Inexpensive Quad Core and Software

You are looking for very affordable hardware to build a (perhaps virtual) HPC cluster? You are looking for a test version of Windows Compute Cluster Server? Here's one way to get both.

Last week Microsoft ran an internal event for technical professionals at Microsoft. It is the internal TechEd event if you like and the sixth of its kind, therefore the name TechReady 6. Strictly internal and a Must for everyone directly involved with Microsoft technology.

Plenty of exciting sessions on HPC and Virtualization. One session I attended was delivered by Jeff Woolsey, Senior PM in the Virtualization team, Mister Hyper-V. During his talk he mentioned the ever falling price of hardware and how cheap quad core systems can be today. Many folks asked for the system spec and where to buy. Today he provided details:



Gateway GT5630E (Intel; Core 2 Quad Q6600, 1GB, 250GB, Vista Premium)

Push digital possibilities to the limit. Intel® Quad-Core processing gives you the unprecedented power of 4 processing cores to push your gaming and content creation to the next level and blaze through intense applications. Control when and how you enjoy premium home entertainment with Intel® Viiv™ to download exclusive content, manage and share your media library. Experience smooth video and quick action with next-generation Intel® integrated graphics. Transfer content from your digital devices with the 15-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader and save your media library on the high-speed 250GB hard drive. Get quick response for editing photos, watching streaming video and downloading large files with 1GB memory. Send email, manage spreadsheets and create documents with Microsoft Works® and enjoy extras like digital media, security and gaming software. The optional Gateway® Portable Media Drive lets you store and carry your digital media and data backup then access files from any PC.

You can also purchase 4 2 GB DIMMS for this system for $150 (taking the system up to 8 GB total) and add two SATA 500 GB hard disks $99 each. Basically, about $1050 for an inexpensive Hyper-V system."

While he was thinking Hyper-V, I was thinking about CCS and cluster. The same system spec obviously would make a nice single system, 4-node virtual CCS cluster for testing. All you need is a trial version of CCS which you can download from Microsoft Connect and a trial of Windows Server 2008. Or, if you go to and find a bunch of valuable resources like the LINPACK demo for CCS (with all code and stuff).

If you register as a contributing member on, the Microsoft HPC community portal, you can have your own blog, share your thoughts, and interact directly with the product group.

Comments (0)

Skip to main content