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Help With Cluster.


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I have recently come into the possession of 4 Think-center M58P 6234-UV1. I would like to link these together for multiple uses(gaming, Rendering, etc.) and don't know where to start.

Between the 4 Comps there is currently only 1 1TB Hard drive(purchased comps from Gov) Currently installed Windows XP on hard drive and probably upgrading to windows 7 ultimate when I can get $140 and get to the university(Yay student discounts!).

Also have a HP Pavilion dv6 w/ windows 7.(If that makes anything easier.)

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You can get Windows 7 for that price without a student discount - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116992

As for the cluster, its more about the software used than what OS, although there are specific flavors of Linux devoted for clustering and can be done with windows server, if the program you are using is written to use multiple machines under the windows platform for distributed computing then it should do all the work for you. Sort of like Folding at Home, distributed computing can be done by installing the software on each machine doing the render work, but you need a centralized server to control the other machines for the workload in order to coordinate the workload.

Clusters aren't generally something you would use for gaming because of this. If high end gaming is something you want, then just use one machine with high end graphics cards and a decent CPU. If rendering video or doing complex calculations, like password cracking, build a CUDA based system and it will hands down beat the cluster and save money/electricity at the same time.

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I don't exactly have the money to make a godly PC/Gaming Platform, that's why I would like to use what I have.

What would be the best software to use for deviding the load?

Also, do I need additional hard drives, or does just the one in the control work?

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There are several Linux Clustering OSes around, http://clusterknoppix.sw.be/ is a popular one.

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Check out http://fscked.org/writings/clusters/cluster.html

The software you want to run also has to be optimized for clustering, or you don't get any benefits from it.

Edited by digip
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