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Multi-core update?

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December 8, 2010 1:00:27 PM

Hello,
I haven't been following the latest and greatest in multi-core processors and MB's. Can anyone tell me how many cores are coming on the latest chips and whether dual MB's are also available? I'm into molecular dynamics simulation, not so much gaming. I'd like to get the most cores for the money (and ease of maintenance).

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a c 81 à CPUs
December 8, 2010 1:27:16 PM

You can go for a Xeon based dual processor setup wherein each processor comprises of 12 cores.. That along with hyper threading will fetch you 48 cores.. You'll be limited by your application though as to how many threads can it generate to make effective use of that many cores.. I recommend you to do research related to your software and find out as to what would be an ideal hardware setup for it..
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December 8, 2010 2:12:07 PM

Emperus said:
You can go for a Xeon based dual processor setup wherein each processor comprises of 12 cores.. That along with hyper threading will fetch you 48 cores.. You'll be limited by your application though as to how many threads can it generate to make effective use of that many cores.. I recommend you to do research related to your software and find out as to what would be an ideal hardware setup for it..


We write our own software so it is on us to implement the threading etc. For now, the simplest thing is to initiate multiple jobs and let the OS assign them. I think I may have a wrong definition of "core." I think of a core as a physical cpu, equivalent to the old style of dual processor MBs. Taking the number of threads beyond the number of "physical cores" will lead to reduced performance on a per thread basis. Am I wrong about this? Is the Xeon dual processor a MB with two processors on it, each with a hex core cpu? Is hex core the latest and greatest or is octa-core on the rise? What is the price of a Xeon dual processor machine? I found the following on newegg:
- SUPERMICRO MBD-X8DA6-O Dual LGA 1366 Intel 5520 Extended ATX Dual Intel Xeon 5500 sequence (Nehalem-EP processor) Motherboard ~$200
- AsRock 6 USB3.0 (2 x Front+4 x Back), 6 SATA3, 6 Core CPU ~$234 (not too sure what this means. It seems to be a MB.)
- HP ProLiant DL380 G6 X5570 2P 8GB LFF 2 Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processors X5570 ~$6600
Are any of these related to what you call "Xeon dual processor?"

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a c 114 à CPUs
December 8, 2010 2:32:36 PM

jrelliottoh said:
Hello,
I haven't been following the latest and greatest in multi-core processors and MB's. Can anyone tell me how many cores are coming on the latest chips and whether dual MB's are also available? I'm into molecular dynamics simulation, not so much gaming. I'd like to get the most cores for the money (and ease of maintenance).


:p fff What is with this place? To answer you question ...

2P motherboards are readily available - choose your poison.

An AMD Dual Socket G34 E-ATX with 2 x 8-core Magny-Cours Optys starts at $1k. Populating those DIMM banks could get interesting depending upon your demands. 8x1GB will get you in at $260. 2x4Gb sticks roughly the same. With PSU, fans, case around $1,500.

Throw in your disk I/O and off yah go. I believe that motherboard has (4) GbE. 2 x 12 core Magny-Cours starts around $2k with motherboard.

A 4P G34 motherboard with 4 x 8-core Magny-Cours Optys and 16x1GB sticks is around $2,500 - cut the RAMs in half and save a good chunk of change. 12-core CPUs in 4P will add $2,100.
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December 8, 2010 3:19:49 PM

Wisecracker - Thanks very much. Did you read my reply/clarification of the meaning of "core?" Is your meaning the same as mine? Am I right to understand that 12-core processors are available? Is AMD the only mfr? I didn't find anything like that from Intel. Usually, there are mitigating circumstances when AMD and Intel are out of sync. E.g. A 12-core AMD will barely keep pace with an Intel 6-core because... of some technical reason that I don't know at this time.
I searched NewEgg for "AMD Dual Socket G34" and found Tyan and Asus (supermicro was 3x more expensive). I have had trouble with both Tyan and Asus in the past. The Asus seems to work best but capacitors melt after 2-3 years. Can you comment on your experience with these (or other) MB mfr's?
OS - issues: I think XP is limited to 4 cores? Will windows7 manage 16 cores efficiently? Is it necessary to transition to Linux? Is one version of Linux better than another? We are currently favoring Ubuntu and Fedora.
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a c 81 à CPUs
December 8, 2010 4:09:37 PM

The Windows Server 2008 R2 should be your choice for the OS.. Sorry for my previous reference to 12 core Intel Xeon processor which does not exist.. I wanted to actually suggest the X7650 (8 cores, 16 threads).. You can look at the EVGA SR-2 Classified as the potential motherboard..

P.S. - Your definition for 'Core' is correct in theory.. In fact it is very close technically also..
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-core_processor?was...
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a c 114 à CPUs
December 9, 2010 3:00:45 PM

jrelliottoh said:
Wisecracker - Thanks very much. Did you read my reply/clarification of the meaning of "core?" Is your meaning the same as mine? Am I right to understand that 12-core processors are available? Is AMD the only mfr? I didn't find anything like that from Intel. Usually, there are mitigating circumstances when AMD and Intel are out of sync. E.g. A 12-core AMD will barely keep pace with an Intel 6-core because... of some technical reason that I don't know at this time.
I searched NewEgg for "AMD Dual Socket G34" and found Tyan and Asus (supermicro was 3x more expensive). I have had trouble with both Tyan and Asus in the past. The Asus seems to work best but capacitors melt after 2-3 years. Can you comment on your experience with these (or other) MB mfr's?
OS - issues: I think XP is limited to 4 cores? Will windows7 manage 16 cores efficiently? Is it necessary to transition to Linux? Is one version of Linux better than another? We are currently favoring Ubuntu and Fedora.


Not sure I can answer all this :lol: 

There are AMD CPUs with 12 cores.

Quote:
I think of a core as a physical cpu, equivalent to the old style of dual processor MBs. Taking the number of threads beyond the number of "physical cores" will lead to reduced performance on a per thread basis


See above. A single physical CPU may have multiple cores in one socket. By adding a second socket, or *2P*, you may effectively double that number of cores.

More physical cores = more threads running in parallel. Intel provides a 'virtual' core through hyperthreading. Actual cores generally perform at a higher level than virtual cores. You are the one who knows the level of actual parallelization as opposed to simply multiple instances. If it is your software and your instructions you make the 'calls'. How your hardware handles it many times is mostly up to you. I suspect a "Nix is the way to go for your OS for a number of reasons, but how well may your software perform with NUMA?

Each CPU socket has a DIMM bank. You want all those 12 cores (threads) making local calls. You may utilize NUMA-friendly coding in 'Nix mem policy but we don't know the size or how you handle or code data sets. There is stuff that you need to consider. Is it distributable across 2 or more computers each with multiple sockets running multiple cores?

NUMA issues can make any hardware run like a dawg but theoretically with *4P* you could have 48 threads each with 2GB+ of local memory. Good luck with that. If optimized code for that grew on trees we would all own orchards.

And I suspect parts of the new instruction sets will look and perform a lot different from that with APU processing and the VEX codng.

I don't have a problem with Tyan - I build to their specs and don't screw around with marginal components.

You would need XP Pro to recognize the second CPU socket - same with Win7. Some enterprise software is licensed by socket.
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December 18, 2010 12:09:59 PM

Best answer selected by jrelliottoh.
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a b à CPUs
December 19, 2010 9:13:50 AM

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