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Thread: A Nicely-Built 40-Core Raspberry Pi Cluster

  1. #1
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    Default A Nicely-Built 40-Core Raspberry Pi Cluster

    Phoronix: A Nicely-Built 40-Core Raspberry Pi Cluster

    Raspberry Pi super-computing clusters have been attempted before, but usually they don't turn out as nice as this new one that's comprised of 40 Raspberry Pi boards inside of an acrylic chassis...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTYwNTI

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    The guy obviously did it for fun... 'cause you can buy a 486 for $20 that can outperform 40 rpi's.

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    Well, sure, but a 486 won't be able to do a whole lot of concurrent operations. That's like comparing a CPU to a GPU--they're different beasts, with different purposes.

    That said, he was doing it sort-of for fun, but it started out as a thesis project. According to his blog post, he's going to use it to test distributed software.

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    I appreciate you featuring my project here!

    Regarding other comments, the processor on the Pi is approximately 20 to 40 times the speed of a 486DX2-50, depending on your metric. The cluster I built should be should be similar in performance to the Origin2000 systems from the late 1990s, but with slower interconnects. Applications that don't rely on having such fast interconnects should work just fine.

    I wanted to point out that, with different cards, my case design could be used with other similar boards, such as the Beaglebone Black. It might be slightly harder to set it up with Gigabit Ethernet switches, due to most 24-port Gigabit switches being too wide), but I think that should become practical in the future. This would alleviate the bottlenecking issue mentioned in the article.

    And yes, part of the purpose of this project has been the fun side of it. I also also think it will be a lot more interesting to run distributed code on a hardware platform, where I can see lights blinking and such as it works. But I grew up on movies that had supercomputers with huge panels of blinking lights, so I suppose that sentiment may not be universal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by droidhacker View Post
    The guy obviously did it for fun... 'cause you can buy a 486 for $20 that can outperform 40 rpi's.
    It must be fun when you can spend 3000$ for fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    I appreciate you featuring my project here!

    Regarding other comments, the processor on the Pi is approximately 20 to 40 times the speed of a 486DX2-50, depending on your metric. The cluster I built should be should be similar in performance to the Origin2000 systems from the late 1990s, but with slower interconnects. Applications that don't rely on having such fast interconnects should work just fine.

    I wanted to point out that, with different cards, my case design could be used with other similar boards, such as the Beaglebone Black. It might be slightly harder to set it up with Gigabit Ethernet switches, due to most 24-port Gigabit switches being too wide), but I think that should become practical in the future. This would alleviate the bottlenecking issue mentioned in the article.

    And yes, part of the purpose of this project has been the fun side of it. I also also think it will be a lot more interesting to run distributed code on a hardware platform, where I can see lights blinking and such as it works. But I grew up on movies that had supercomputers with huge panels of blinking lights, so I suppose that sentiment may not be universal.
    I love your project. Read the pdf about raspberry pi beowulf cluster last year. Really cool stuff. Are you familiar with other devices such as the Parallella? http://www.adapteva.com/parallella-board/

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    I'd have to say, this is very well done. I just think it's a real shame you chose RPi. Spend roughly $20 more per system and you could've gone for the MK808 with a USB to Ethernet adapter. That's just about the cheapest dual core system you can get. It's too bad it only has wifi support instead of ethernet, because otherwise it'd be even cheaper for you. The major downside would be that it doesn't have any blinky LEDs on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schmidtbag View Post
    I'd have to say, this is very well done. I just think it's a real shame you chose RPi. Spend roughly $20 more per system and you could've gone for the MK808 with a USB to Ethernet adapter. That's just about the cheapest dual core system you can get. It's too bad it only has wifi support instead of ethernet, because otherwise it'd be even cheaper for you. The major downside would be that it doesn't have any blinky LEDs on it.
    wifi only would make it pretty useless for what he is doing. Not sure about the usb ethernet adapter, that might not be all that great either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by philip550c View Post
    I love your project. Read the pdf about raspberry pi beowulf cluster last year. Really cool stuff. Are you familiar with other devices such as the Parallella? http://www.adapteva.com/parallella-board/
    Thanks.

    I'm familiar with Parallella, but I don't own one. I'll probably buy one in the next year or so. However, I need to spend time with my other mini PCs before I buy more of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by schmidtbag View Post
    I'd have to say, this is very well done. I just think it's a real shame you chose RPi. Spend roughly $20 more per system and you could've gone for the MK808 with a USB to Ethernet adapter. That's just about the cheapest dual core system you can get. It's too bad it only has wifi support instead of ethernet, because otherwise it'd be even cheaper for you. The major downside would be that it doesn't have any blinky LEDs on it.
    Thanks.

    Regarding the MK808: For this build, I didn't want to use wireless or separate USB Ethernet adapters. But I own a GK802 and I'd like to build some kind of stick PC cluster eventually. If/when I do, I'll use the on-board wireless and limit it to more like 8 to 16 nodes. I probably won't make such an elaborate case for it though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    Thanks.

    I'm familiar with Parallella, but I don't own one. I'll probably buy one in the next year or so. However, I need to spend time with my other mini PCs before I buy more of them.



    Thanks.

    Regarding the MK808: For this build, I didn't want to use wireless or separate USB Ethernet adapters. But I own a GK802 and I'd like to build some kind of stick PC cluster eventually. If/when I do, I'll use the on-board wireless and limit it to more like 8 to 16 nodes. I probably won't make such an elaborate case for it though.
    Man, WTF. Odroid U3 community edition is $59 and has quad 1.7 GHz Exynos cores and 2 GB of RAM ==> $14.75 per core
    Raspberry => $35 per core

    And you need 75% fewer SD cards, cables, switch ports.

    Guess which one is faster?

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