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Cooler Master builds 20-core PC

Cooler Master builds 20-core PC

CoolerMaster has taken one of its ATCS 840 tower cases and squeezed five mini-ITX systems in - for 20 cores of processing goodness.

Cooler Master has created a one-of-a-kind demo unit to show off some of their new hardware ahead of CeBIT – and it's a pretty impressive powerhouse.

Dubbed the “53GHz”, the system – spotted via Make – is built from five mini-ITX systems housed in one of the company's ATCS 840 cases. Each ITX system houses an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 processor alongside 2GB of RAM, for a total of 20 processing cores and 10GB of memory. Each motherboard within the micro-cluster has been given its own hard drive for storage – with the company choosing to use 2.5” small form factor drives to reduce power load and heat output.

While creating a small cluster from micro-sized motherboards is nothing new, what is impressive is that the company is using a single Cooler Master Real Power M1000W PSU to run all five motherboards, using all six +12V rails to ensure system stability.

With so much power housed in a fairly tight case, heat was always going to be a problem. Accordingly, the company has seen fit to add a trio of 200mm fans alongside a single 120mm unit, plus independent water pumps for each ITX unit which feed into a single case-mounted radiator. With this in place, Cooler Master is claiming a 66 degree Celsius temperature for the hottest core at a 30 degree case temperature.

It's a good showcase for the company's current range of power, cooling, and case products – but one with a limited practicality. As each system is independent, the single box requires five keyboards, five mice, and five monitors – along with five people to drive it. That said, any processing task which is suited to a clustered or distributed environment – such as encoding or rendering – would greatly benefit from something such as this demo unit. Sadly, the company has no plans to put the device into production – although there's nothing stopping you buying each item individually and building one yourself.

Impressed with the amount of power the M1000W can output, or is this nothing more than showing off on the company's part? Thinking of the uses to which you could put 20 processing cores? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

16 Comments

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rhuitron 2nd March 2009, 12:01 Quote
That's some Massive Folding point for them!
TomH 2nd March 2009, 12:11 Quote
Wow.. I had an idea to do something like this years ago, but never had anywhere near the sort of money required to do it. Tis very cool, that's for sure.
p3n 2nd March 2009, 12:52 Quote
Windows 7(taskbar looks like it?) doesnt have cluster support does it? :>
Icy EyeG 2nd March 2009, 13:02 Quote
How about using 5 VIA VB8001 motherboards (with Nano) together with 5 nVIDIA 9800GT or something like that? Would it be a viable way to build a folding farm?
Maybe it'd consume even less power that this 5X core 2 quad setup, but I may be wrong... :o
Mankz 2nd March 2009, 13:24 Quote
Now that is cool...
Elton 2nd March 2009, 13:33 Quote
Or even better 5 VIA with 5 HD4850s.

It'd work out great except the heat output of the cards.
[USRF]Obiwan 2nd March 2009, 13:40 Quote
Here some pictures of the design (courtesy of tweakers.net):

The system uses custom ATX power convert pcb's. a 12v power goes into the pcb and the pcb connects to the atx power connector of the motherboard.
They also used very long sata cables (1m) routed from top to bottom and then over to the other side to feed the dvdrom drives and HD's. its a U shape sort of routing.
The motherboards are cooled with air when the side lid is closed.
The hardrives are 2.5"
The watercooling is for the CPU's only a 1 >5 > 1 design


http://tweakers.net/ext/i/1235997386.jpeg
http://tweakers.net/ext/i/1235997385.jpeg
http://tweakers.net/ext/i/1235997384.jpeg
http://tweakers.net/ext/i/1235997383.jpeg
http://tweakers.net/ext/i/1235997381.jpeg
http://tweakers.net/ext/i/1235997382.jpeg
http://tweakers.net/ext/i/1235997379.jpeg

And a youtube video
HourBeforeDawn 2nd March 2009, 17:53 Quote
does anyone know how the liquid cooling system is broken down? it appears that the they have it set up as, Radiator cools fluid, sends the cooled fluid to the two res and from the two res splits to all the cpu blocks, out of all the cpu blocks goes into a manifold which recombines back into one source and then gets pulled through the pump and back to the radiator.

Or

One Res is split to the CPUs and then back from the CPU goes into the other res?
Nexxo 2nd March 2009, 19:12 Quote
OMG, geek pr0n!

Ahem... the watercooling. I think that the reservoirs act as manifold collectors. It would be a very inefficient loop indeed in which the reservoir is not the last item before return to the pump. I would suspect that there is a manifold after the radiator that splits the stream.
sui_winbolo 2nd March 2009, 19:19 Quote
I have a Blue WaveMaster, and I have to say that I love that case. It is sexy. :D

That system looks like it would be fun to put together. Maybe my next computer will be a cluster? hahaha
yanglu 2nd March 2009, 19:27 Quote
If only you could link the boards together to get them all running the same OS...
Skill3d 2nd March 2009, 21:07 Quote
tidy cabling...
HourBeforeDawn 2nd March 2009, 22:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
OMG, geek pr0n!

Ahem... the watercooling. I think that the reservoirs act as manifold collectors. It would be a very inefficient loop indeed in which the reservoir is not the last item before return to the pump. I would suspect that there is a manifold after the radiator that splits the stream.

well there is four res so Im thinking that they act as the manifold so it would go Radiator to res, each output of the two res goes to each cpu then out of the cpu going back into the other two res and then to the pump and back to the rad, thats the only way I can think of doing it but remaing effective.
Vigilante 3rd March 2009, 03:06 Quote
If the boards they used had gigabit ethernet there would be (should be) absolutely no reason why this cannot be used as a cluster, then requiring only a single monitor, keyboard etc etc. Something similar to what the creator of <a href="http://helmer.sfe.se/">Helmer</a> did with 6xQ6600's a little while ago. It wouldn't really be usable as a normal computer, but then again, what would be with 20 cores spread over 5 motherboards?
[USRF]Obiwan 3rd March 2009, 08:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
well there is four res so Im thinking that they act as the manifold so it would go Radiator to res, each output of the two res goes to each cpu then out of the cpu going back into the other two res and then to the pump and back to the rad, thats the only way I can think of doing it but remaining effective.

The most logical thing to do is to feed the water to the cpu's after the radiator via a manifold. If you look at the video (see above) they actually use a manifold to distribute to all the cpu's. From the cpu's it goes back to the reservoirs and from there back to the pump.
HourBeforeDawn 3rd March 2009, 20:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF
Obiwan]
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
well there is four res so Im thinking that they act as the manifold so it would go Radiator to res, each output of the two res goes to each cpu then out of the cpu going back into the other two res and then to the pump and back to the rad, thats the only way I can think of doing it but remaining effective.

The most logical thing to do is to feed the water to the cpu's after the radiator via a manifold. If you look at the video (see above) they actually use a manifold to distribute to all the cpu's. From the cpu's it goes back to the reservoirs and from there back to the pump.

please put a time stamp of where you see this manifold, what Im seeing is 4 sets of res and two appear to be out to the cpus and two appear to be ins from the cpu and thats what I mean by manifold as the res splitting the sourcing going out and coming in. So if you could put a time stamp of where you see the manifold so that I can be corrected or understand what your talking about?
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