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Old 2006-03-03, 04:12   #1
delta_t's Avatar
Nov 2002
Anchorage, AK

5458 Posts
Default Intel Mac Minis- Factoring super farm?

I'm not a Mac person by any means, but I have always liked the tiny form factor of the Mac Mini's. Now that they are running Intel Centrinos (Solo and Duos) these could be a dream for a dense GIMPS factoring farm. Sure they could do LL's too, but those Pentium-M's are factoring wonders.
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Old 2006-03-03, 16:52   #2
Greenbank's Avatar
Jul 2005

2×193 Posts

If anyone gets one of these I'd be very interested in seeing how they perform at sieving for Sierpinski numbers (for the SoB project at

They do look very interesting.

Now the same thing with a dual core 64-bit chip (ideally AMD but that'll never happen). I'd really like to see that...

Last fiddled with by Greenbank on 2006-03-03 at 16:53
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Old 2006-03-04, 07:30   #3
E_tron's Avatar
Sep 2002
Austin, TX

3×11×17 Posts

A super computer based around mac mini's would definitly look impressive, but dedicating a "server" room or small building to homemade racks of noisy PXE bootable machines would be more economical. mac mini's densities are better suited for personal computing(with the HDD, cdrom, ect...), not factoring farms.

I would suggest amd opterons.
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Old 2006-03-04, 16:00   #4
delta_t's Avatar
Nov 2002
Anchorage, AK

5458 Posts

I'm not talking a real supercomputer made of Mini's (though I know some people will try). I'm talking a real dense (small footprint and space) farm for some home or office users. Naturally there are more cost effective solutions, like some of the farms of people here in the forums. But not everyone can dedicate a corner of a room or office to computers, but the corner of a desktop definitely.
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Old 2006-03-05, 16:36   #5
Paulie's Avatar
Aug 2002

110111112 Posts

The power supply brick is quite big though.

What would be optimal would be if they made a version for Educational, with the CD/DVD drive stripped out, and a no hard drive option. $350 per in 5 lots would be killer... I'd buy 5 or 10.
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Old 2006-03-08, 10:25   #6
Peter Nelson
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Oct 2004

232 Posts

Although the size is compact, what rules these out is the high price in comparison to processing power, and the fact they are NOT 64 bit. 64 bit implementations of "factoring" run much faster.

So something like a Turion64, or even the DualcoreX2 version of turion when it comes, will be better portable systems with which to build compact clusters.

When Apple start making minis out of proper 64 bit chips (when Intel make them Q3) then it may be more suitable but still expensive.
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