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Old 01-05-2005, 12:16 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2003
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Distribution: Debian Lenny
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Ok mini-itx are great but can you....

Apart from the cool factor, I saw the project in clustering mini-itx together, and I was wondering if you could cluster the mini-itx so that it is suitable for gaming?? Do you think its Ideal??
Old 01-05-2005, 01:16 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2004
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No, it is not ideal.. not even close. Clustering is used mainly for parallelizing computational tasks (think SETI and Protien Folding type stuff for a basic idea). It really is no good at all for intensive I/O that games require (video output, mostly). It will also cost quite a bit more to cluster multiple mini-itx boards than to spend that money on a high-end gaming system.
Old 01-05-2005, 02:07 PM   #3
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i think in time you'll see more itx board's being used in clusters. whilst most of the uses of mini-itx boards are actively seen in home entertainment systems etc... they are also rapidly developing into generic and readily available processing units. Half of VIA's mini-itx (and also now, nano-itx) form factor boards are clearly being developed for anonymity in a rack of dozens of identcial clones.

in practicality though.. nah, just get a high end system in the first place id say, unless you do have a source of identical boards at suitable prices. in which case.. i'll have some too.
Old 01-05-2005, 09:04 PM   #4
Registered: Jul 2004
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VIA's MINI-ITX are some of the coolest pieces of technology I've seen around. Thier MICRO-ITX 12x12cm (Not the Mini-ITX, though those are like 17x17cm) board is about 2/3rds as long as a dollar bill on all 4 sides. Pull out a dollar and fold it so 2/3rds is showing. VIA has a mainboard with integrated processor, video, usb, everything! that is that size! So kick ass.

I saw that picture of the ITX cluster as well. You could run a OpenMosix cluster (far different from the SETI and proteing folding clusters, see for a better description.) But these ITX boards are not workhorses. They're small, and really cool, and range from a 400mhz to a 1.3mhz (the VIA embedded ones, I've seen MINI-ITX with socket 478 for modern Intel CPU's (northwood and prescott) though I would love to see someone stick an extreme edition in one, just for the fun of it. LOL! Though even a prescott will be limited by the small FSB and lack of PC 3200 ram support.

Clusteting these for gaming is not impossible but it won't work. First, games aren't written for clusters. The code has to be parallalized. (I suspect we will have a parallalized game some day.) Nor will a OpenMosix-type cluster help you at all, unless you are multi-tasking, see the above link.

Just buy a bitching system. =)


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