Macs in Chemistry

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Mac clusters

Virginia Tech were in the news a few years ago when they built "System X" at the time the fastest supercomputer at an academic institution, using 1100 G5 Xserves. Ranking seventh in the Top 500 list of the world’s most powerful computer systems at the time with a sustained performance of 12 teraflops, System X was built at a fifth of the cost of the second-least expensive system in the top 10.

It looks like they are building a new cluster, the new system looks to have more than double the speed according to an initial report on
MacNN and a more detailed article on Ars Technica, the new Mac cluster consists of 324 8 core Mac Pros linked via 40Gbps copper wire connection, that will have a theoretical computing capacity of 29 teraflops, it will be several weeks before the system comes online, when tuning and benchmarking can begin. When we have hard data on the system's performance, we'll have a better idea how Mac Pros can fare in large cluster-type systems. The new system should prove to be a formidable competitor, especially among academic systems and we may also be able to compare Linux and Mac OS X on the same hardware.

It is of course worth bearing in mind how easy it is to set up small Mac clusters,
Dauger Research provides a 3 step recipe for setting up a cluster using Pooch.
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