Gigabit ethernet switch for cluster

From: Cesar Luis Avila (
Date: Tue Mar 21 2006 - 14:43:45 CST

Dear all,
When building a cluster I know that the most critical feature is the
latency in the connection between the nodes. In that way it is highly
recommended to choose a low latency interconnection solution like
infiniband, myrinet, etc. A cheaper (not better) solution would involve
Gigabit ethernet. But once again there are two kind of equipment out
there in the market with big differences in prices (from 100 U$S to 3000
U$S or even more).
My question is, if I want to build a small cluster with around 5 nodes
(see node spec below), is it worth to buy an expensive switch or should
I choose a cheaper one?

Cesar Avila
Universidad Nacional de Tucuman

Node Spec
Processor Atlhon 64 X2 3800+ (Dual Core 1.8 Gz)
1 x MSI RS482M4-FD (Gigabit ethernet and video on board)
2 x 512 Mb Dual DDR PC-3200 RAM operating at 400MHz
1 x HD 80 Gb SATA

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