Vintage & unusual Computers on Einstein@Home

tullio
tullio
Joined: 22 Jan 05
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My PII finished two WUs this

My PII finished two WUs this night,one Einstein receiving 231.89 credits and one SETI with 96.05 credits. Only SETI sent another WU, and the CPU is crunching it.
The SETI message board signals a lot of validation errors on faster CPUs, probably running optimized code. My core client is 5.10.21, my app 4.02, OS Linux.
Tullio

Stranger7777
Stranger7777
Joined: 17 Mar 05
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Credit: 381,246,482
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I'm not kidding all about

I'm not kidding all about that. This is really my computer lab where I and my partner are working almost every evening after main work at other offices.
It is really 9 sq.meters at all. And it is not air conditioned. The only processor that suffers from overheating is P4-2.4 GHz that has standard cooler that howls when the temperature in the room takes 60'C barier. Fortunately it was only in summer, when there's nobody at room for a whole day (we have usually over then 30'C almost all summer this year). Then somebody comes in and opens door and windows and the temperature fall to it's usual 30 degress.
Now we have 0'C at night and soon we will have -14'C even in midday.
And I want to say that this computing power doesn't save from a cold wheather, especially when the common heating system doesn't work as it should. Last winter we have below -40'C and it was cold in the room despite the computers heat. We decided to open all the boxes to propagate the heat to the room, but... it doesn't help and we had to use electric heater to have atleast 22'C in there. This winter I suppose we will have more powerful systems in this room, so... let's see it. I'll report sometimes later when it will be cold on the street how it is going

Bikeman (Heinz-Bernd Eggenstein)
Bikeman (Heinz-...
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Doesn't sound like fun. So

Doesn't sound like fun. So maybe one or two of those 8 way P4-XEONs (see Jim's articles) would help to keep the lab warm in the Russian winter.

I sometimes complain about German weather where all seasons are almost the same :-), but Russian weather would not be my cup of tea either, that's for sure...

CU
Bikeman

Jim Bailey
Jim Bailey
Joined: 31 Aug 05
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I'll pass on that -40 also.

I'll pass on that -40 also. Don't mind 20 below F, but 40 below is a different story. I have enough problems keeping the stock tanks cleared of ice for the animals during the winter as it is.

Installed the HAL, so the second SMP module is ready as soon as that 2GB of memory arrives. We'll see if it blue screens with HT enabled on 8 cpu's! :)

Bikeman (Heinz-Bernd Eggenstein)
Bikeman (Heinz-...
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RE: I'll pass on that -40

Message 69818 in response to message 69817

Quote:

I'll pass on that -40 also. Don't mind 20 below F, but 40 below is a different story. I have enough problems keeping the stock tanks cleared of ice for the animals during the winter as it is.

Installed the HAL, so the second SMP module is ready as soon as that 2GB of memory arrives. We'll see if it blue screens with HT enabled on 8 cpu's! :)

I wonder whether a standard SMP Linux kernel would be prepared for this special type of machine, maybe it would be interesting to try to boot this box from a Linux live-cd. Just for the fun of it.

CU
Bikeman

Jim Bailey
Jim Bailey
Joined: 31 Aug 05
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Credit: 1,452,829
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There are several versions

There are several versions that are supported from IBM, and you don't want to know how much they cost! I wonder how many cpu's are supported using one of the free download versions? I'm using a dually as a test machine for Linux and I know it see both cpu's, but not certain what the upper limit is cpu wise. I'll check into that and give it a try next time I do a reboot.

Two GB's of memory showed up today, just not the 2GB's for the 440! :( It will make the 255 happy though!

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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RE: The x440 IBM was

Message 69820 in response to message 69799

Quote:
The x440 IBM was delivered yesterday morning. Has eight 1.9Ghz MP Xeons with HT.....

I've been very interested to follow the adventures of various people setting up some pretty unusual (for the average desktop user) hardware - older but not really vintage just yet :). For quite a while I've been a fan of PIII tualatins and for even longer, a fan of Athlon XP. Unfortunately the latter are hard to pick up at bargain basement prices as they weren't originally as plentiful and those that do come up seem to get snapped up quite fiercely :).

Some time ago I came to the conclusion that buying servers rather than desktops was a good thing to do - for several reasons. Of course there are some disadvantages too but they don't really impact on me. The main advantages for me are:-

  • *The hardware is better designed, more robust and much less likely to fail
    *Almost invariably you get the ability to have multiple processors
    *Small SCSI disks are easy to find, more reliable and very cheap - eg 9.1G basically cost zero
    *Server RAM for veteran machines is easy to find and very cheap
    *Traditional auction houses quite often don't know what they are selling and most potential buyers steer clear of old servers because of the limited market for resale. This is very conducive to cheap buying prices.

Until recently I had been acquiring mainly compaq servers particularly DL380s and DL380-G2s. My 380s are now all dual coppermines -1.0Gig and my G2s are dual tualatins, mostly 1.4Gig with some 1.266Gig as well.

Having seen Bikeman's IBM boxes, I've been paying more attention to IBM eservers xSeries and now have about ten of those to play with. Five are now in production and I feel I've mastered at least some of the quirks of getting them to perform nicely.

I'm pretty pleased with my latest acquisition which was an auction lot containing three old and quite unspecified IBM eservers. I really didn't get much of a chance to investigate before buying but I wasn't too worried as one of them at least was a dual tualatin 1.266 with about a Gig or so of RAM so it was worth the $50 I paid for the whole lot. That one was set up on Sunday morning and it is just now about to finish the first result. It is a 217.42 credit result and it will have taken approx 24 hours when it finishes. The second cpu will take about 5.5 hours longer to finish its result even although the two results are virtually next to each other in the sequence - 147.00_S5R2__7 and 147.00_S5R2__5 respectively. At that rate of change I'm not looking forward to the times for __4, __3, __2, __1 and __0. I think I saw someone mentioning that the __0 result was always the slowest in the sequence.

The real surprise of Sunday's little exercise was when I opened up the second eserver (actually branded as xSeries 345) to find a gig of RAM and dual P4 Xeons - 2.4GHz and HT capable so I now have my first box crunching 4 results simultaneously :). I realise that this is no big deal to the average punter but it IS a big deal for me when this essentially free box looks like it will outperform 99% of all the other boxes in my fleet :). I had a few issues with convincing it not to be so unhappy that its previous RAID array (whatever it was) had gone bye bye and it would have to accept that all it was going to get in return was a couple of old 9 or 18G disks - not raided. I eventually figured out how to configure the controller and I also figured out that it really didn't like some of the old 9gig Compaq disks I was trying to feed it. Eventually it became quite happy with a pair of 18gig 10K disks which incidentally were actually IBM xSeries branded.

The machine also has dual gigabit ethernet so this is the first machine I have that goes beyond the old 10/100 of everything else I own. The only spare port I had close by was in a 10base T hub so it probably wasn't particularly happy with that arrangement either. However it was working so I installed PCLinuxOS from live CD without incident and had the box communicating on the LAN. I downloaded my standard EAH template of executables, .pdbs, skygrids, .xmls, sun and earth files, etc, and some assorted scripts so that the machine would be downloading large data files straight after I clicked my StartBoinc desktop icon. Everything seemed to be going just fine and there was the usual big queue of pending downloads of those large data files. Then, for no apparent reason, some of the downloads got stuck and a few results were trashed with "download errors". Eventually the thing seemed to sort itself out and the remaining downloads were completed and 4 results started crunching and 4 trashed results got returned. As I said, my gigabit ethernet adapter didn't seem to like having to deal with my old and slow hub - or maybe it's the other way around :).

This is the box now about 30% through the first 4 non-trashed results. Seems like each result will take just over 32 hours so the box will produce a result every 8 hours or so. This should be enough to make this box my best producer.

Not too shabby for someone else's junk :).

Cheers,
Gary.

DanNeely
DanNeely
Joined: 4 Sep 05
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Gary: Just how much does

Gary: Just how much does running that server farm cost you per month?

Jim Bailey
Jim Bailey
Joined: 31 Aug 05
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Sounds like an excellent buy

Sounds like an excellent buy to me! I'm sure you will be very happy with those Xeon's. I've had very good luck with them over the years. I started with 4 of the quad Intel SC450NX's about 6 years ago. Used everything from the PII 400's up to the 700's and they are still running as good today as the first time I fired them up. Three of the 450's are running at present, along with a dual PIII 700. If I remember to pull a gig of memory out I'll put the fourth 450 back on line in a few days.

Started upgrading this year, a pair of x360's, a x255, the x440, and a Z Pro running a pair of 3.06Ghz DP Xeon's. The "new" quads and the 8-way are running either 1.9 or 2.0 MP's. (Still waiting for that 2Gb of memory for the 440) :(

The only draw back I've found is their weight and size. The two workstations are the only non-rack mounts I have left. The 360's (3U) weigh in at 85-90 pounds, while the 255 (7U) and the 440 (4U) are 120-130 pounds, with the 450's (7U) in the middle at 110-115.

What I do like is that they are tough, easy to work on, and parts/upgrades are cheap! That, and they have features you'd never find in a desktop. Things like memory mirroring, RAID memory, ChipKill, 2 or 4 way interleave on memory, hot swap PCI-X cards, hot swap power supplies and HDD's, ..... Best of all, they are designed to run full tilt 24/7/365.

Personally, I'd never buy another 'puter that wasn't server grade! Besides, they have more cpu's!!!!! :) More cpu's is always better!!!!!!

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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RE: Gary: Just how much

Message 69823 in response to message 69821

Quote:
Gary: Just how much does running that server farm cost you per month?

Far too much :).

Actually, the servers aren't too bad because I'm only running around 25 at the moment. I've been shutting down lots of coppermine PIIIs and Williamette P4s so the cost is actually improving somewhat. A dual tualatin 1.4 costs less per credit than what I've shut down.

Before anyone jumps on me and points out that I could save a bunch if I shut down everything I'm currently running and replaced it all with a small farm of C2Qs - well yes, but where's the fun in that? :). Seriously, that's probably the next step when I figure that I've satisfied the need to tinker with the older stuff.

The cost of electricity is not really a factor that concerns me. The environmental consequences are far more troubling and that factor rather than dollars is much more likely to stem my profligacy. :).

Cheers,
Gary.

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