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Dr Donald Kinghorn (HPC and Scientific Computing)

Quad Xeon 4600v2 Performance - Zemax OpticsStudio14

Posted on April 23, 2014 by Dr Donald Kinghorn

Need the most compute capability you can get in a single box for a well written, multithreaded application? Weíll take a look at one such application, Zemax OpticStudio14, running on a quad socket Ivy Bridge Xeon system. Performance was excellent!

Posted in Hardware | 0 Comments
Dr Donald Kinghorn (HPC and Scientific Computing)

LinuxFest Northwest 2014

Posted on April 22, 2014 by Dr Donald Kinghorn

The annual Northwest pilgrimage for the Linux faithful to the Bellingham Technical College in Bellingham, WA is nearly upon us! Puget Systems is donating a great machine to the raffle, a Serenity mini with a commemorative case etching!

Posted in Hardware, Technology | 0 Comments
Dr Donald Kinghorn (HPC and Scientific Computing)

NVIDIA HPC future directions

Posted on April 8, 2014 by Dr Donald Kinghorn

Where is NVIDIA heading with High Performance Computing hardware? Ever since Intel announced Xeon Phi Knights Landing as a stand-alone processor integrated at the board level as a full compute unit, I've been wondering what NVIDIA would do along these lines. It just makes sense that they would do something similar since getting the GPU off of the PCIe bus and tightly integrated with plentiful system memory would be a huge step forward for usability and performance. Here's my guess about where NVIDIA is heading.

Posted in Hardware, Technology | 0 Comments
Dr Donald Kinghorn (HPC and Scientific Computing)

GTC 2014 Brief Recap -- content links

Posted on April 3, 2014 by Dr Donald Kinghorn

I had the pleasure of attending the NVIDIA Graphics Technology Conference ( GTC ) last week. Wonderful conference! If you have any doubts about the quality of the conference you are in luck. They have most of the content on-line, you can check it out yourself ...

Posted in Hardware, Technology, HPC | 0 Comments
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

The Continual Rise of the SSD

Posted on April 2, 2014 by Brett Nordquist

Just over a year ago I wrote how Solid State Drives (SSD) were soaring in popularity. At that time we offered a number of SSD models from Intel. But due to production constraints, we were on the verge of adding a few Samsung SSDs to the mix. Around this same time we began fielding a number of requests for Samsung SSDs. Once considered a luxury item, SSDs have moved into the mainstream within the past two years. Our customers tend to be tech savvy and performance demanding to the core. So I wasn't surprised to find widescale adoption of SSDs as I dove into the sales data.

Posted in Technology | 4 Comments
Chris Stephens (Business Development)

VMware User Group Conference

Posted on April 2, 2014 by Chris Stephens

I spent yesterday attending the Seattle stop of the VMware User Group (VMUG) Conference. It was a totally worthwhile event for catching up with all that is going on in the VMware world. If you didn't already know Puget Systems has been a VMware Partner for quite some time now, we even use a number of their products to run Puget Systems.

Posted in Technology | 0 Comments
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

Traffic: Puget Systems vs. Netmarketshare

Posted on March 29, 2014 by Brett Nordquist

We thought it would be fun to compare a few of the statistics gathered by Netmarketshare to those we track through Google Analytics for visitors to Puget Systems. According to Netmarketshare, they are the standard in tracking technology usage market share. They have been collecting and analysing data since 1999 and, while not without controversy, are highly regarded in their approach to ranking the most popular operating systems and web browsers.

Posted in Technology | 1 Comment
Chris Stephens (Business Development)

My first few weeks with Linux

Posted on March 27, 2014 by Chris Stephens

I posted a few weeks ago regarding my move to Linux. I received some great feedback from our readers, and encouragement to continue posting about my experiences. If there is something specific about the Linux experience you would like me to discuss, feel free to email me at cstephens@pugetsystems.com. Hopefully, you will find these posts helpful. Two weeks have passed since I walked away from Windows and a couple of things have really struck me in that time.

Posted in Technology | 4 Comments
Jon Bach (President)

What Our Customers Have to Say About Windows 8

Posted on March 25, 2014 by Jon Bach

Windows 8 has been out for about a year and a half now, and it is common knowledge that Microsoft's newest operating system has received mixed reactions. The new start screen (I still have to stop myself from calling it Metro!) is a jolting departure from the user interface that Windows users have been accustomed to using since 1995. One unique thing we do here at Puget Systems, is we reach out to nearly all of our customers after they have had a chance to use their new PC. We ask them how it is working for them, and what we could have done better. We learn a LOT. So, what do our customers have to say about Windows 8, and what is Puget Systems doing to respond?

Posted in Technology, Company | 6 Comments
Dr Donlad Kinghorn (HPC and Scientific Computing)

Compute Performance: Ivy Bridge-E vs. Haswell

Posted on March 13, 2014 by Dr Donlad Kinghorn

How does the Ivy Bridge-E Core i7-4960X (Extreme edition) do against the Haswell Core i7-4770 running the Linpack benchmark? The Ivy Bridge-E 4960X is a great processor -- 6 cores, 4GHz max turbo clock, 4 memory channels, 40 PCIe lanes, big price tag ... However, the humble Haswell 4770 has it's AVX2 and FMA3 secret weapons which are really effective on linear/matrix algebra type of numerical computing problems. ...

Posted in Hardware, HPC | 0 Comments
William George (Customer Service Lead)

New Apple Mac Pro vs Genesis Workstation PC

Posted on March 7, 2014 by William George

By now, most folks have seen Appleís updated Mac Pro - or as I like to call it, the trash can. I kid, I kid! In all seriousness, though, we are often asked how our workstations - like the Genesis line - compare to the hardware Apple has put in the new, miniature Mac Pro. Read on to find out...

Posted in Hardware, Technology, Industry | 2 Comments
Chris Stephens (Business Development)

Windows to Linux

Posted on February 26, 2014 by Chris Stephens

This weekend I did something I never thought I would do: I moved away from Windows. I ran Windows 7 on a Traverse laptop since I came to work here almost 18 months ago, and personally since I was a kid, starting with Win 3.1x. After all that time amd experience I can't take it anymore. I have jumped ship and I am not coming back. This weekend I wiped my Windows install and loaded Ubuntu 12.04 LTS onto my primary drive. Physically, installing the new OS was easy; only after installing the OS did I realize there was a psychological effect I had not really counted on.

Posted in Technology | 2 Comments
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

Focus Pocus

Posted on February 25, 2014 by Brett Nordquist

I recently attended an industry event with speakers representing a number of the largest technology companies in the world. An executive from Lenovo kicked off the event with a presentation that explained how their future was dependent on how well they could sell smartphones. I donít doubt his sincerity because a few weeks later Google off-loaded their Motorola handset business to Lenovo for a few billion and pocket change. Not long after this event Lenovo purchased IBMís server business to take on Dell and HP which have expressed varying degrees of interest selling PCs over the past few years. Depending on the week, HP is either ďall inĒ on smartphones or leaving them behind to focus on something new and exciting. Itís getting nearly impossible to say who is selling what anymore. Many of the traditional PC companies appear to be selling everything except PCs! Which brings me to the point of this post: Focus is difficult.

Posted in Technology | 2 Comments
Dr Donald Kinghorn (HPC and Scientific Computing)

The Peak Mini NVIDIA Tesla edition --preview

Posted on February 6, 2014 by Dr Donald Kinghorn

The NVIDIA Tesla accelerator is a well established work-horse for many useful and important High Performance Computing applications and we are happy to be able to provide Tesla acceleration for our "Peak" systems. The developer ecosystem around CUDA is well established, however, at Puget Systems we believe there is new round of developer interest on the horizon that will be catalyzed by the soon to be released 6.x series of the CUDA platform, advances with openACC, new libraries, new hardware, and perhaps significantly, NVIDIA's acquisition of The Portland Group and their excellent compilers and tools for working with Tesla. So, I've loaded up a Peak mini with a Tesla K40 and I'm ready to give Tesla programming a fresh look.

Posted in Hardware, HPC | 0 Comments
Jon Bach (President)

Like a Spoiler on a Honda Civic

Posted on January 31, 2014 by Jon Bach

On my way in to work today, I was passed by a small blue Honda Civic. It raced and weaved through traffic, sporting a bolt-on spoiler, and an exhaut pipe that made it sound more like a go-cart than a legitimate driving machine. I allowed myself my moment of sarcstic thoughts. "Really? Your Honda Civic gets around with such great velocity that you need a spoiler to keep your rear axle firmly planted??" Maybe I'm just getting old, but I looked at that vehicle and I didn't see the style and power the installer may have intended. I saw immaturity and insecurity. This driver self-identified with performance and power. He didn't have the right tool for the job, so he bolted on the parts.

Posted in Company, Industry, Business | 0 Comments
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

Surviving CES

Posted on January 27, 2014 by Brett Nordquist

Attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas reminds me of the years my grandfather took me to see the Ringling Bros. & Barnum Bailey Circus as a young boy. There was so much going on that it was difficult to concentrate on one display. It was also loud and crowded and occasionally didnít smell quite right. But every now and then I saw something magical that I couldnít wait to tell my friends about.

Posted in Industry | 0 Comments
Dr Donald Kinghorn (HPC and Scientific Computing)

Xeon Phi Developers Starter Kit

Posted on January 14, 2014 by Dr Donald Kinghorn

If you are thinking about getting a system for doing development work targeting the Intel Xeon Phi and you hesitated because of the additional cost of the Intel developer tools you would need then, you should get a system with the "Xeon Phi developers starter kit". The savings on the Intel tools can completely offset the cost of the base system. It's a serious bargain!

Posted in Hardware, HPC | 0 Comments
Dr Donlad Kinghorn (HPC and Scientific Computing)

Using RHEL / CentOS 6.5 with the Intel Xeon Phi

Posted on December 11, 2013 by Dr Donlad Kinghorn

Can you use the new RHEL/CentOS 6.5 release with the Xeon Phi ... yes! But, there is a gotcha that we will need to work around. Read on.

Posted in Hardware, HPC | 2 Comments
Jon Bach (President)

Money Alone Can Not Buy You PC Happiness

Posted on December 6, 2013 by Jon Bach

At Puget Systems, we build extremely high end PCs each and every day. Some of our PCs are used as high powered workstations, where they are pushed to their limits every hour of every day. Others might be the expensive play-things for those of whom price is no object. Is there a such thing as a PC that is TOO high end?

Posted in Technology, Company | 3 Comments
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

How to Select a Traverse Laptop

Posted on December 3, 2013 by Brett Nordquist

Unlike desktop computers that sport large cases, ample power, and generally remain stationary, laptops can be confusing to contrast and compare. Desktop computers are typically much easier to upgrade than laptops so when youíre selecting a laptop, itís a good idea to ensure it includes the level of performance you require from day one. For example, the graphics card thatís used to power games or render complex 3D objects can be simple to upgrade in a desktop computer, whereas you may not have many, if any options to upgrade the graphical performance on your laptop. Swapping out CPUs and drives can be done, but again, you usually have fewer options than with a desktop PC.

Posted in Hardware | 0 Comments
Dr Donlad Kinghorn (HPC and Scientific Computing)

Taking a computer (not laptop) on a plane

Posted on November 29, 2013 by Dr Donlad Kinghorn

Can you fly with a computer (not laptop) in your carry-on bag. Sure! With some restrictions of course...

Posted in Hardware, HPC | 0 Comments
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

A Small Issue

Posted on November 25, 2013 by Brett Nordquist

Most of my career has been spent working for large companies where employee manuals fill a 3-ring binder, policies number into the hundreds and metrics are used to measure the worth and effectiveness of employees. Puget Systems hasnít been around long enough nor have we grown so large that every issue can be solved by creating a new policy. When employees don't have dozens of policies and procedures governing how they get their work done, their actions might not always been predictable.

Posted in Business | 0 Comments
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

The Time Has Come For Windows 8.1

Posted on November 11, 2013 by Brett Nordquist

The time has come. The time is now. And with apologies to Marvin K. Mooney, itís time to consider running Windows 8 on your desktop or laptop computer. Although thereís no shortage of opinion surrounding Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8 remains somewhat of an enigma. Iíve spoken to people who have told me the following: 1. Windows 8 is for touchscreens only. 2. Windows 8 is worthless for desktop users. 3. Microsoft is forcing a tablet OS on us. 4. Windows 8 is nothing more than Windows 7 with spiffy skin.

Posted in Technology | 4 Comments
Richard A. Millard (Office Manager)

Speaking G(r)eek

Posted on November 1, 2013 by Richard A. Millard

I've seen it happen a hundred times. I'll be having a great conversation with a customer about computer needs, what the computer is currently used for, and what it might be used for in the future Ė but as soon as I ask something like ďWhat type of wireless network compatibility do you need this laptop to support?Ē, everything screeches to a halt. I might as well be speaking Greek.

Posted in Business, Company, Service | 1 Comment
Dr. Donald Kinghorn (HPC and Scientific Computing)

Performance of Xeon Phi on PCIe X8

Posted on October 24, 2013 by Dr. Donald Kinghorn

Will the Xeon Phi work in an X8 mode slot? If so, will the performance degrade? Yes and yes!

Posted in Hardware, HPC | 0 Comments
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