An Examination of the Performance of Two Electromagnetic Simulations on a Beowulf-Class Computer

Daniel S. Katz, Tom Cwik, and Thomas Sterling

{dsk, cwik},

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
California Institute of Technology
4800 Oak Grove Drive, MS 168-522
Pasadena, CA 91109

This paper uses two electromagnetic simulations to examine some performance and compiler issues on a Beowulf-class computer. This type of computer, built from mass-market, commodity, off-the-shelf components, has limited communications performance and therefore also has a limited regime of codes for which it is suitable. This papers first shows that the electromagnetic simulations fall within this regime, and the examines performance data, including run-time, scaling, compiler choices, and the use of some hand-tuned optimizations. The results from a Beowulf-class computer are compared with those from a Cray T3D and a T3E.