Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dream Machines

One of the few magazines I subscribe to is MaximumPC, and I got around to reading part of the latest issue, which is this Dream Machine issue.  I could not help but imagine how incredible such a machine would be or crunching BOINC projects, though at about 14-15 thousand USD, it is definitely completely out of my price range.   It used an 8 core Xeon chip, which some googling indicates that it should have Intel's hyper-threading technology, meaning it can process 16 tasks at once.  In addition to that it has two double core GPU's making it a quad SLI set up.

The GPU configuration raises quite a few issues in terms of crunching.  Some googling seems to indicate that the later versions of BOINC disable SLI while in use, so each GPU should run independently.  Though I am not sure if this is true for the somewhat recent Dual GPU video cards.  Even with all my reading on those, I am still not sure if both of the GPUs on one card, could in fact operate completely independently of each other.  Either way I am sure as they are top of the line video cards ( though definitely aimed more towards gaming use) they can crunch away incredibly effectively to no end.

While for any intents and purposes I would want to use for the system, nearly all of it would be excessive, except or maybe half the RAM and the liquid cooling.  Though I have always been incredibly skeptical of liquid cooling, while I know it cools far more effectively, I am just incredibly worried about a leak and basically ruining the entire system.  But the items such as 12 TB or Hard drives, not counting the storage in the form of SSD's.

While I have started, and am working on building up what I have dubbed my "Technology Play Fund" it had been completely wiped out when getting all the necessary items for the Optiplex 745.  Though one push in this Dream Machine issue is the fact that technology is advancing so fast, and a fixed performance level is always becoming less and less expensive, that its not uncommon for some key components and high priced performance pieces to only 4 or 5 years later to not just be affordable, but practically standard.  So in 5 years will a good number of BOINC crunchers have similar machines?

While I do not quite have the technology background to do this, seeing how effective a video card can be at computing/ crunching these BOINC projects, my Ideal computer may be a cluster type system in which each  board has one or two graphics cards.  Better yet is this type of system could be modular allowing it to be expanded by adding new boards one by one, to increase its computing power.

What is your Dream Machine?

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