hardware

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Don
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hardware

Post by Don » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:18 pm

We are looking to possibly purchase more hardware for out testing. WE already have a 16 core Intel machine but are considering something additional, something with more horsepower.

I have not started researching it, but I was looking for opinions. If we go beyond 16 cores AMD would be a consideration - but the last time we checked it did not seem like a good trade-off - you get a lot more cores but with substantially less performances per core.

By far our primary consideration is being able to run our automated tester and get as many games as possible at a given performance level. 32 AMD cores are better than 16 if the performance of each core is more than half (at chess) but we don't really know that or the price differences.

Does anyone have information about this?

The power utilization is not a huge factor as energy is cheap here - but it's a minor consideration.
Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.

Rein Halbersma
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Re: hardware

Post by Rein Halbersma » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:42 pm

Don wrote:We are looking to possibly purchase more hardware for out testing. WE already have a 16 core Intel machine but are considering something additional, something with more horsepower.

I have not started researching it, but I was looking for opinions. If we go beyond 16 cores AMD would be a consideration - but the last time we checked it did not seem like a good trade-off - you get a lot more cores but with substantially less performances per core.

By far our primary consideration is being able to run our automated tester and get as many games as possible at a given performance level. 32 AMD cores are better than 16 if the performance of each core is more than half (at chess) but we don't really know that or the price differences.

Does anyone have information about this?

The power utilization is not a huge factor as energy is cheap here - but it's a minor consideration.
You didn't specify a budget, but just this week the 2nd generation of the Xeon E5-26xx series came out. http://ark.intel.com/products/75283 Maxing out a dual socket server motherboard could be done for $5K on 2 x 12 core CPUs. On top of that another $2K for mb, mem etc. That's 48 logical cores :-)

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Don
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Re: hardware

Post by Don » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:51 pm

Rein Halbersma wrote:
Don wrote:We are looking to possibly purchase more hardware for out testing. WE already have a 16 core Intel machine but are considering something additional, something with more horsepower.

I have not started researching it, but I was looking for opinions. If we go beyond 16 cores AMD would be a consideration - but the last time we checked it did not seem like a good trade-off - you get a lot more cores but with substantially less performances per core.

By far our primary consideration is being able to run our automated tester and get as many games as possible at a given performance level. 32 AMD cores are better than 16 if the performance of each core is more than half (at chess) but we don't really know that or the price differences.

Does anyone have information about this?

The power utilization is not a huge factor as energy is cheap here - but it's a minor consideration.
You didn't specify a budget, but just this week the 2nd generation of the Xeon E5-26xx series came out. http://ark.intel.com/products/75283 Maxing out a dual socket server motherboard could be done for $5K on 2 x 12 core CPUs. On top of that another $2K for mb, mem etc. That's 48 logical cores :-)
Larry will be making the purchase because we don't really make much with Komodo sales to justify it - and he is wealthy. I think he would go for anything that represents good bang for the buck.

The machine you are talking about is one that he has already seen but it's not that much more powerful that what he already has. I am more interested in whether you can get something from AMD which will provide more testing throughput. What we want to know (or to try to figure out) is which machine would (for example) allow us to run more fixed depth 10 ply games per hour? There are performance numbers and such but not for chess and such things do not always correlate to chess.
Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.

bob
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Re: hardware

Post by bob » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:03 pm

Don wrote:We are looking to possibly purchase more hardware for out testing. WE already have a 16 core Intel machine but are considering something additional, something with more horsepower.

I have not started researching it, but I was looking for opinions. If we go beyond 16 cores AMD would be a consideration - but the last time we checked it did not seem like a good trade-off - you get a lot more cores but with substantially less performances per core.

By far our primary consideration is being able to run our automated tester and get as many games as possible at a given performance level. 32 AMD cores are better than 16 if the performance of each core is more than half (at chess) but we don't really know that or the price differences.

Does anyone have information about this?

The power utilization is not a huge factor as energy is cheap here - but it's a minor consideration.
I think the best "price point" is dual quad-core boxes. For testing, more boxes works just as well as adding more cores, and going beyond 16 cores gets to be somewhat pricey...

32 core boxes are going to be way expensive compared to the 2x4 or even 2x6 boxes. 2x8 begins to get expensive. Best cpu is STILL Intel by a significant margin, so far...

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Don
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Re: hardware

Post by Don » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:25 pm

bob wrote:
Don wrote:We are looking to possibly purchase more hardware for out testing. WE already have a 16 core Intel machine but are considering something additional, something with more horsepower.

I have not started researching it, but I was looking for opinions. If we go beyond 16 cores AMD would be a consideration - but the last time we checked it did not seem like a good trade-off - you get a lot more cores but with substantially less performances per core.

By far our primary consideration is being able to run our automated tester and get as many games as possible at a given performance level. 32 AMD cores are better than 16 if the performance of each core is more than half (at chess) but we don't really know that or the price differences.

Does anyone have information about this?

The power utilization is not a huge factor as energy is cheap here - but it's a minor consideration.
I think the best "price point" is dual quad-core boxes. For testing, more boxes works just as well as adding more cores, and going beyond 16 cores gets to be somewhat pricey...

32 core boxes are going to be way expensive compared to the 2x4 or even 2x6 boxes. 2x8 begins to get expensive. Best cpu is STILL Intel by a significant margin, so far...
I actually considered putting together a beowulf cluster with cheap quads and discovered that you can get more bang for your buck with this rather than buying big core boxes - so that's good advice.

But organizing that could be a problem for Larry. Do they make racks that will neatly house the standard desktop boxes (without having to design your own?) I have looked at 1U and 2U CPU boxes and they go for a premium, even when the CPU inside is not very powerful. I have worked with racks before but it's been a very long time. And I would worry about sticking a standard desktop box inside a rack and closing it up as they were designed to be able to breath.

What do you know about this?
Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.

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Don
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Re: hardware

Post by Don » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:36 pm

Don wrote:
bob wrote:
Don wrote:We are looking to possibly purchase more hardware for out testing. WE already have a 16 core Intel machine but are considering something additional, something with more horsepower.

I have not started researching it, but I was looking for opinions. If we go beyond 16 cores AMD would be a consideration - but the last time we checked it did not seem like a good trade-off - you get a lot more cores but with substantially less performances per core.

By far our primary consideration is being able to run our automated tester and get as many games as possible at a given performance level. 32 AMD cores are better than 16 if the performance of each core is more than half (at chess) but we don't really know that or the price differences.

Does anyone have information about this?

The power utilization is not a huge factor as energy is cheap here - but it's a minor consideration.
I think the best "price point" is dual quad-core boxes. For testing, more boxes works just as well as adding more cores, and going beyond 16 cores gets to be somewhat pricey...

32 core boxes are going to be way expensive compared to the 2x4 or even 2x6 boxes. 2x8 begins to get expensive. Best cpu is STILL Intel by a significant margin, so far...
I actually considered putting together a beowulf cluster with cheap quads and discovered that you can get more bang for your buck with this rather than buying big core boxes - so that's good advice.

But organizing that could be a problem for Larry. Do they make racks that will neatly house the standard desktop boxes (without having to design your own?) I have looked at 1U and 2U CPU boxes and they go for a premium, even when the CPU inside is not very powerful. I have worked with racks before but it's been a very long time. And I would worry about sticking a standard desktop box inside a rack and closing it up as they were designed to be able to breath.

What do you know about this?
It seems likely that you could get cases that are rack mountable and just purchase your machine to work with these cases or put them in one yourself. Is that the case? (No pun intended.)

Don
Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.

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kranium
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Re: hardware

Post by kranium » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:48 pm

Don wrote:We are looking to possibly purchase more hardware for out testing. WE already have a 16 core Intel machine but are considering something additional, something with more horsepower.

I have not started researching it, but I was looking for opinions. If we go beyond 16 cores AMD would be a consideration - but the last time we checked it did not seem like a good trade-off - you get a lot more cores but with substantially less performances per core.

By far our primary consideration is being able to run our automated tester and get as many games as possible at a given performance level. 32 AMD cores are better than 16 if the performance of each core is more than half (at chess) but we don't really know that or the price differences.

Does anyone have information about this?

The power utilization is not a huge factor as energy is cheap here - but it's a minor consideration.
Hi Don-
I think you really need to go 'big' here...(and I mean 'big'!)
the processing power (i.e. testing capacity) available to the Stockfish distributed testing framework has the potential to be huge

Houdini's 'benefactor' (business partner?) Ahmed Mansoor has access to thousands of cores, and his resources and commitment to Houdart shouldn't be underestimated
(he directly supported the development of Houdini 3, and is largely responsible for Houdini's tremendous improvement)

Apparently, he is prepared to offer Robert whatever resources are needed in or order for Houdini to compete with Stockfish:
http://talkchess.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 838#533838

Regards,
Norm

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sje
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Re: hardware

Post by sje » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:09 pm

Rackmount is the way to go, although it has a significant start-up cost for things like mounting hardware, power, room storage, and air conditioning. And you'll need all of those for truly expandable system.

Fortunately, the usual Linux generic rackmount server hardware has commodity pricing. Avoid the bleeding edge CPUs as these almost always have a lower performance to price ratio when compared with second-tier processors.

gladius
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Full name: Gary Linscott

Re: hardware

Post by gladius » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:13 pm

Don wrote:We are looking to possibly purchase more hardware for out testing. WE already have a 16 core Intel machine but are considering something additional, something with more horsepower.

I have not started researching it, but I was looking for opinions. If we go beyond 16 cores AMD would be a consideration - but the last time we checked it did not seem like a good trade-off - you get a lot more cores but with substantially less performances per core.

By far our primary consideration is being able to run our automated tester and get as many games as possible at a given performance level. 32 AMD cores are better than 16 if the performance of each core is more than half (at chess) but we don't really know that or the price differences.

Does anyone have information about this?

The power utilization is not a huge factor as energy is cheap here - but it's a minor consideration.
IMO, the AMD cores are the best bang for the buck when it comes to chess testing right now. You can use all the cores (which is not quite clear for Intel HT, although newer Intel chips it may be doable), since they have independent integer units, which is all that really matters for chess.

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/ ... =bsd&cs=04

32 cores - 2,300
24 cores - 2,200

You can get more cores in the next version up, but it's not really worth the cost IMO:
64 cores - 6,800
48 cores - 5,600

I got one of the 24 core versions, and it's been rock solid so far. It's a rack computer, but you don't need to run it from a rack, mine is just sitting on a table in the garage :).

jhellis3
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Re: hardware

Post by jhellis3 » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:52 pm

If you only want to run fixed depth tests, Intel will be virtually impossible to beat as you can safely use HT.

If you want to run time based tests, it will be closer. Intel will still offer better performance/watt, but AMD machines will probably offer better performance/dollar at least for upfront costs.

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