SLALOM

IS YOUR COMPUTER
ON THE LIST?

If not, we’d like it to be

BY John Gustafson, Diane Rover, Stephen Elbert, and Michael Carter

AMES LABORATORY, AMES, IOWA 50011

Overview


Eight months ago, when SLALOM was introduced in Supercomputing Review, we charted the performance of about 20 computers. That list is now approaching 100 entries.

This month we’ll present the actively marketed systems as well as more widely known, older computers. Only Dongarra’s LINPACK list has more entries, and no other benchmark based on complete application measurement has as many machines...or as wide a variety.

The SLALOM list has the Intel Touchstone, the Macintosh LC, the largest CRAY, the IBM workstations, and the MasPar data-parallel computers, all under a single comparison. We can compare these highly disparate architectures using the concept of fixed-time benchmarking: Run the largest problem possible in under one minute, and use the problem size as the figure of merit.

Some people have said that SLALOM is a parallel computer benchmark. It’s nothing of the kind. In fact, the backsolving of the equations and the writing of the solution to disk are proving to be major challenges for the parallel machines. SLALOM fits any architecture, any language, a very wide range of performance, and any native word size. So yes, it runs on parallel computers. There are at least two dozen entirely different high-performance architectures on the list.

Maybe the most startling news is that, until late-breaking news from Intel, a Japanese-made uniprocessor topped the list. The Siemens S600/20, equivalent to a top-of-the-line Fujitsu model, climbed past the CRAY Y-MP/8. As many people have pointed out, “uniprocessor” might be a misnomer for a machine with enough pipelines to deliver eight multiplies and eight adds every 3.2 nanoseconds! It’s interesting that Japanese computers bracketed the list, with a Fujitsu supercomputer at the top and a Toshiba laptop computer at the bottom.

The Intel iPSC/860 version has been well-tuned by people at the Intel Supercomputer Division in Beaverton, Oregon, and is up to about five MFLOPS per processor. The Touchstone Delta system at Caltech reached 4320 patches, or roughly 1.3 GFLOPS. That run used only 256 of its 512 processors. At the top of the list, the parallel computers continue to threaten, but not overtake, the most expensive vector supercomputers.*


Historical Note

Sometimes we hear people say, “The only performance figure that matters is how long it takes to run my application.” But, what people say matters to them and how they use higher performance are two different things. It might be more accurate to say, “The only performance figure that matters is the problem size I can solve in the time I’m willing to wait.” Consider the following quotations about computing tasks, taken from historical treatises [4]:


The determination of the logarithm of any number would take 2 minutes, while the evaluation of an (for any value of n) by the expotential [sic] theorem, should not require more than 1 1/2 minutes longer-all results being of twenty figures.

  On a Proposed Analytical Machine
P.
Ludgate, 1878

The work of counting or tabulating on the machines can be so arranged that, within a few hours after the last card is punched, the first set of tables, including condensed grouping of all the leading statistical facts, would be complete.

  An Electric Tabulating System
H. Hollerith,
1889

Since an expert [human] computer takes about eight hours to solve a full set of eight equations in eight unknowns, k is about 1/64. To solve twenty equations in twenty unknowns should thus require 125 hours... The solution of general systems of linear equations with a number of unknowns greater than ten is not often attempted.

  Computing Machine for the Solution of Large Systems of Linear Algebraic Equations
J. Atanasoff, 1940

Another problem that has been put on the machine is that of computing the position of the Moon for any time, past or future ... Time required: 7 minutes.

  Electrons and Computation
W. J. Eckert,
1948

…13 equations, solved as a two-computer problem, require about 8 hours of computing time. The time required for systems of higher order varies approximately as the cube of the order. This puts a practical limitation on the size of systems to be solved ... It is believed that this will limit the process used, even if used iteratively, to about 20 or 30 unknowns.

  A Bell Telephone Laboratories Computing Machine
F. Alt,
1948

Tracking a guided missile on a test range ... is done on the International Business Machines (IBM) Card-Programmed Electronic Calculator in about 8 hours, and the tests can proceed.

  The IBM Card-Programmed Electronic Calculator
J. W. Sheldon and L. Tatum, 1952

 


Computer speeds have increased by many orders of magnitude over the last century, but human patience is unchanging. The computing jobs cited in publications typically take from minutes to hours, whether the technology is pencil-and-paper, gears, vacuum tubes, or VLSI. Pick any fixed-size benchmark, and it will soon be rendered obsolete by hardware advances that make the benchmark absurdly small. People tend to forget the numerator in the ratio that defines the “speed” of computing. Give a scientist a faster supercomputer, and he or she will use it to solve a new, larger problem… not to reduce the execution time of last year’s problem.

A Scalable Benchmark
for Scalable Computers


A given make of parallel processor can offer a performance range of over 8000 to 1, so the scaling issue exists even if applied to a computer of current vintage.

It’s not easy to use conventional benchmark techniques on every possible size of a large parallel ensemble like an nCUBE or an Intel. In papers on such computers, you’ll see footnotes like, “We were unable to run the problem on small numbers of processors because of insufficient memory.” Or the performance graph is graphed with a collage of partial curves, each for a particular problem size.

The fixed-time method simplifies the issue by changing the question. None of the machines in our database has had insufficient memory to run for one minute, since the memory scales with the speed.

As Figure 1 shows, SLALOM can easily compare computers that scale by 1024-1. You might have seen charts like Figure 1 before for nominal MIPS or MFLOPS rates, but this chart is for a complete application. (SLALOM times a real radiation transfer problem, including input/output and setup tasks. The “patches” number determines the answer resolution.)


Figure 1. SLALOM Performance for
Parallel Product Families

* Note: 400-node Intel Delta results not represented in chart. See Table 1.


The fixed-time benchmark concept is not the same as generic rate comparisons, such as “transactions per second,” “logical inferences per second,” or “spin updates per second.”

In fixed-time performance comparison, a complete computing job is scaled to fit a given amount of time, whereas rate comparisons use the asymptotic speed of a supposedly generic task.

As with MFLOPS or MIPS metrics, generic rate comparisons are usually vague in defining the unit of work. Floating-point operations, instructions, transactions, logical inferences, and spin updates come in many different sizes and varieties. True fixed-time benchmarking considers the entire application. A complete application usually contains many different work components with different scaling properties.


The Report


There are now 82 computer systems in the “Actively Marketed” list that follows. To save space, we give only the briefest description of the system and the environment used. The list ranks computers by the size of the problem they could run, not MFLOPS. The MFLOPS are estimated from the best serial algorithm known at the time of the run, and are approximate. All runs are very close to 60 seconds, so we don’t list execution times.


Table 1. The SLALOM Report — Current Computers

S calable

L anguage-independent

A mes

L aboratory

O ne-minute

M easurement

 
Machine, environment                                                                         Processors         Patches  MFLOPS                          Measurer                                Date
Siemens S600/20, 312 MHz, Fortran 77 + LAPACK                                              1                   5610          3065. A. Rohnfelder(v), KF Karlsruhe                                                                                                                 4/22/91
Cray Y-MP8D, 167 MHz, Fortran + LAPACK (Strassen)                                         8                   5120          2130. J. Brooks (v), Cray Research                                                                                                                 9/21/90
Intel Delta (i860) 40 MHz, Fortran + coded Daxpy                                              256                   4320          1260.                      E. Kushner (v), Intel                      5/30/91
Cray-2S/4, 244 MHz, Fortran + LAPACK (Strassen)                                               4                   4204          1160. M. Ess (v), Cray Computer                                                                                                                         5/27/91
Cray Y-MP8D, 167 MHz, Fortran + LAPACK (Strassen)                                         4                   4096          1190. J. Brooks (v), Cray Research                                                                                                                 9/21/90
nCUBE 2, 20 MHz, Fortran + assembler                                                           1024                   3736            821.                  J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                    2/8/91
Cray-2S/4, 244 MHz, Fortran + LAPACK (Strassen)                                               2                   3280            560. M. Ess (v), Cray Computer                                                                                                                         5/27/91
Cray Y/MP-8D, 167 MHz, Fortran + LAPACK (Strassen)                                        2                   3200            557. J. Brooks (v), Cray Research                                                                                                                 9/21/90
Intel Delta (i860) 40 MHz, Fortran + coded Ddot                                                   64                   3120            487.                      E. Kushner (v), Intel                      5/30/91
Siemens S400/10, 125 MHz, Fortran + various opts.                                             1                   2738            285.                        F. Schmitz, KFK                        2/21/91
Intel iPSC/860, 40 MHz, Fortran + coded Ddot                                                     64                   2640            299.                      E. Kushner (v), Intel                      5/24/91
Fujitsu VP400-EX, 71 MHz, Fortran + various opts                                               1                   2598            283.                        F. Schmitz, KFK                        3/12/91
Cray-2S/4, 244 MHz, Fortran + LAPACK (Strassen)                                               1                   2588            279. M. Ess (v), Cray Computer                                                                                                                         5/27/91
Cray Y/MP-8D, 167 MHz, Fortran + LAPACK (Strassen)                                        1                   2560            283. J. Brooks (v), Cray Research                                                                                                                 9/21/91
nCUBE 2, 20 MHz, Fortran + assembler                                                             256                   2506            253.                  J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                    2/8/91
MasPar MP-1, 12.5 MHz, parallel C + assembler                                           16384                   2431            232.                    W. Baugh (v), MasPar                    5/28/91
Intel Delta (i860) 40 MHz, Fortran + coded Ddot                                                   16                   1986            129.                      E. Kushner (v), Intel                        5/30/9
Intel iPSC/860, 40 MHz, Fortran + coded Ddot                                                     32                   1920            118.                      E. Kushner (v), Intel                      1/25/91
MasPar MP-1, 12.5 MHz, parallel C + assembler                                             8192                   1919            109.                    W. Baugh (v), MasPar                    5/31/91
IBM 3090/200J VF, 69 MHz, VS Fortran 2.4 + ESSL                                             1                   1834            105.                       J. Shearer (v), IBM                       5/31/91
Intel iPSC/860, 40 MHz, Fortran + coded Ddot                                                     16                   1830            102.                      E. Kushner (v), Intel                      5/24/91
Alliant FX/2800, Fortran + KAI Libraries                                                               14                   1736              89.3                     J. Perry (v), Alliant                       1/24/90
nCUBE 2, 20 MHz, Fortran + assembler                                                               64                   1623              71.6 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                           4/8/91
IBM RS/6000 550, 42 MHz, Fortran + ESSL                                                           1                   1610              63.5                     J. Shearer (v), IBM                       5/31/91
MasPar MP-1, 12.5 MHz, plural C + assembler                                                4096                   1535              63.5                   M. Carter, Ames Lab                       4/8/91
Hitachi EX60 + IVF, 61 MHz, IBM VS Fortran + ESSL                                          1                   1522              61.2                         J. Coyle, ISU                           5/21/91
Alliant FX/2800, Fortran + KAI Libraries                                                                 8                   1502              58.9                     J. Perry (v), Alliant                       1/24/90
Silicon Graphics 4D/480S, 40 MHz, Fortran                                                          8                   1500              59.0                   O. Schreiber (v), SGI                       4/2/91
Intel iPSC/860, 40 MHz, Fortran + coded Ddot                                                       8                   1392              46.8                    E. Kushner (v), Intel                      1/25/91
 
Machine, environment                                                                         Processors         Patches  MFLOPS                          Measurer                                Date
Silicon Graphics 4D/380S, 33 MHz, Fortran                                                          8                   1352              46.5                   O. Schreiber (v), SGI                       4/2/91
IBM RS/6000 530, 25 MHz, Fortran + ESSL                                                           1                   1347              43.4                     J. Shearer (v), IBM                       5/31/91
IBM RS/6000 540, 30 MHz, Fortran + ESSL                                                           1                   1337              42.3                     J. Shearer (v) IBM                       5/15/91
FPS M511EA, 33 MHz, Fortran + LAPACK                                                            1                   1197              30.2                   B. Whitney (v), FPS                      1/24/91
MasPar MP-1, 12.5 MHz, parallel C + assembler                                             2048                   1183              29.9                   M. Carter, Ames Lab                       4/8/91
Silicon Graphics 4D/480S, 40 MHz, Fortran                                                          4                   1164              28.7                   O. Schreiber (v), SGI                       4/2/91
Alliant FX/2800, Fortran + KAI Libraries                                                                 4                   1139              26.9                   J. Chmura (v), Alliant                     12/7/90
Intel iPSC/860, 40 MHz, Fortran + coded Ddot                                                       4                   1138              25.8                    E. Kushner (v), Intel                      5/24/91
Silicon Graphics 4D/380S, 33 MHz, Fortran                                                          4                   1128              26.1                   O. Schreiber (v), SGI                       4/2/91
IBM RS/6000 520, 20 MHz, Fortran + ESSL                                                           1                   1091              23.8                     J. Shearer (v), IBM                         1/9/91
nCUBE 2, 20 MHz, Fortran + assembler                                                               16                   1017              18.7 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                           4/8/91
MasPar MP-1, 12.5 MHz, parallel C + assembler                                             1024                     959              16.2                   M. Carter, Ames Lab                       4/8/91
Silicon Graphics 4D/480S, 40 MHz, Fortran                                                          2                     908              14.4                   O. Schreiber (v), SGI                       4/2/91
IBM RS/6000 320, 20 MHz, Fortran + block Solver                                                1                     895              13.7                   S. Elbert, Ames Lab                      1/30/91
Silicon Graphics 4D/380S, 33 MHz, Fortran                                                          2                     884              13.4                   O. Schreiber (v) SGI                       4/2/91
Intel iPSC/860, 40 MHz, Fortran + coded Ddot                                                       2                     845              11.4                    E. Kushner (v), Intel                        2/5/91
SKYbolt, 40 MHz i860/i960, C + assembler Ddot                                                   1                     831              11.1 C. Boozer (v) SKY Computers                                                                                                               1/9/91
SKYstation, 40 MHz, C + assembler Ddot                                                              1                     793                9.77 C. Boozer (v), SKY Computers                                                                                                               1/28/91
Convex C220, Fortran + various opts.                                                                    1                     760                8.24                     P. Hinker, LANL                         2/14/91
Silicon Graphics 4D/480S, 40 MHz, Fortran                                                          1                     758                8.66                 O. Schreiber (v), SGI                       4/2/91
Silicon Graphics 4D/35, 37 MHz, Fortran                                                               1                     739                8.07                 O. Schreiber (v), SGI                       4/2/91
Silicon Graphics 4D/380S, 33 MHz, Fortran                                                          1                     700                6.96                 O. Schreiber (v), SGI                       4/2/91
Alliant FX/2800, Fortran                                                                                          1                     693                6.76                 J. Chmura (v), Alliant                     12/7/90
Intel iPSC/860, 40 MHz, Fortran + coded Ddot                                                       1                     647                5.46                  E. Kushner (v), Intel                      1/25/91
FPS-500 (33 MHz MIPS + vec. unit), Fortran                                                         1                     619                4.97                     P. Hinker, LANL                       11/12/90
nCUBE 2, 20 MHz, Fortran + assembler                                                                 4                     617                4.63 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                           2/8/91
SUN 4/490, 25 MHz, C                                                                                            1                     542                3.25                      I. Novack, JPL                          5/15/91
DECStation 5000, 25 MHz, Fortran                                                                         1                     534                3.25                 S. Elbert, Ames Lab                      1/30/91
Silicon Graphics 4D/25, 20 MHz, Fortran + block Solver                                      1                     507                2.83                 S. Elbert, Ames Lab                      1/30/91
SPARCStation 2 GX, C                                                                                           1                     505                2.69 C. Boozer, SKY Computers                                                                                                               2/6/91
Solbourne 5E/930, 40 MHz, C                                                                                 1                     461                2.25                      I. Novack, JPL                          5/15/91
SUN 4/370, 25 MHz, C                                                                                            1                     451                1.97 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                           4/9/91
Solbourne 5/620, 25 MHz, C                                                                                   1                     442                2.02                      I. Novack, JPL                          5/15/91
DECStation 5000, 25 MHz, Pascal                                                                         1                     432                1.82                 D. Rover, Ames Lab                      1/31/91
DECStation 3100, 16.7 MHz, Fortran + block Solver                                             1                     418                1.70                 S. Elbert, Ames Lab                      1/30/91
Silicon Graphics 4D/20, 12.5 MHz, Fortran + block Solver                                   1                     401                1.52                 S. Elbert, Ames Lab                      1/30/91
SUN 4/370, 25 MHz, Fortran                                                                                   1                     397                1.41 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                           4/9/91
DECStation 2100, 12.5 MHz, Fortran + block Solver                                             1                     377                1.29                 S. Elbert, Ames Lab                      1/30/91
SUN 4/060 SPARC I, 25 MHz, C                                                                             1                     358                1.06                      I. Novack, JPL                          5/15/91
nCUBE 2, 20 MHz, Fortran + assembler                                                                 1                     354                1.13 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                           8/13/90
Motorola MVME181 (20 MHz 88000), Fortran                                                         1                     289                0.676                   R. Blech, NASA                       10/17/90
Sequent Symmetry, 33 MHz, C                                                                               1                     253                0.479               M. Carter, Ames Lab                       1/3/91
Apple Mac IIfx,(40 MHz 68030 + 68882), Think C                                                  1                     235                0.357 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                           5/10/91
 
Machine, environment                                                                         Processors         Patches  MFLOPS                          Measurer                                Date
Commodore Amiga 3000 (25 MHz 68030 + 68882), SAS C5.10a                          1                     230                0.336 R. Bless, U of Karlsruhe                                                                                                                 4/13/91
Mac IIci,(25 MHz 68030 + 68882), Think C                                                            1                     190                0.211 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                           5/10/91
VAXStation 3520, C                                                                                                1                     181                0.197               M. Carter, Ames Lab                     1/24/91
Mac IIsi, (20 MHz 68030 + 68882), Think C                                                           1                     175                0.170 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                           5/16/91
Mac SE/30, (16 MHz 68030 + 68882)                                                                     1                     163                0.143 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                           5/10/91
Cogent XTM (T800 Transputer, 20 MHz), Fortran                                                  1                     149                0.133 C. Vollum (v), Cogent                                                                                                                          6/11/90
Mac IIsi, (20 MHz 68030 only), Think C                                                                 1                       73                0.0219 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                5/10/91
Mac LC, (16 MHz 68020 only), Think C                                                                  1                       34                0.0042 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                5/15/91
Amiga 2000 (7 MHz 68000), SAS C 5.10a                                                              1                       32                0.00363 R. Bless, U of Karlsruhe                                                                                                                 4/24/91
Toshiba 1000, 6 MHz 8088, Turbo C                                                                      1                       12                0.000646             P. Hinker, LANL                       11/14/90

NOTES:

A “(v)” after the name of the person who made the measurement indicates a vendor. Vendors frequently have access to compilers, libraries, and other tools that make the performance higher than that achievable by a customer.

Intel entries for 8 and 32 nodes used a one-dimensional scattered decomposition; other Intel and nCUBE entries used a two-dimensional scattered decomposition that currently works only for even-dimensioned hypercubes.

The IBM RS/6000 workstations were not all measured using the same algorithm. Be careful not to compare machines submitted on different dates even when all other information is identical. A recent improvement to the SetUp routines by J. Shearer allowed the 25 MHz model 530 to surpass the older algorithm on a 30 MHz model 540.

If MFLOPS seem inconsistent with preceding/following entries, it is because either the number of seconds is significantly less than 60 or a different version of the algorithm was used. Operation counts are reduced as more efficient methods are found. Rankings are by patch count, not MFLOPS.


Text Box: How to Get SLALOM
SLALOM resides on a Unix workstation at Ames Lab, tantalus.al.iastate.edu. For those of you without a nameserver, that’s IP address 129.186.200.15. If you connect to this computer through the networks via “ftp,” just answer “ftp” to the “username:” prompt, and a name and a carriage return to the “password:” prompt, and you’re in. Use your usual ftp commands to peruse the directo-ries and files you find there, downloading whatever interests you. Among other things, you’ll find
 Up-to-date reports of all computers measured so far
 Programs for displaying the answer graphically
 Concise definitions of the problem to solve, in Fortran, C, and Pascal
 Parallel versions for SIMD & MIMD environ-ments
 Vectorized versions for traditional pipelined supercomputers
 Examples of answer files for checking your re-sults.
If your network access is E-mail, send a note to netlib@tantalus.al.iastate.edu, and a case-sensitive version of the netlib software will mail you back in-structions. Please don’t ask for a tape, a listing, or “just send me everything!” If you don’t know ex-actly what you want, find a friend on the Internet.

Most Wanted List

We haven’t heard from everyone yet. Our “most wanted” computers in the SLALOM table include those made by the following vendors:

We hope to add these and other computers to our list by our next publication in Supercomputing Review.


Performance within a product line

Here’s another way to look at some entries on our list. We’ve chosen those computers for which at least three different numbers of processors have been measured, and grouped them by type. The groups are sorted in descending order of the speed of their fastest member. This is the same data shown graphically in Figure. 1.

The “speedup” column is the ratio of the MFLOPS rate to that of the smallest member of the product line for which we have SLALOM measurements. Since MFLOPS are a poor method of assessing performance, the speedup column should be viewed only as a rough guide to the scalability of a product line via parallel processing. This form of speedup can be greater than the number of processors because faster computers spend a greater fraction of the time on the Solver, raising the MFLOPS rate per processor. This “changing profile” effect, noted in past SLALOM reports, tends to compensate for the increasing communication and load imbalance that result from using more processors.


Table 2. The SLALOM Report — Selected Product Families

 

Machine, environment                            Processors                  Patches
             MFLOPS              Measurer                         Date                   “Speedup”
Cray Y-MP8D, 167 MHz                                           8                            5120                     2130.                  J. Brooks (v)                      9/21/90                           7.53
Cray Y-MP8D, 167 MHz                                           4                            4096                     1190.                  J. Brooks (v)                      9/21/90                           4.20
Cray Y-MP8D, 167 MHz                                           2                            3200                       557.                  J. Brooks (v)                      9/21/90                           1.97
Cray Y-MP8D, 167 MHz                                           1                            2560                       283.                  J. Brooks (v)                      9/21/90                           1.00

Intel Delta (i860) 40                                              256                            4320                     1260.                 E. Kushner (v)                     5/30/91                           9.77
Intel Delta (i860) 40                                                64                            3120                       487.                 E. Kushner (v)                     5/30/91                           3.78
Intel Delta (i860) 40                                                16                            1986                       129.                 E. Kushner (v)                     5/30/91                           1.00
 
Cray-2S/4, 244 MHz                                                 4                            4204                     1160.                    M. Ess (v)                        5/27/91                           4.16
Cray-2S/4, 244 MHz                                                 2                            3280                       560.                    M. Ess (v)                        5/27/91                           2.00
Cray-2S/4, 244 MHz                                                 1                            2588                       279.                    M. Ess (v)                        5/27/91                           1.00
 
nCUBE 2, 20 MHz                                              1024                            3736                       821.                  J. Gustafson                       2/8/91                            727.
nCUBE 2, 20 MHz                                                256                            2506                       253.                  J. Gustafson                       2/8/91                            224.
nCUBE 2, 20 MHz                                                  64                            1623                         71.6                J. Gustafson                       4/8/91                            63.4
nCUBE 2, 20 MHz                                                  16                            1017                         18.7                J. Gustafson                       4/8/91                            16.5
nCUBE 2, 20 MHz                                                    4                              617                           4.63              J. Gustafson                       2/8/91                            4.10
nCUBE 2, 20 MHz                                                    1                              354                           1.13              J. Gustafson                      8/13/90                           1.00

Intel iPSC/860, 40 MHz                                          64                            2640                       299.                 E. Kushner (v)                     5/24/91                           54.8
Intel iPSC/860, 40 MHz                                          16                            1830                       102.                 E. Kushner (v)                     5/24/91                           18.7
Intel iPSC/860, 40 MHz                                            4                            1138                         25.8               E. Kushner (v)                     5/24/91                            4.7
Intel iPSC/860, 40 MHz                                            1                              647                           5.46             E. Kushner (v)                     1/25/91                           1.00

 

MasPar MP-1, 12.5 MHz                                  16384                            2431                       232.                   B. Baugh (v)                      5/28/91                           14.3
MasPar MP-1, 12.5 MHz                                    8192                            1855                       109.                     M. Carter                          4/7/91                            6.73
MasPar MP-1, 12.5 MHz                                    4096                            1535                         63.5                   M. Carter                          4/8/91                            3.92
MasPar MP-1, 12.5 MHz                                    2048                            1183                         29.9                   M. Carter                          4/8/91                            1.85
MasPar MP-1, 12.5 MHz                                    1024                              959                         16.2                   M. Carter                          4/8/91                            1.00
 
Alliant FX/2800                                                      14                            1736                         89.3                  J. Perry (v)                        1/24/90                           13.2
Alliant FX/2800                                                        8                            1502                         58.9                  J. Perry (v)                        1/24/90                           8.71
Alliant FX/2800                                                        4                            1139                         26.9                J. Chmura (v)                      12/7/90                           3.98
Alliant FX/2800                                                        1                              693                           6.76              J. Chmura (v)                      12/7/90                           1.00

 

Machine, environment                            Processors                  Patches
             MFLOPS              Measurer                         Date                   “Speedup”
Silicon Graphics 4D/480S                                       8                            1500                         59.0              O.Schreiber (v)                     4/2/91                            6.81
Silicon Graphics 4D/480S                                       4                            1164                         28.7              O.Schreiber (v)                     4/2/91                            3.31
Silicon Graphics 4D/480S                                       2                              908                         14.4              O.Schreiber (v)                     4/2/91                            1.66
Silicon Graphics 4D/480S                                       1                              758                           8.66            O.Schreiber (v)                     4/2/91                            1.00
 
Silicon Graphics 4D/380S                                       8                            1352                         46.5              O.Schreiber (v)                     4/2/91                            6.68
Silicon Graphics 4D/380S                                       4                            1128                         26.1              O.Schreiber (v)                     4/2/91                            3.75
Silicon Graphics 4D/380S                                       2                              884                         13.4              O.Schreiber (v)                     4/2/91                            1.93
Silicon Graphics 4D/380S          1                  700                 6.96 O.Schreiber (v)       4/2/91               1.00

Computers No Longer Marketed


From time to time, we will publish lists of SLALOM performance for computers that are no longer actively marketed. We feel that current and historical computers should not be mixed in the same list, so we intend to move entries from the main list to this one when we learn that a particular model has been superceded or is no longer available from the original vendor.


Table 3. The SLALOM Report — Older Computers

 

Machine, environment                                                                         Processors         Patches  MFLOPS                          Measurer                                Date
Siemens S600/20, 312 MHz, Fortran 77 + LAPACK                                              1                   5610          3065. A. Rohnfelder (v), KF Karlsruhe                                                                                                                 4/22/91
 Myrias SPS2 (17 MHz 68020), Fortran                                                                64                     399                1.56                 J. Roche (v), Myrias                      6/21/90
nCUBE 1, 6 MHz, CFG FORTRAN + assembler                                                   4                     204                0.281 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                           4/30/90
Mac IIcx, 16 Mhz 68030 + 68882, Think C, V4.00 (68030 + 68881 enabled)        1                     162                0.142 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                           5/10/91
nCUBE 1, 6 MHz, CFG Fortran 1.7 + Assembler                                                   2                     153                0.141 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                           4/30/90
VAX 11/780, VMS 5.3-1, Fortran, (fort/f77/nodebug)                                               1                     140                0.11                      I. Novack, JPL                          5/15/91
Mac Plus, 16MHz, MC68030 + 68882, Symantic Pascal v3                                 1                     124                0.0863 J. McInerney Novellus                                                                                                                  1/29/91
nCUBE 1, 6 MHz, CFG Fortran 1.7 + Assembler                                                   1                     114                0.0703 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                4/30/90
IBM PC-AT, 8 Mhz 80286 + 80287, CFG Fortran 1.7                                             1                       67                0.0216 J. Gustafson Ames Lab                                                                                                                           4/30/90
Zenith PC-AT, 6Mhz 80286 + 80287 MS QuickPascal v1                                    1                       55                0.0140 D. Rover, Ames Lab                                                                                                                         12/6/90
Mac IIcx, 16 MHz 68030 only, Think C, V4.00 (no coprocessor)                           1                       44                0.00730 J. Gustafson, Ames Lab                                                                                                                5/10/91
Mac Plus, 16MHz, MC68030, Symantic Pascal v3                                               1                       32                0.00451 J. McInerney, Novellus                                                                                                                  1/29/91
Mac Plus, 8 MHz, MC68000, Symantic Pascal v3                                                1                       12                0.000622 J. McInerney, Novellus                                                                                                                  1/29/91

Acknowledgments


We thank everyone who has participated in this effort. In particular, analysts at Alliant, Cogent, Cray, IBM, Intel, MasPar, and Myrias have contributed suggestions, ideas, and versions of SLALOM. Much of the work was performed at the Scalable Computing Laboratory at Ames Laboratory/Center for Physical and Computational Mathematics.

References

1.   V. Faber, O. Lubeck, and A. White, “Superlinear Speedup of an Efficient Sequential Algorithm is Not Possible,” Parallel Computing, Volume 3, 1986, pages 259–260.


2.   J. L. Gustafson, “Reevaluating Amdahl’s Law,” Communications of the ACM, Volume 31, Number 5, May 1988.

3.   D. P. Helmbold. and C. E. McDowell, “Modeling Speedup(n) greater than n,” 1989 International Conference on Parallel Processing Proceedings, 1989, Volume III, pages 219–225.

4.   D. Parkinson, “Parallel Efficiency can be Greater than Unity,” Parallel Computing, Volume 3, 1986, pages 261–262.

5.   B. Randell, editor, The Origins of Digital Computers: Selected Papers, Second Edition, Springer-Verlag, 1975, pages 84, 138, 227, 229, 283, and 306.



* This work is supported by the Applied Mathematical Sciences Program of the Ames Laboratory-U.S. Department of Energy under contract number W-7405-ENG-82.