Re: An essay I just wrote on the Singularity.

From: Marcos Guillen (
Date: Fri Jan 02 2004 - 21:29:26 MST

>Component prices are obtained from,
>including shipping but not sales tax. Current
>configuration is as follows:
>Case: $20 Generic Mid-ATX w/300W power supply
>Motherboard: 38 MSI K7T Turbo 2
>CPU: 59 AMD Athlon XP2200 (1.8 Ghz)
>Memory: 128 3x512MB PC133 SDRAM
>Storage: 131 180 GB EIDE internal Hard Disk
>NIC: 14 4x10/100 Ethernet cards
>Wiring: 8 4x6ft Cat 5 cables w/RJ45 connectors
>Hub: 10 1/6x24 port fast ethernet switch
>Total $408/node

Actually it's more like this:

2 x DDRAM 512MB 400 Mhz = $122,00
P4 GIGABYTE 8S 648 L = $53,00
P-4 2,4 GHZ 800Mhz = $147,00
40 GB SEAGATE 7200/100 = $45,00
Giga Ethernet 100/1000 = $40,00
P4 CASE-300W = $22,00
Giga Ethernet Swich Port = $32,00

Total USD $462,00

 - Memory throughput is vital, you'll do much better with less memory per
node and a faster processors with a faster bus, preferable capable of 400
 - Giga Ethernet card is not that expensive, and is very handy while working
with fast pathways for visual and auditory cortex related nodes.

On top of that, you have to add the cost of electricity, refrigeration, and
maintenance of the Data Center, around $5.00 month, per machine.

Finally, the "Gflops" figure is tricky. You are not going to be dealing with
64bit operations, but mostly with 8bit operations, so good old
Linpack test becomes almost meaningless. Furthermore, most neural interplay
is fairly parallel, and careful distribution of the workload could mean you
are getting very close to deal with an embarrassing parallel problem, where
your brand new P4 2.4 Ghz micro performs closer and closer to its 5 GFlop
64bit peak, and X86 legacy does true wonders with your actuall serialized 8
bits operations.

Marcos Guillen

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