I sent email a couple days ago asking for advice re linux cluster vendors
 and critical configuration issues (I am going to summarize my findings
 after getting all the responses). It turned out that the choice of the
 processor is the most critical one. I had an impression from literature
 that Athlon MPX goes head by head with Xeon in terms of CPU speed for
 heavy numerics, but it is considerably less expensive.
 Surprisingly, I received several responses that contradict to my view. In
 particular, Xeon is only 5-10% more expensive, but it is more powerful
 since it is currently running at 2.4 GHz, has 400 MHz front bus plus 512
 Kb of secondary cash as compared to 1.76 GHz, 266 MHz and 384 Kb for
 Athlon. Also, the newest linux kernel will provide multithreading on Xeons
 that could also result in substantial boost for numerical calculations.
 I think this is old question, but I would like to know what experts
 say: Is it really true that the new Xeon is superior than Athlon as far as
 heavy numerical calculations in cluster environment are concerned?
 Ivan Oleynik
 Ivan I. Oleynik                       E-mail : oleynik # - at - #
 Department of Physics
 University of South Florida
 4202 East Fowler Avenue                  Tel : (813) 974-8186
 Tampa, Florida 33620-5700                Fax : (813) 974-5813