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I do a lot of computations in Mathematica, (solving large system of linear equations, for example), and as a hobby, I also create fractal art, and animations.

The program I use do not utilize graphics card.

Clearly I need tons of RAM, but how do I increase my CPU power?

Is there a way to run multiple CPU:s in one box, with technology accessible for non-commercial use?

Like a motherboard with 2 - 4 slots for CPUS?

(I am running Linux/Ubuntu, 64 bit version).

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Uhm.. if you want to calculate stuff, look at Amazon EC2 (aws.amazon.com/ec2). You only have to pay while it does the work you have to do. IF you want the power in YOUR own home, I would recommend buying like 3-5 Phenom X6 based PCs. It's much cheaper, and pack a lot of power. –  Shiki Oct 24 '11 at 14:25
    
Or you can rent a dedicated server, which is cheap too. Rent one, and you will pay much less even in a year than a system costs what you would have to buy. (These servers come with a lot of memory, and usually 2-4 physical CPUs.) –  Shiki Oct 24 '11 at 14:26
    
"The program I use do not utilize graphics card." Are you talking about Mathematica? wolfram.com/products/mathematica-cuda-free-white-paper.html –  Aki Oct 24 '11 at 15:43

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Motherboards with the Intel 5500 series chipsets will offer two cpu sockets, but it will be expensive, 4000+ SEK (I noticed you're a swede like me, so will also list the price in Swedish currency) or $250+. Even more expensive if you're looking at four cpu sockets (9000+ SEK / $450+).

You will also need Intel Xeon E/L/X 5500/5600 series CPU, which themselves cost 1800+ SEK / $100+ each. So all in all, a multi-CPU solution will be very expensive.

You can check Swedish prices and availability of these motherboards at Prisjakt. Just look for additional options for the amount of CPU slots.

On another note, have you looked at the possibility to compute in the cloud using Amazon EC2? Then you only have to pay for when you are computing and will have access to more or less unlimited power.

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Still, it's probably better to add the prices in USD. The intent behind SE sites is to make the information once needed by some person to be available to everybody. Hence you don't write your answer in Swedish and the same thing goes for prices - US dollars or euros are more common worldwide and therefore give more information to other visitors. Other than that, good answer and +1 –  Dyppl Oct 24 '11 at 11:52
    
@Dyppl, good idea. Or perhaps I should add both to help the op, since computer parts are so much more expensive in Sweden (due to much higher VAT and import costs). So you can't just convert SEK to USD/EUR or vice versa and think you have the right price. –  Marcus Ekwall Oct 24 '11 at 14:01
    
Nice! Seems to be borderline server-type motherboards. Do you know if there are computer stores (Webhallen,?) that might be able to order/deliver such components? –  Paxinum Oct 24 '11 at 14:16
    
@Paxinum, I'd check with Inet or Misco. Webhallen is leaning more towards gaming/consumer products. –  Marcus Ekwall Oct 24 '11 at 14:43

Many workstation or server grade systems are multi processor systems - for example using dual xeon processors - an example of which would be the system that broke the record for number of digits of Pi calculated

I believe the current apple mac pro would be an example of a consumer level system with dual xeons and up to 12 cores, if you wanted something off the shelf.

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