Phoronix: Preview: A Cheap 12-Core, 30-Watt Ubuntu Cluster
It's quite easy these days to build a many-core compute cluster that is low-powered, running Linux, and performant-friendly. Here's a small cluster build that's begun at Phoronix and has twelve 1.2GHz cores while the total system power consumption under load is just about 30 Watts...
Interesting project. Not sure though of the practical value, I think the raw performance is just a bit too low. Even with perfectly "clusterable" applications it's probably still slower than a bog-standard quad-core SNB/IVB notebook, which is probably just at least as power-efficient too (there's just too many boards for relatively little raw power to capitalize on the potentially more power efficient ARM cores), and that's probably cheaper too. A desktop i7-3770T (45W TDP) is probably quite comparable too.
And the interconnect looks a bit weakish too for a cluster, obviously low-cost clusters don't have specialized high-bandwidth interconnects but gbit ethernet might be nice...
I'm quite interested on your results with Panda ES cluster. I'm asking since I'm running previous Panda version here for GHC development and it is certainly not suitable for heavy server work due to some of its limitation I've listed here: http://ghcarm.wordpress.com/2011/07/...re-pandaboard/ -- do you have any experience with Panda ES overheating? See my post above and goodle for pandaboard overheating to get more info. I'm curious if your experience with ES will be the same or if the new 4460 is better than older 4430 in this regard.
Cheap ? Seriously now, 1000$ is not my idea of cheap... I guess it all depends on how much you make too but .... that's kinda the price of a good 8 core AMD machine which will probably blow this out of the water .... Interesting stuff nonetheless but I just wish it were cheaper.