"Best" machine for xtal computing?

Yoram Puius puius at aecom.yu.edu
Thu Feb 6 18:27:23 EST 1997

Hi all.  A typical FAQ, I think:

We are looking to buy a number-cruncher for protein crystallography
(i.e. very fast in running X-PLOR, TNT, XDS, etc.)  We have mostly
SGIs as combination graphics/processing stations, but we're looking
into a number cruncher described by SGI as an 

"Origin Server, 4XR1000, 180MHz, 1MB cache, 128MBmem, 2X2.2GB Sys Disk
(2 Twr no skins) IRIX for 4CPUs"

I am assuming this means a machine with four R1000 CPUs, which are
certainly faster than what we have around, although I don't know
if X-PLOR has been optimized for the R10000 machines yet.  I am
not counting on anyone out there parallelizing existing software,
by the way.

So, should we take this, or consider another machine, such as
some comparably-priced DEC station?  Do the "4XR1000" CPUs mean
that we could run four X-PLOR jobs simultaneously (ignoring disk
I/O problems)?  How does this compare with a Challenge Server?
Any recommendations for a comparable DEC station,
or other machine?

I've had trouble making head or tail of the benchmarks, so 
any advice would be appreciated.  Just please make sure the advice
takes into account the fact I am rather hardware illiterate :)

many thanks,

Yoram A. Puius                Albert Einstein College of Medicine
mailto:puius at aecom.yu.edu     Department of Biochemistry
5th year M.D.-Ph.D.           1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY  10461

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