[SATLUG] Network+ Question

Borries Demeler demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu
Thu Jan 7 08:00:23 CST 2010

> thanks to MS marketing and deals cut with computer manufacturers.  Some of 
> you miss out of a few of the well-designed and presented graphics developed, 
> albeit at considerable cost, developed on the Windows platform.  Some don't 
> even care because the bare bones machines that windows' users have had to 

Just to pick up on this point: I am pretty sure the one thing you
are referring to is gaming, and I believe you are right, I don't know
anything about gaming.  To me that area is of little interest, since it
is not what I use computers for.

When it comes to high end graphics I am thinking of simulations and
visualization in the scientific arena. Even here Linux is miles ahead
of the MS/commercial world, with superlarge arrays and linux driven
visualization programs. Here is a shot of Stallion at the Texas Advanced
Computing Center, a visualization array with 75 x 30" flat panel high-res
monitors (2560x1600 pixels/monitor, for a total of 307.2 megapixels),
enough to make your eyes (and pocketbook) hurt:


The computational backend is Longhorn (2048 cores, 128 NVIDIA Quadro
Plex S4s, each containing 4 NVIDIA FX 5800s). Alternatively, you can
feed data generated on Ranger (~65,000 compute cores, totaling more
than half a petaflops and 123 terabytes (!) of RAM) or Lonestar (62
teraflops and 11.6 terabytes of RAM) through a 10 GB ethernet fat pipe.
Needless to say, all of these resources run Linux.

I have seen some of these simulations calculated and rendered up in 
the ACES visualization lab at TACC, they are astonishing.

If you are interested in GPU processing, you can now use Linux to compile
C++ programs for GPUs like NVIDIA Teslas and get some amazing speedups.
Somehow, I don't feel left out or like I'm missing out when I want to use
high-end graphics under Linux :-)

We actually do a lot of work with TACC, and it is worth a visit. Maybe 
instead of a monthly get-together for the SATLUG group we should 
organize a trip to TACC (on the Pickle campus in Austin) so y'all can
see the cool stuff that is going on up there. They have GREAT tours.


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