ProDigit
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Raspberry Pi making home supercomputers affordable?

Sat May 05, 2018 10:33 am

Wouldn't it be awesome, if the Raspberry Pi foundation, who brought computing to the home, would also be able to engineer a supercomputer for the home?

I mean, a motherboard about the size of a regular PC ATX case, but loaded with affordable lower power CPUs (like ARM) and affordable RAM?


Personally I would love to one day own a 128 core Raspberry Pi supercomputer, compatible with perhaps 8 sticks of DDR3, to run bitcoin mining, Folding at home, or other programs on Linux, that can make use of tens to hundreds of CPUs.
Also, servers usually use ECC memory, that's expensive.
They would work ok with much cheaper DDR3 memory as well, however, chances on errors might increase.
In cases of Folding at home, or bitcoin mining, it doesn't matter as much.

Rather than run programs from power hungry GPUs, perhaps it's better to run them from more cores at lower powerdraws.

mfa298
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Re: Raspberry Pi making home supercomputers affordable?

Sat May 05, 2018 11:52 am

ProDigit wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 10:33 am
Wouldn't it be awesome, if the Raspberry Pi foundation, who brought computing to the home, would also be able to engineer a supercomputer for the home?

Personally I would love to one day own a 128 core Raspberry Pi supercomputer, compatible with perhaps 8 sticks of DDR3, to run bitcoin mining, Folding at home, or other programs on Linux, that can make use of tens to hundreds of CPUs.
...
Rather than run programs from power hungry GPUs, perhaps it's better to run them from more cores at lower powerdraws.
Maybe as a starting point learn about what a modern supercomputer looks like. Where I worked several years ago we had a Super Computer, in reality it's just a lot of racks filled with high 1U servers a number of which had high end GPUs connected to them. Nvidia used to have (and may still have) GPUs designed for the compute market where they have the processing capability without the display parts.

In reality if you wanted an affordable home supercomputer then you can have one already. You just buy a bunch of Pi's and connect them together. Many people already do that as its a good way to learn about how they work. If you want actual processing power then that's probably not the way to go, you can put together high spec intel servers for a few thousand dollars which will likely out perform what your thinking of.

hippy
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Re: Raspberry Pi making home supercomputers affordable?

Sat May 05, 2018 12:23 pm

I have no objection to low-power, low-cost, supercomputers and it would be awesome, cool, amazeballs, if anyone were to deliver those.

I am not sure it would be more awesome, cooler or amazeballing to have a Pi supercomputer than something else. But if the Foundation or Trading wants to head in that direction that would be fine by me.

Supercomputers are multiple CPU/GPU, high demand, systems because we don't have anything better at present. What we call a supercomputer now may one day be a single chip and we'll be laughing at how we do it now as much as we laugh at what were top-end computers in the past.

If the first quantum computer were a Pi; that would be awesome, cool, amazeballs and deserving of even more adjectives.

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bensimmo
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Re: Raspberry Pi making home supercomputers affordable?

Sat May 05, 2018 12:57 pm

My Pi is a Supercomputer.
4 damn CPU's and a dedicated number cruncher in there.

Stuff of dreams, 4 cpu's I tell yeah!

droleary
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Re: Raspberry Pi making home supercomputers affordable?

Sat May 05, 2018 3:25 pm

ProDigit wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 10:33 am
Wouldn't it be awesome, if the Raspberry Pi foundation, who brought computing to the home, would also be able to engineer a supercomputer for the home?
Meh. As others have said, the architecture of a modern supercomputer isn't much different than you'd get by stuffing a lot of RPi boards into a big case. As I've said in other threads, if the RPF wanted to support that kind of thing, the first step is to document a wider variety of projects that used more than one RPi.
I mean, a motherboard about the size of a regular PC ATX case, but loaded with affordable lower power CPUs (like ARM) and affordable RAM?
The hardware is only the starting point. What software is this new architecture supposed to run? How are people going to make use of this "supercomputer" that may otherwise be slower and more expensive than a regular PC when it comes to performing regular/simple tasks?
Personally I would love to one day own a 128 core Raspberry Pi supercomputer, compatible with perhaps 8 sticks of DDR3, to run bitcoin mining,
Then you don't know much about the rigs that can mine Bitcoin most efficiently these days.
Rather than run programs from power hungry GPUs, perhaps it's better to run them from more cores at lower powerdraws.
There's no "perhaps" about it: it is not better to run GPU-optimized tasks on a regular CPU, regardless of the core count. While there are many interesting things that could be done with an RPi "supercomputer", none of them are what you seem to want to do.

jamesh
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Re: Raspberry Pi making home supercomputers affordable?

Sat May 05, 2018 4:41 pm

It's really just a compute module base board that can take multiple CM's. Or you can use the Bitscope devices.
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