A Beowulf from Walmart?

Truly, this is supercomputing for the masses. Walmart sells everything you need to build a cluster.

Start with their $199 computer, which gets you a 10GB disk, a 10/100 network interface, and a CD-ROM drive, and a 600 MHz Via C3 processor. Linux is already installed. Only 128MB of RAM, and Walmart's RAM is a bit pricey ($118 for 512MB)...Spend a bit more and get a P4 or AMD processor

They sell a variety of FastE switches, from Linksys or Netgear.

You'd probably need at least 1 monitor, and then, you'd need one additional network card for the head node.

They have the plug strips (Belkin SurgeMaster, for instance, at $14.97)

A shelf to pile everything on... They've got Baker's racks for $67.77 and 3 Tier Wire Cart (with a cutting board!) for $29.82

Cat 5 cables ranging from14-25 ft ($7.96, $7.97)

It's possible the Walmart motherboards support LinuxBios http://www.acl.lanl.gov/linuxbios/index.html

The computers are actually made by Microtel Computer Systems http://www.microtelpc.com/

Some of Microtel's computers use a CA810 motherboard, but the 200 unit is, quoting: The combination of the low power VIA C3 processor and 128MB SDRAM on a VIA Apollo PLE133 Chipset based motherboard...


beowulf/walmart.htm - 27 Sep 2002 - Jim Lux
Jim's Beowulf page - Jim's home page