Cheap computer with ECC RAM support for scientific computation

canta

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2014
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Ts140 or ts440 is standard matx board.
Transplanting to any matx case is easy pie
 

captain_fail

New Member
Dec 8, 2015
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One question I have for you is if you can parallelize any parts of your code? A quad-core CPU with hyper-threading will not be much use if all the activity is happening on just one thread. I know it's a simple stupid question that you've probably already thought of, but if it takes a month on one core, could it take 2 weeks if run in parallel? With such a long runtime, I'd be looking for any possible way to divide and conquer.

Ok, but I'm sure you've already thought of that too! The next thing I'd be careful of is your estimate of single-thread performance. When you say it takes a month to run, is this on the big cluster you're talking about? What kind of specs does that machine have? You'll want to look up the single-thread passmark score for that CPU in order to compare to one that you would buy. If the cluster has a single-thread passmark score of 3000 and the process takes a month to run on it, if you buy a CPU with a score of 1500, well then it might take 2 months!

Check out the single-thread passmark scores here:
PassMark CPU Benchmarks - Single Thread Performance

Here are the scores of some of the procs mentioned in this thread:

E3-1230 v3 = 2,100
E3-1225 v3 = 2,016
i3-4330T = 1,774
X5675 = 1,407
X5660 = 1,294
X5560 = 1,286
L5640 = 1,101

You may not be able to buy an E3V3 used for a good price, but keep in mind that even if you get a good deal on an L5640, it may take twice as long to finish your job! For most of my work, this would be the difference between 20 seconds and 40 seconds... but in your case it's the difference between 1 month or 2 months!

Don't bother looking at the Price/performance graphs because that assumes the retail price for a new CPU. You'll actually be paying a lot less on ebay. But the important thing is to compare the single-thread passmark score against what your cluster is using.

There's nothing special about ECC, except that you will want to make sure the memory you get is compatible with the motherboard. If possible, check the "Approved Memory List" (aka "QVL") from the motherboard manufacturer to be on the safe side.
 

PigLover

Moderator
Jan 26, 2011
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Do supermicro motherboards have standard power connector?
Does supermicro refers to form factor/brand etc? I am getting lost:)
Supermicro is a brand of server components and (more recently) systems. Most enterprises consider them "greybox" - not a front line branded system like Dell or HP but not a complete generic "whitebox" or OCP system either. For SMB/home/serious hobbyist they are the #1 go to brand.

They have both standard form factor boards (ATX/E-ATX/mATX/miniITX/etc) and proprietary ones. The standard form factor boards almost always use standard PSU connections.

Getting info on their boards is pretty easy. Get the part number (looks typically like X8DTU-F - letter, number, 3 letters and a suffix). Stick it in google and look at the result from the "supermicro.com" site. All the top level specs are on the page you will find.
 

canta

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Nov 26, 2014
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You can get good deal quad core ,e3 no hyper threading in ts140 for $285.. All included 4g ecc and 500g sata.

Just wait . the deal will show up again

Can you beat that price?...
 

bmacklin

Member
Dec 10, 2013
96
5
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So I have a TS140 i3 version for sale and I'll throw in extra 4Gb of ram and a 500 Gb hdd. I'm thinking $230 + shipping. PM me for details.
 

stridder

New Member
Dec 19, 2015
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One question I have for you is if you can parallelize any parts of your code? A quad-core CPU with hyper-threading will not be much use if all the activity is happening on just one thread. I know it's a simple stupid question that you've probably already thought of, but if it takes a month on one core, could it take 2 weeks if run in parallel? With such a long runtime, I'd be looking for any possible way to divide and conquer.
I use 2 completely different environment: with one it is pretty easy to parallelize to lots of cores (for this usecase I use the cluster) and with the 2nd environment parallelization is a nightmare (probably not possible at all). My supervisor usually wants me to implement same algorithm in both for verification of results. Even for 2nd environment I often have to run multiple instances of the same code with different parameters, so its not an issue of keeping 4-8 cores loaded most of time.
I don't have strict deadlines, so its OK that it runs for a month as long as it is stable (can work on other things while its running).

Ok, but I'm sure you've already thought of that too! The next thing I'd be careful of is your estimate of single-thread performance. When you say it takes a month to run, is this on the big cluster you're talking about? What kind of specs does that machine have? You'll want to look up the single-thread passmark score for that CPU in order to compare to one that you would buy. If the cluster has a single-thread passmark score of 3000 and the process takes a month to run on it, if you buy a CPU with a score of 1500, well then it might take 2 months!
Yes its on that big cluster. The main issue is that I can run a job for at most 72 hours at a time (after that time job is killed automatically), therefore I had to implement saving to file (and continuing) of code state and that was not easy and made code much more complicated, thus I would like to avoid such a waste of time.
The cluster has thousands of nodes with very different type of hardware, but its scheduler configured to send all single-core jobs to old hardware.
To sum up, the main reason I need a server is to run single-threaded code in 1 or more instances (how many depends on particular project).
 
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stridder

New Member
Dec 19, 2015
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So I have a TS140 i3 version for sale and I'll throw in extra 4Gb of ram and a 500 Gb hdd. I'm thinking $230 + shipping. PM me for details.
Couldn't find how to PM, sorry. I am currently looking for a deal with xeon. Can you install xeon in it?
 

canta

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2014
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I meant I would take it with xeon installed
if you not in rush... TS140 with e3 quad core will pop-up again
I would assume the spec is e3, 4g ram, 500G HD for $285 (including shipping) :D

you can not get that price by buying the processe e3 alone. e3 haswell still retain $$ price :p...
 

bmacklin

Member
Dec 10, 2013
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I meant I would take it with xeon installed
If you want to buy it now for $400 and pay me now, I'll get it out to you in 7 days :p

if you not in rush... TS140 with e3 quad core will pop-up again
I would assume the spec is e3, 4g ram, 500G HD for $285 (including shipping) :D

you can not get that price by buying the processe e3 alone. e3 haswell still retain $$ price :p...
$180 is the lowest I found on eBay for a e3-1225v3, which is what comes with the $289 deal you are talking about. So not quite $290.
 

canta

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Nov 26, 2014
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If you want to buy it now for $400 and pay me now, I'll get it out to you in 7 days :p



$180 is the lowest I found on eBay for a e3-1225v3, which is what comes with the $289 deal you are talking about. So not quite $290.
you forgot the motherboard price......

buy E3 and motherboard would be more than $280 :p

the last deal. was $280 (includingshipping) +4G ram + 500G HD ....

can you beat that?

I see refurbished one with identical spec minus HD on ebay for $350+35 shipping..
 

bmacklin

Member
Dec 10, 2013
96
5
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you can not get that price by buying the processe e3 alone. e3 haswell still retain $$ price :p...
well, your original statement sounded like you were saying you cannot get a e3 for less than $280, which is false.
 

stridder

New Member
Dec 19, 2015
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I realised that I also need to look for UPS. People on inet say that pure sine wave is a must for any modern power supply. Is that true?
How much VA and Watts do I need to look for TS140, T20 or some microcerver?
In what range is the coefficient multiple between VA and Watts for a server?
Where can I post a topic for choosing UPS?