For the same price we can get either
Worktsation which is 2 x 6 core Xeons 3.4GHz, 128GB RAM, 600GB SAS RAID 0
= 12 Cores, 128GB RAM
Cluster 8 x (4 Core i7 3.4GHz, 16GB RAM, 250GB SATA, Intel 82579LM), Gigabit ethernet Netgear switch
= 32 Cores, 128GB RAM
Which is better? More FLOPS etc.? With the cluster having 3 times as many cores, does that make up for the gigabit ethernet interconnect? (vs the workstation with all ram on the same bus).
It's for running custom C programs doing bio-informatics.
EDIT this is a real question as the person who wants it came in asking about the two, a workstation vs a "Linux cluster" ~ £5000. From web searching I found i7 is ~80GFLOPS and Xeon is ~90GFLOPs... Workstation =~ 180GFLOPS vs 8 PCs=~ 640GFLOPS That 640GFLOPs would come down after taking into account parallelising overheads and ethernet bottleneck.