Specifications for Desktop machines for ALMA data processing and Analysis

General notes: 8GB is probably the minimum memory that should be considered. 24GB is a good size, should be able to deal with most datasets. The first cluster nodes will be similar, but have eight cores. As the CASA parallelization effort proceeds, increasing the number of cores will give progressively more benefits

Dell Linux box (current visitor machine "Boromir") purchased November 2010 for evaluation ("low-end" machine if SSD is not included):
  • Chassis is Dell T3500
  • Intel Xeon Quad Core 2.8Ghz, 8M L3 cache
  • 24 GB 1333 Mhz DDR3 SDRAM
  • 256M Nvidia Quadro 295 w/ 2 DP to DVI Adapters
  • 256 GB SSD (see note)
  • 2 x Dell E2211H - 21.5" LCDs yielding 4 Megapixels. 5+ Mp = too much $$$
  • 2 x 1 TB Western Digital SATA drives from CDW
  • NIC is 1 GB Ethernet
  • Total cost was just under $5K (like $4,950).

Note: as purchased, this was a mid-range machine. However, the SSD showed little advantage over the regular disk in terms of access speed, and we do not recommend them. Price falls since 11/10 and losing the expensive SSD brings the price down to a little over $3k, so this is now our "low end" recommendation.

T7500 specs from Tracey (8/2/11)

  • Dell T7500 w/ Dual Quad Core Intel Xeon E5607, 2.26GHz, 8M, L3, 4.8GT/s
  • 24GB, DDR3 RDIMM Memory, 1333MHz, ECC (12 DIMMS)
  • Keyboard & Mouse
  • (2) Dell 24" U2410 Monitors
  • NVidia 256 MB Quadro NVS 295, 2 Monitors, 2DP w/ 2 DP
  • 250 GB SATA 7200 RPM Hard Drive - System Disk
  • DVD+/- RW
  • 3 year NBD Support
  • ----
  • 3 x 2TB SATA hard disks for RAID set [NOT from Dell]
  • Each system will cost around $5000 fully configured.


Note that the memory is expandable beyond 24GB is necessary. These are our new mid-range machines. At the time of writing (8/11), we believe there is no sensible recommendation we can make for a "high end" ($10k) machine.

Current EVLA specs are similar, but with a 2x6-core processors (right now CASA can only use one, but release 3.3 is expected to include parallelization):

https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/evla/data-processing/hardware-recommendations

-- MarkLacy - 2011-04-11

This topic: ALMA > WebHome > NAASC > DataServicesGroup > DesktopSystemSpecs
Topic revision: 2011-08-02, MarkLacy
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