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System76 Rolls Out A NVIDIA-Powered GPU Linux Server

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  • System76 Rolls Out A NVIDIA-Powered GPU Linux Server

    Phoronix: System76 Rolls Out A NVIDIA-Powered GPU Linux Server

    System76 today announced their new Ibex Pro GPU Server, designed for engineering and science workloads, among other possible business applications...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...Pro-GPU-Server

  • #2
    That Xeon seems underwhemling for a computer worth $10-$100k. Can it even keep up with that many GPUs? I understand it isn't the primary workhorse but I would think it might be a bottleneck. Maybe I'm wrong, in which case, I'm guessing it's the cheapest CPU you can get with 40 PCIe lanes.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
      That Xeon seems underwhemling for a computer worth $10-$100k. Can it even keep up with that many GPUs? I understand it isn't the primary workhorse but I would think it might be a bottleneck. Maybe I'm wrong, in which case, I'm guessing it's the cheapest CPU you can get with 40 PCIe lanes.
      I don't think there is any "keeping up" for the CPU to do - that's the whole point of GPGPU computing. The number of PCIe lanes really doesn't matter much. After all, the GPU has its own dedicated memory; load the data set into GPU memory and let the GPU crunch away while the CPU sits nearly idle. Look at GPU bitcoin mining rigs for an example of this. Most GPU based bitcoin rigs used a single PCIe lane for each GPU, so clearly bandwidth between CPU and GPU is not meaningful. Kind of funny to see the cheapest $40 Athlon or Pentium with several $k worth of high end GPU's plugged in, but that was the secret recipe for a few years in the bitcoin mining world.
      Last edited by torsionbar28; 02-01-2017, 12:46 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
        That Xeon seems underwhemling for a computer worth $10-$100k. Can it even keep up with that many GPUs? I understand it isn't the primary workhorse but I would think it might be a bottleneck. Maybe I'm wrong, in which case, I'm guessing it's the cheapest CPU you can get with 40 PCIe lanes.
        Nag System76 to loan one of those sytsems to Michael for benchmarking and perhaps we could find out :P Could be that's not the case for that sort of workload and give their product some good awareness / interest.

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        • #5
          I really do not see a point of thing like this. For all measures is very expensive nearing the price of the Nvidia DGX-1 (maxed out configurations) and without all the perks of this system. Like tight integration with the nvidia software (nvidia now make a ton of deep learning libraries) even if most of these libraries are opensource or have an opensource equivalent is nice to have a thing ready to go. From the hardware standpoint, there is no mention to support NVLink, that is really important for large scale problems using GPU nor there any indications of infiniband support out of the box. For people starting with these thing probably a better option is to spin some aws instances (prices ~0.9 up to 15 a hour).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
            That Xeon seems underwhemling for a computer worth $10-$100k. Can it even keep up with that many GPUs? I understand it isn't the primary workhorse but I would think it might be a bottleneck. Maybe I'm wrong, in which case, I'm guessing it's the cheapest CPU you can get with 40 PCIe lanes.
            The heavy lifting is done by the GPGPU in many cases the cpu is only dispatching tasks to the GPU and performing IO.

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            • #7
              There is one little stupid thing keeping me from buying one of their laptops: international keyboards. Around 80 to 90% of things I type are in English. Still, the convenience loss for the remaining 10-20% I type in German makes it unbearable to use a laptop without a German keyboard. Sad.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by froyo View Post
                There is one little stupid thing keeping me from buying one of their laptops: international keyboards. Around 80 to 90% of things I type are in English. Still, the convenience loss for the remaining 10-20% I type in German makes it unbearable to use a laptop without a German keyboard. Sad.
                If most of your typing is in English, then aren't you already familiar enough with the different AZ location to be able to type like that in German as well? I'm Dutch and type most of my things in English, but I also type things in German every now and then but I have no problem doing that with QWERTY. (btw, if you really want a consistent experience, consider switchting to Dvorak)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Vistaus View Post

                  If most of your typing is in English, then aren't you already familiar enough with the different AZ location to be able to type like that in German as well? I'm Dutch and type most of my things in English, but I also type things in German every now and then but I have no problem doing that with QWERTY. (btw, if you really want a consistent experience, consider switchting to Dvorak)
                  You are right, it is feasible, but (a little) inconvenient. This can be avoided by buying a Dell...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Vistaus View Post

                    If most of your typing is in English, then aren't you already familiar enough with the different AZ location to be able to type like that in German as well? I'm Dutch and type most of my things in English, but I also type things in German every now and then but I have no problem doing that with QWERTY. (btw, if you really want a consistent experience, consider switchting to Dvorak)
                    Problem is: You are hardly ever working on just one keyboard. With some thinking I can type on a German keyboard even with configured English layout ("where are the curly braces...") But since all my keyboards from the late 80ies till today had a German layout and all other keyboards not under my control come with German layout plus the inabilty to type the occassional German text with umlauts - an English keyboard wouldn't be a viable alternative.

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