Bang for the Buck

From: Robert Matthew Fesinmeyer <>
Date: Fri 9 Feb 2001 13:50:57 -0800 (PST)

This question is primarily for the x86 hardware geeks on the list.

My research group will be purchasing a system or systems to be used for MD
calculations and trajectory analysis. We primarily look at small
peptide/waterbox systems using sander in Amber6. Our primary system
currently is a 1 year old dual P3 650 running RedHat 6.2 that cost ~$2000
built from off-the-shelf parts.

In looking at new hardware, our one of our interests is, as the subject
suggests, "bang for the buck". For the $2000 spent last year, we could
currently purchase a dual 1 GHz P3 machine using PC133 SDRAM (Via

Is there anything likely to be gained (given our uses) from RDRAM, Xeon P3
processors, P4 processors, or even Alpha-based systems? My impression is
that for the cost of each of these improvements, the "better" answer is
simply purchase an additional dual 1GHz system and run the 1 calculation
on X machines (or alternatively, run X calculations on X machines).

Thank you for your comments.

Robert Fesinmeyer

R. M. Fesinmeyer
Department of Chemistry
University of Washington
Received on Fri Feb 09 2001 - 13:50:57 PST
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