Mersenne cracker - argues very closely or slightly superior to the best cost-effective AMD solutions. A 1.6A P-IV or (if you can get it to OC enough) 2.0A P-IV would be in the same ballpark on cost vs. speed.
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Old 2002-11-16, 04:13   #9
Xyzzy
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuintLeo
Not really - the "P4 Celeron" is very limited by it's small cache and it's total lack of SSE2 support.
The P4 Celeron has SSE2... The 2GHz part is identical to a Northwood P4, except for having 1/4 the cache...

http://www.intel.com/design/celeron/prodbref/index.htm

It still sucks though... :)
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Old 2002-11-17, 03:09   #10
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The P4 Celerons are the older "Willamet" cores - at least pre-2.0Ghz.

I suppose they could have finally upgraded to Northwood with the 2.0, though.
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Old 2002-11-17, 06:00   #11
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Even the older P4 "Wilamette" Celerons had SSE2...
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