Topic Title: Titan steals No. 1 spot on Top500 supercomputer list
Topic Summary: The machine, located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, 17.59 petaflops per second.
Created On: 11/12/2012 05:36 PM
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 11/12/2012 05:36 PM
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Canis-X
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http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57547952-76/titan-steals-no-1-spot-on-top500-supercomputer-list/

The machine, powered by Nvidia graphics processors and Advanced Micro Devices computer chips, stole the No. 1 spot on the Top500's list from another U.S. machine, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Sequoia.

Wasn't Cray the first to get their hands on Bulldozer-based chips? 

Nice job AMD!! 



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 11/12/2012 09:47 PM
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Don't know what you're so excited about, it's an nVidia based computer which uses AMD CPU's to shift things around to the cards, much like IBM did with Sequoia, using AMD Opteron CPU's to shuttle things about to the workhorse IBM Cell processors. The reason they use AMD CPU's, aside from the fact that they're cheaper, is because they're "easier to program for" (quote the IBM boffins when they built theirs) than Intel Xeon.

 

When they start using Fire cards instead of Quatro, then it'll be news. Until then, there's always this:

 

While the top machine on the list uses AMD processors, Intel continues to provide the chips for most Top500 systems, a whopping 76 percent of them, to be precise.



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 11/12/2012 10:47 PM
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Not everyone is a fanboy dude... seriously.  It's got 700 terabytes of memory.  If you don't think that's cool, then I'm not sure what you're doing at a forum like this one.



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 11/12/2012 11:24 PM
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I've seen two supercomputers up close, one at the university I graduated from (which is ancient and doesn't deserve to be called a supercomputer), the other at MSU ( Link to press article when it was released ) which was #116 when it was built in 2006.

I just don't get excited at that like I used to, as anyone with enough money can just call up Cray and order a system. Compared to things which deserve to be awed over, such as a precision handcrafted Swiss watch, or an antique handcrafted chest...or the amount of engineering and programming that goes into the guidance system of a long range missile which allows it to be fired off of a nuclear submarine or battleship and, just a few minutes and hundreds of miles later, fly through the open door of an enemy building  and impact on the face of the leader.

Compare something handcrafted over tens or hundreds of hours by master tradesman or something put together by thousands of hours of work, trial, and error, to something cobbled together from parts made in some Chinese sweatshop for pennies and sold for a huge markup...You can see why something like 700 TiB of memory isn't impressive.



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 11/12/2012 11:55 PM
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Yeah... if you wanted to not sound like a fanboy there... that didn't really help.



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 11/13/2012 12:05 AM
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Well, thanks for the input black_Z.  Sorry that you didn't find it as cool as I did and happy that they chose AMD over Intel....Maybe they'll choose a butt load of the new S-1000 FirePro's next time.  



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 11/13/2012 08:55 AM
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Doubtful. nVidia, like Intel, has deep pockets and both borderline legal and illegal methods of getting what they want. Then there's Intel who just released Xeon Phi which cranks out twice (or greater) the power of previous generation Xeon's. AMD's biggest strength is OpenCL, except in HPC applications, CUDA seems to be the preferred way to go.

But AMD is right, in my opinion, to not focus heavily on the HPC sector. Why? Because they're a small sector, just like the ultra high end desktop graphics market. Take Titan for example, it uses 18,688 AMD Opteron 16 core processors and 18,688 nVidia Tesla GPUs. Alright, 18,688 GPUs, AMD will be shipping 10x to 100x that for the next generation consoles.

Would I like to see Fire cards in HPCs, hell yes, but they're going to have to break CUDA to do it, which is going to take AMD getting the power per watt numbers so high vs Tesla they'll be to compelling to pass up.

Am I an fanboy? No not really. I'll always buy AMD over Intel and Sapphire Radeon over any other manufacturer, just like I'll always buy OCZ over other SSDs or ASUS over other motherboards, but that's brand loyalty which comes from good experiences. But unlike a fanboy, I'm the first to admit as it stands now, AMD has got to get their performance per watt up across the board. Take the AMD FirePro S10000 vs the nVidia Tesla K20. The FirePro S10000 has 300 GFLOPS more power than the K20, BUT draws 125w MORE power, or thousands of dollars more in electricity per month in an HPC application. Faster isn't always better, not when you're having to convince people to switch to a whole new platform.



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 11/13/2012 12:56 PM
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What on earth gave you the idea that AMD isn't interested in HPC?  They were the first to release a GPGPU framework with an assembler instead of a compiler, which is clearly an HPC deal.  Their strategy of releasing server chips before desktop chips is also HPC friendly.  Where AMD will be going with it now after their mass-exodus of executives is up for debate... but if the recent hiring of John Gustafson(a name many people who have actual experience in the HPC world would know) is any indicator, the emphasis on HPC won't be going away.

In the HPC world, faster is always better.  Performance per watt is not so important here as you seem to think it is.  Sure it'd be nice to use less power, but it's not like anyone is expecting to be able to put together a few thousand nodes(regardless of what hardware they use) and not end up with a power hog.  Power consumption matters to a machine like Titan only in that it's a limit to even more performance.  That's nothing new though... Finding a way to keep power consumption reasonable while still increasing performance is the whole reason why parallel machines became popular in the first place.



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Edited: 11/13/2012 at 01:36 PM by Mime
 11/13/2012 02:31 PM
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Um, AMD themselves when they said they were shifting their focus to "fast enough" and to the mobile and mainstream market? I didn't say they weren't interested, just that it isn't their focus. Opteron is Opteron, be it in a Cray supercomputer or a 1U server in someone's closet. Fire is stuck in workstations, it needs to be out in the HPC world to compete with Tesla.

And power consumption is a major factor. No not in something like Titan or Sequoia run by a government agency, but at universities and the private sector, they have to look at that. Look at some of the Top500 list towards the bottom where you get to listings like Geoscience (#419) or even a Retail (#478) which would be something like Wal-Mart or another big chain store use. And as I said, AMD needs to unseat CUDA, and they only way they can do that is to get efficiency way up, as even if the Fire cards were 25% faster than Tesla and drew exactly the same wattage it wouldn't be enough to get Fire in Cray, IBM, HP, and Dell units.



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 11/13/2012 03:44 PM
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Ok, let me try to break this up piece by piece, because now you're not making sense at all.

Originally posted by: black_zion Um, AMD themselves when they said they were shifting their focus to "fast enough" and to the mobile and mainstream market?

What does not chasing the "performance crown" for desktops have to do with HPC?  HPC people spend plenty of time next to the bare metal in order to squeeze out every last bit of performance.  On the desktop that's often next to impossible and usually wouldn't be worth it anyway.

I didn't say they weren't interested, just that it isn't their focus.  Opteron is Opteron, be it in a Cray supercomputer or a 1U server in someone's closet.

There isn't one single focus.  Opterons share the same architecture as the desktop.  That's usually the way this works with one architecture filling as many different markets as possible.  If there's any interest in being part of HPC, or any other market with a particular chip, then that needs to be decided early.  It can't just be tacked on as an afterthought.  These days there's tablets and smartphones to consider as well which only makes things worse.

Fire is stuck in workstations, it needs to be out in the HPC world to compete with Tesla.

Forgive me if this is a rant on semantics, but workstations are dead.  They've been dead for years.  You're either talking about HPC here without knowing it, or your talking about a desktop PC with a professional card stuck in it, or you don't remember when there were actual workstation CPUs that ran actual workstations.  I'm not sure which one.

And power consumption is a major factor. No not in something like Titan or Sequoia run by a government agency, but at universities and the private sector, they have to look at that. Look at some of the Top500 list towards the bottom where you get to listings like Geoscience (#419) or even a Retail (#478) which would be something like Wal-Mart or another big chain store use.

All those machines live by the same rules.  You don't have to be in the top 500 to be a part of the HPC world.  Those just get the most attention. 

There are plenty of non-technical things which can decide going with hardware vendor over another, but this is a "no free lunch" kind of problem.  You can't put this much hardware together without there being some side effects.  Power consumption is one of them, and anyone who actually has experience in the field will know that.  Reducing power consumption is always important these days, but it's not going to help you break open the HPC world.

And as I said, AMD needs to unseat CUDA

Performance of CUDA is often better than OpenCL.  Why should CUDA not "take over"?  Because it's not from AMD?

OpenCL inherently has more baggage than CUDA does, because OpenCL was designed for portability first.  OpenCL tries to abstract away the differences in different devices instead of mapping general purpose data structures to GPU primitives, as CUDA does.  It's often a lot easier to get close to the hardware with CUDA than it is OpenCL, which for HPC is often important.  That doesn't mean an OpenCL app will always be slower, but it helps.



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Edited: 11/13/2012 at 04:17 PM by Mime
 11/13/2012 04:31 PM
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  NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO | Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:26pm EST

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Advanced Micro Devices has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co to explore options, which could include a potential sale, as the chipmaker struggles to find a role in an industry increasingly focused on mobile and away from traditional PCs, according to three sources familiar with the situation.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/13/us-amd-jpmorgan-idUSBRE8AC14Z20121113?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=76



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 11/13/2012 10:00 PM
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I don't pay much attention to those anymore. According to "sources" over the past few years AMD was selling out several times. It is a strategy to "leak" information that a company is looking to sell which causes their stock prices to rise. If they were looking to sell there are better people to talk to than JP Morgan, like...a first year econ student. Still, even if they DO sell off parts it wouldn't be the first time, they did sell off Xilleon (which became the highly successful Snapdragon), and their fabs (which pale in comparison to TSMC).

 

As for you Mime, how about we agree to disagree on our points of view?



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Edited: 11/13/2012 at 11:47 PM by black_zion
 11/14/2012 12:13 AM
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One small mention of AMD's newest board member...they sure didn't make a big show out of it.

'' Last week, AMD said it added a second board member from its leading shareholder, Mubadala Development Co, which owns 15 percent of the chipmaker.""



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 11/14/2012 12:45 PM
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Originally posted by: black_zion

 

As for you Mime, how about we agree to disagree on our points of view?

 



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