Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Cray and supercomputers (kinda long)

Author: Joshua Shriver

Date: 08:40:03 09/16/05

Go up one level in this thread

A friend of mine uses myrinet on his opteron cluster. I've heard many good
things about it with respect to having a relatively low latency.

Kind of OT, but I remember reading that you once used crafty or another engine
on a Cray before. Mind talking about it?

From what I understand about Cray's, they're like a cluster in that they have a
lot of cpu's all working together instead of one massive processor. Though it
used some kind of special logic board for connecting them all together so no
network like ethernet/myrinet/etc between nodes was needed (or something to that

With today's extremely fast processors, it seems the super computing market has
died down, or at least switched. A couple years ago I went to a seminar at the
Pittsburgh Super Computing Center and at the time they where almost entirely
cluster based (Win NT or Linux). I talked with one of the gentlemen in charge
after one day and was shocked to hear they had a Cray (1? 2?) just sitting in
storage unused. Apparently it cost over a $1M just for the electricity bill, and
it required some kind of special coolant that was expensive even for a small

So compared to super fast mainframes or supercomputers... it seems clusters
give you the more bang for the bug. No special hardware needed, and cheaper

But what does this mean for computer chess?

If money wasn't an issue, what would really be ideal hardware for the best
computer machine?

Top of the line IBM mainframe?  200 node Dual core-dual opteron cluster?
Assuming that the code could utilize the hardware.

Sorry for the ramble :) just something on my mind.


>Yes.  gigabit ethernet is high bandwidth, but still long latency.  We have a new
>128 node dual xeon cluster in the department using myrinet, which is lower
>latency.  Our old cLAN switch was the lowest latency I have ever seen, but it
>was pricey as all hell...  It was also not TCP/IP based...

This page took 0.01 seconds to execute

Last modified: Thu, 15 Apr 21 08:11:13 -0700

Current Computer Chess Club Forums at Talkchess. This site by Sean Mintz.