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Super-Computer Competition!

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May 25, 2001 10:13:24 PM

Do you think you have what it takes to be the best? Can you beat out everyone else in this forum? Then prove it! Introducing the CPU forum's first Super-Computer Competition.

If you wanted to put together the most powerful Windows 2000 machine possible using technology available right now, and price was not a concern, what would it include? There are four main rules to follow here.

1) It must be capable of running Windows 2000.
2) It must use parts available today to consumers.
3) Price and upgradability are completely irrelevant. Uncle Moneybags has decided to furnish you with any computer components you desire for free for the rest of your life.
4) There will be no flaming. Flaming in this thread disqualifies you for any win.

To win you must list the set of components that, when put together, will be the fastest machine of the lot. Fastest for this competition will be defined as that which would win more benchmarks than any other system listed in this thread when put to a head-to-head test. The list of benchmarks includes the latest versions of all benchmark suites, applications, and games that any reviewer has used in the last 6 months as a benchmark. Each sub-test within a benchmarking suite will count as a separate benchmark for determining the number of won benchmarks. Remember that allowed benchmarks are not just CPU benchmarks, but also harddrive latency and bandwidth tests, memory tests, etc.

Benchmark scores will be obtained by looking at the average of all scores reported for the latest version of each benchmark by all reviewers. When a benchmark score cannot be found for a particular piece of hardware, a score will be derrived by interpolating the results with the those found for the same hardware at a different speed, or by guestimating. Interpolations based on a hardware with known scores running at a speed that has no scores will stand at the interpolated score. However, guestimations must be accepted by a majority of those who have submitted entries in this thread.

I will be submitting a system here after waiting and letting others start things out. Note that only one system may be submitted for the competition per person, but entries may be revised as many times as you like until the competition is closed for judging. (Given sufficient interest it will probably go on for at least a week or two.) This means that people can and will steal ideas from others. This is perfectly acceptable, but if you steal someone's complete system design only the first person (original person) to come up with that design will be credited for the win, if it does indeed win.

Once judging begins, the entries will be judged by analysis of the system designs by myself and the rest of the forum, followed by some kind of voting system. As a voter you may change your vote based on new information or analysis as it comes to light. Once the votes have stabilized (not many changes), the system holding the majority of votes will win. The prize for winning is the undieing respect of everyone in the forum as a mean, lean, system building machine.

Now that we have all of that out of the way, let the games begin!

-Raystonn

P.S. The trophy for second place is down in the ladies' room.


= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
May 25, 2001 10:40:08 PM

Interesting but a couple of questions.

1) Is overclocking allowed?
2) Are we talking MP systems or only single CPU systems?
3) Scsi Systems with ellaborate Raid arrays?
4) Benchmarking....how will it be weighted? Which will matter more in real world apps vs. synthetic benchmarks?

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
May 25, 2001 11:03:10 PM

"1) Is overclocking allowed?"

Yes, but everything must fit in a standard system case and sit on a standard desktop.


"2) Are we talking MP systems or only single CPU systems?"

It must not use more than one motherboard. SMP systems are fine, as long as we stick to the single motherboard.


"3) Scsi Systems with ellaborate Raid arrays?"

Sounds good to me, but fit it in a full tower. No external racks are allowed.


"4) Benchmarking....how will it be weighted? Which will matter more in real world apps vs. synthetic benchmarks?"

Timing something in a real world application counts as one benchmark test, so long as some reviewer has done it in the last 6 months, and only with the latest version of said application. A suite that is made up of 5 tests of real-world software will count for 5 tests. A synthetic suite made up of 5 sub-tests will count for 5 tests.

-Raystonn

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
Related resources
May 27, 2001 10:05:05 PM

Okay, it seems no one else wanted to start this yet, so I guess I'll go ahead.
Let me know if this is about what you wanted...

Well, I figure the best place to start would be Tom's Powerbox, so:

Motherboard: MSI K7 Master (without onboard SCSI)

Processor: Vapochill cooled AMD Athlon 1.2 GHz, overclocked
to 1.6 GHz

Hard Drives: Adaptec 29160N Ultra 160 SCSI for 32-bit PCI
3 Seagate Cheetah X15 15,000 RPM Ultra 160
RAID 0 (striping without parity)

Video: Elsa Gladiac 64MB DDR Geforce2 Ultra (has 4ns memory)

Memory: 2- 256 MB Corsair PC2400 DDR-SDRAM CAS2 16Mx64 DIMMS
for a total of 512 MB RAM.

Sound Card: Hercules Game Theater XP

Okay, I'm not sure if you wanted us to add any of the other stuff (like CD-ROM's, monitors, etc). I figured those weren't necessary in this case...

<i>I don't know anything about computers... but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night...</i> :lol: 
May 27, 2001 10:21:42 PM

Errr....does a SuperMicro SC-850 chassis count? (I think it's actually a re-badged Antec, but that's not important)

Kelledin

bash-2.04$ kill -9 1
init: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
May 27, 2001 10:32:33 PM

Not a bad start but Ithink I will wait until after June 4 when the AMD MP systems are announced as well as the Palimino. This might have something to do with the lack of response so far. You might want to consider some fibre channel drives seeing as price is no object.

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
May 28, 2001 12:58:59 AM

That's the funniest sig I've ever seen....still lmao from it.

I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.
May 28, 2001 2:31:44 AM

yeah but its supposed to fit in a standard desktop..
fibre channels needs all that backplane stuff..
hmm.. come to think of it.. he never did define exactly
how big a standard desktop could be.. coz I could build
a 3 foot cube case and put alot of crap in there...

Intel Components, AMD Components... all made in Taiwan!
May 28, 2001 3:17:09 AM

ja, I know, that's why I'm wondering about my case...

Kelledin

bash-2.04$ kill -9 1
init: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
May 28, 2001 5:06:03 AM

Are we allowed just one case of anything we choose. Or just one single full tower?

Blah, Blah Blahh, Blahh, blahh blah blahh, blah blah.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 28, 2001 1:04:37 PM

Geez, Raystonn.. that must be the most non sensical posts I ever read from you...

First of all, I think you need to define the benchmarks up front. You will always be able to find benchmarks that make one or another system win. Knowing you a little, I dont think it will include 3D Max...

Secondly.. voting, will most likely result in a AMD vs intel vote.. not sure how much wiser that is going to make us.

Thirdly, we cant even agree on the interpretation of existing benchmarks.. Let alone this community would ever be able to judge on non existing theoritical machine

Lastly, is a Tbird 1.33 overclocked to 2.5 Ghz allowed ? combined with a Geforce3 @800/600Mhz ?

I mean.. who cares man..

oh, and am I disqualied now ?


---- Owner of the only Dell computer with a AMD chip
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 28, 2001 4:03:02 PM

Oh no, not another stupid [peep'n] contest......

Don't you have some Legos you can play with??
May 28, 2001 7:32:07 PM

~ Super-Computer Competition ~

~ It must be capable of running Windows 2000 ~

Sorry, but if you're going to run a super computer competition, shouldn't you use an OS that actually can be used for Super Computer tasks like Linux/Unix instead of W2k?


<font color=blue> The Revolution starts here... as soon as I finish my coffee </font color=blue> :eek: 
May 29, 2001 1:32:21 AM

Tom's Powerbox is a little old. I would wait for a Palomino, and go for a GeForce3 with dual Seagate15x hard drives in a SCSI RAID array

---------
Grass is a beautiful weed
May 29, 2001 2:41:39 AM

If you're into SCSI RAID, SuperMicro makes a little 4-drive SCA cage that fits in three adjacent 5.25" bays. Only holds quarter-height SCA-2 drives, though.

Kelledin

bash-2.04$ kill -9 1
init: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
May 29, 2001 5:35:28 AM

OK everything should be available by the time this "contest" is finished, so don't give me guff about the mobo and cpu.

Tyan Thunder K7
2x 1.4Ghz palomino
Corsair PC2400 cas2 2x256
GeForce3 64ddr (pick whatever brand you like)
Richoh 8.12.32.4 combo cdburner/dvdplayer
LS120 drive
18x ST336752FC Cheetah X15 36.7GB Fibre Channel RAID 01
Adaptec <A HREF="http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/product/proddetail.htm..." target="_new">PM3755F </A>64bit pci Fibre Channel RAID Controller 256MB Cache
4x <A HREF="http://www.gorilla.net/goricp/gorsbc_rocky-3742.htm" target="_new">Gorrocky-3742EVFG </A>Dual 1Ghz PIII SBC (fits in 64bit pci slot)
- each having
- 2GB PC133 sdram
- 1000BASE-T Gigabit LAN
- 2x 1394 ports
Chenbro <A HREF="http://www.caseoutlet.com/Server/91/9691/default.htm" target="_new">A9691 </A>21 bay case (Hey! it'll fit on my desk!)
Dual Enermax EG651P-VE 650 watt power supplies


that should do for a start.


Flame not, lest ye be flamed.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 29, 2001 6:04:02 AM

Just my addition to your system:
The Thunder K7 has 4 dimms, and both Samsung and Corsair offer 512MB ECC PC2100 dimms. They are only about $700 a piece, but that doesn't matter :smile: . 2GB main RAM would go nice with the other dual-p3 cards.

With a system like this, you might want to consider solid state drives. While only a few GB's, they offer acces times in the sub 0.5ms range.

--------
I have not yet begun to procrastinate.
May 29, 2001 7:47:46 AM

Will that case really hold a full-PICMG backplane and a motherboard at the same time? I'd have to see that!

Oh, and perhaps team three or four of those Gigabit adapters together? You can pull that off with the Intel PRO/1000 S adapters.

And see if you can duplex two or three RAID cards...

Kelledin

bash-2.04$ kill -9 1
init: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
May 29, 2001 8:14:27 AM

Hey, up the ante a bit for the winner. Throw in a free week of wet t-shirt contests at Laguna Bch along with that undieing respect of everyone.

:tongue: <font color=green> I LOVE INTEL. It tastes like chicken </font color=green>
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 29, 2001 12:38:13 PM

just a quick question?

why the "Gorilla Systems Dual Socket 370 Single Board Computer"?
in which benchmark will these be of value?


however, we all start at the end and finish at the begining
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 29, 2001 12:56:14 PM

first off LMFAO@LINUX for super computer that baby os aint going to cut it anyways why scsi 160 why not 320 raid with a build in cache of 256megs? but i cant realy do this since i wouldnt want to with out mp athlons. anda c ustom case design wiht full liquid cooling. ac ouple gigs of ddr ram all running on a quad pumped systems. thiw would be more interesting in winter. but if ya can get scsi 320 solid state drives that would be tight. and why windows 2000? each os has its strong point. win2k is to limited on the end user part(untill futher service packs that is) o well like i said if you do this in the winter ill be on top of it but for now nothing realy peaks super computer to me till the [-peep-] load of tech comes out late this year.

Computer Shop owner and Head tech.
May 29, 2001 1:42:47 PM

"First of all, I think you need to define the benchmarks up front. You will always be able to find benchmarks that make one or another system win. Knowing you a little, I dont think it will include 3D Max..."
LOL
did you mention Maya as well? Lightwave?!?!?
LOL
May 29, 2001 6:49:30 PM

Regarding Linux: everyone's entitled to an opinion, but I suggest you try arguing the point with <A HREF="http://www.cray.com/news/0101/sc.html" target="_new">Cray.</A> They don't seem to agree with you...

Anyways, I'm waiting for the 760MP myself. Should scale much better than anything Intel has dual-CPU wise.

Kelledin

bash-2.04$ kill -9 1
init: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 29, 2001 9:25:25 PM

Are you allowed computers with quad Pentium Xeons?
:D 
May 29, 2001 11:07:20 PM

I would assume so...such motherboards are available to consumers!

Kelledin

bash-2.04$ kill -9 1
init: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
May 29, 2001 11:07:41 PM

They're for a "mini beowulf"
the rules stipulate only one motherboard
and I figure for programs that would run this Frankenstien
dual p3s would score better than single athlons
(thats also why I didn't choose the p3xeon board (500Mhz max))


Flame not, lest ye be flamed.
May 29, 2001 11:25:53 PM

Hmmm does an SBC count as a motherboard? A lot of people classify the two as the same basic part.

Kelledin

bash-2.04$ kill -9 1
init: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
May 29, 2001 11:59:43 PM

Solid state drives are about $40,000 for only 1.9GB!

---------
Grass is a beautiful weed
May 30, 2001 12:19:54 AM

Actually, somebody makes a PCI "solid state drive" that holds up to 8GB PC100 SDRAM as its "media." It stays "non-volatile" by having its own power source.

The baseboard with no memory costs ~$5000, I believe.

Kelledin

bash-2.04$ kill -9 1
init: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
May 30, 2001 12:25:55 AM

There is also a 3.1 gig Solid State drive that uses a Scsi interface. This can also be placed inside the system. Last time I checked they ran for about 27k. They also have a small hard drive attatched to them to back up it's own data.

<A HREF="http://www.dirtcheapdrives.com/tech/quantum/scsi/specs/..." target="_new">Quantum Rushmore</A>


Blah, Blah Blahh, Blahh, blahh blah blahh, blah blah.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 30, 2001 12:44:00 AM

How about running this intensive code to test performamce for winnner system. It is written in C and will make your CPU go wild. Also check for CPU computation accurecy.
#########################
#include <stdio.h>
#include <math.h>
int main (int argc, char** argv) {

long number1, number2, counter;
double result;
if (argc < 3)
{
printf ("usage : %s number1 number2\n",argv[0]);
exit(1);
}
else
{
number1 = atol (argv[1]);
number2 = atol (argv[2]);
result = 0.0;
}

for (counter = number1; counter <= number2; counter++) {
result = result + sqrt((double)counter);
}

printf("%lf\n", result);

return 0;

}
######################
You need to compile it and run it to compute from 1 to 1000000000

My Linux 7.1 Sparc-64bit-500 MHZ machine did it in 1 minute and 13 sec. and came out with this result 21081851083600.558594 which is the exact answer, I think!
See what yours will do!

_______________________________________________~
Software is like Sex, its better when its Free!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by nabil on 05/30/01 06:46 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 30, 2001 1:37:39 AM

I, personally, don't consider an SBC to be a motherboard
because it has no I/O slots (that whole mother thing)

Flame not, lest ye be flamed.
May 30, 2001 1:47:23 AM

PCI has the highest transfer rates that you could use to connect a solid state drive to, doesn't it? that would be the ultimate gaming computer, PCI 1.9GB Quantum Rushmore Ultra 60 microsecond seek time solid state harddrive OOH SWEET..... <b>*UPDATE OF ULTIMATE GAMING RIG!*</b>

---------
Grass is a beautiful weed
May 30, 2001 1:59:42 AM

Errr...something's up with your CPU or with your program, if that's the answer you're getting back. Possibly you're passing printf an invalid format specifier (but the format specifier is correct on my system, so...?) Either that or my reasoning is somehow off (see my reasoning below).

See, the square root of the maximum counter in all that is 10,000. So the square root of any number before the final counter will be less than 10,000. But let's be generous and assume that every square root is indeed 10,000.

This means we will have 100,000,000 square roots, all equalling 10,000. Which, added together, will produce a total answer of 1,000,000,000,000.

1,000,000,000,000 < 21,081,851,083,600 (obviously)

And we know that the <i>real</i> total will be less than 1,000,000,000,000, seeing as we were so generous in our square-root estimate above. In reality there will be many, many square roots below 10,000.

So what gives?

Oh, my system completed the whole thing in less than ten seconds. The fact that the 80387 and higher FPU's have a built-in FSQRT instruction may explain that...

My system got an answer of 666,666,671,666.612061.

Kelledin

bash-2.04$ kill -9 1
init: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
May 30, 2001 2:02:27 AM

From that standpoint, I guess some older Compaq DeskPro's didn't really have motherboards either...their "motherboards" plugged into an ISA riser card module.

Kelledin

bash-2.04$ kill -9 1
init: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?
May 30, 2001 2:04:30 AM

64-bit PCI outdoes even Ultra160 SCSI...bump it up to 66MHz (which is done on some mobos) and it even outdoes Ultra320! WOOOO-HAAAAA! :wink:

Kelledin

bash-2.04$ kill -9 1
init: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?

P.S. Wow, I posted more than I realized. Who says you can't go from addict to forum patriarch in a single thread? :wink:
May 30, 2001 3:25:17 AM

Hey sure thing.. you go ahead and purchase the components everyone has mentioned and I'll assemble them and run your benchmark code on it. ;) 

(btw all, sorry for being away for a while... 3 day weekend and all)

-Raystonn

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
May 30, 2001 3:28:36 AM

Picture your standard 'full tower'.. with room for 5 or so 5.25" drives, maybe another 5 or so 3.5" drives, etc. Definately not more than 3.5' or so... It should look pretty much like a normal system from the outside.

-Raystonn

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
May 30, 2001 3:30:36 AM

A single full tower. It shouldn't look too far from a normal system from the outside. You've got to fool Uncle Moneybags into thinking you just got a normal computer and that's how much they all cost.. (honest!) ;) 

-Raystonn

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
May 30, 2001 3:33:47 AM

"is a Tbird 1.33 overclocked to 2.5 Ghz allowed ? combined with a Geforce3 @800/600Mhz"

Only if it's physically possible within 1 full tower. The complete system will sit on a standard desktop at standard room temperature. If this has been done, just show some URLs as proof and get a majority of forum readers to agree that it is indeed possible.


"I mean.. who cares man.."

To quote Darth Vader, "I find your lack of faith disturbing..." ;) 

-Raystonn

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
May 30, 2001 3:37:11 AM

"palomino"

Just remember that if it is not available by the end, this will not be going anywhere. I recall reading somewhere that Palominos were not due out for desktops until around the time Northwood is released. Has that changed?

-Raystonn

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
May 30, 2001 3:38:33 AM

That was originally the plan. But alas, I was forced to scrap it in order to remain gender neutral. Drat. ;) 

-Raystonn

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
May 30, 2001 3:39:29 AM

If there's a motherboard available somewhere that supports it, sure.

-Raystonn

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
May 30, 2001 3:40:36 AM

Those are fine. So long as they fit in something that's about the same size as a standard full tower.

-Raystonn

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
May 30, 2001 3:41:04 AM

Now you're talking! ;) 

-Raystonn

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
May 30, 2001 5:18:55 AM

"I recall reading somewhere that Palominos were not due out for desktops until around the time Northwood is released. Has that changed?"

No, but palomino for servers is to be "available" in "June"
if its not, I'll go back to planning my Beowulf.
its not as if this hypothetical situation is is any more
believable than release date rumours. ;) 



Flame not, lest ye be flamed.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
May 30, 2001 8:45:34 AM

Dude, Sorry but I think you'r reasoning is not very accurate. The answer I gave you is the right one and it is documented on the net somewhere. I ran the same program under a PIII-500 intel and it was off by 2 but the sparc was a closer to what have been posted on the net from years back. I suspected that my 32bit PIII-500 intel is wrong...
It does not matter what the code is doing cause obviousley it can't be done by hand or even using a scientific calculator. But I know it took my 32bit Intel PIII-500 5 minutes and 22 seconds, where my Sun Sparc 64bit 500 took 3 minutes and 21 seconds and produced a closer resut...See below:
[PIII-500 with 512 L2 cache]

[nabil@viper nabil]$ time ./sigmasqrt 1 1000000000
21081851083598.382812
real 5m29.723s
user 5m29.640s
sys 0m0.000s
[nabil@viper nabil]$

-------------------------
[Sparc UIIe-500 with 256 L2 cache]

$ time ./sigmasqrt 1 1000000000
21081851083600.558594
real 3:21.1
user 3:20.7
sys 0.0
$
----------------------------
Then I ran the job parallel in 3 computer cluster(3 CPUs) computing at the same time and got this

[2 PIII-500's and 1 Sparc-500]

21081851083601.093750
real 1m51.967s
user 0m0.010s
sys 0m0.010s
---------------------------------

What exactly are you using to compute this ??? What kind of system and OS are you using ???

_______________________________________________~
Software is like Sex, its better when its Free!
May 30, 2001 11:54:13 AM

If I ever win the lottery, thats the hard drive for me. :wink:

---------
Grass is a beautiful weed
May 30, 2001 12:18:00 PM

do we score points on what we manage
to cram into this system? :) 



Intel Components, AMD Components... all made in Taiwan!
May 30, 2001 2:47:44 PM

I copied that code to Visual C++ 6.0 and tried to compile it, but I get "undeclared identifier" errors for "exit" and "atol". I'm not much into programming yet, so why won't this work?

"Trying is the first step towards failure."
!