29 October 2012


Remember a while back I mentioned Adapteva? They were making a 64 core RISC CPU chip. Well they completed that a couple of months ago. The problem with their development kit was it cost $10,000 and the board was fairly large.

Following in the footsteps of the Raspberry Pi they decided they would make a $100 version of their development board with a dual core ARM processor and the 64 core Epiphany IV processor. It is to be called the Parallella. They started a fund raiser on KickStarter with a goal of $750,000:

They exceed their goal by the deadline (Sat 27th of October). Of course yours truly made a pledge. Now we wait for Adapteva to get their development board shrunk and make them available. In return I should be getting a couple of boards.

Farm news
This weekend I spent a bit of time cleaning computers. You know vacumn cleaner and a paint brush type of cleaning. I was going to replace the 140mm fans in the bottom of both of the GPUgrid crunchers, however the Noctua 140mm fans are round so they don't fit into the bracket. Instead I replaced the case fan at the back of the case. They were already Noctua fans but 120mm. I also prefer to use the rubber mounts supplied with the Noctua instead of screwing the fan onto the case as this reduces the vibrations (and noise).

The temporary fans I put into the file server were also removed and put into the spares box. They were swapped out for Noctua fans which has cut the noise down.

I dug out the old file server. Its a Pentium @ 1.8Ghz. It was too slow for number crunching but had a nice case so I put a couple of network cards, a RAID card and a couple of 500Gb hard disks in it about 5 years ago. Its been sitting in the corner for the last 2 years. I powered it up, let it download its 157 windows updates and apply them. It was having a problem with the network card which I tracked down to a 2nd network card not working. Removed the 2nd card and threw it away. Suprisingly the rest of it still works. The CPU heatsink was clogged up with dust so I removed it and gave it a clean and reapplied thermal paste before putting it back. I also had to swap the battery on the motherboard as it had gone flat. It should be right for another couple of years. Why waste the time on it you ask. Well its the backup file server in case the new one dies. So I keep it in a working condition just in case.

I took one of the old Core 2 quad machines which had blown capacitors over to the computer shop. No point in trying to fix it, but I was thinking I might be able to replace the motherboard with another P8Z77. In order to keep the cost down I will try and reuse the case, power supply and so on. I might get an i5-3570 instead of i7-3770 and a lesser amount of memory. Anyway we will see what pricing the shop comes up with. My main concern was if the case was large enough, although they did find the front-panel connector was different to the usual motherboard pins.

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