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Tutorial: Build The Ultimate PC

Apr 15, 2009, 15:32 (0 Talkback[s])

"The shopping list

"In theory, you can use any old PC. The minimum requirement is that it must be able to run Linux; so that narrows the choice down to almost any PC from the last 10 years. But in reality, the cluster works best if the machines that you're linking together are relatively close in specification, especially when you start to take running costs into consideration. A 1GHz Athlon machine, for example, could cost you over £50 a year in electricity costs. You'd be much better off spending this money on a processor upgrade for a more efficient machine. A similar platform for each computer also makes configuration considerably easier.

"For our cluster, we used four identical powerful machines. You only need powerful machines if you're making a living from something computer-based -- 3D animation, for instance -- where you can weigh the extra cost against increased performance. We're also going to assume that you have a main machine you can use as the master. This will be the eyes and ears of the cluster, and it's from here that you'll be able to set up jobs and control the other machines."

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