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NVIDIA's GeForce GTX Titan X isn't for everyone - no $1000 video card ever will be - but it has some very specific roles where it excels. Click here to read about what the Titan X is and what it does well at!

Modern high-end laptops can be treated as desktop system replacements so it's expected that people will want to try to do some serious computing on them. Doing GPU accelerated computing on a laptop is possible and performance can be surprisingly good with a high-end NVIDIA GPU. [I'm looking at GTX 980m and 970m ]. However, first you have to get it to work! Optimus technology can present serious problems to someone who wants to run a Linux based CUDA laptop computing platform. Read on to see what worked.

Chris Stephens (Manager, Sales & Marketing)

Good food takes time

Posted on March 11, 2015 by Chris Stephens

All kinds of things come up during the build process. We check and double check. We tweak. We modify. We look for the perfect. Perfect builds take time and our standards are high. We want you to walk away feeling that every dollar you spent, every day you waited was absolutely worth it.

Posted in Company | 1 Comment

The next 18 months are going to see more shakeup and factioning in the computing world than we have seen in over a decade. Intel is pulling more and more of the compute architecture onto a single piece of silicon and tightly integrating the whole hardware stack. That's good and bad. It may let them achieve better performance. However, this is going to leave users with a choice of “all Intel” or something else entirely. And, the “something else” is starting to seriously take shape.

Chris Stephens (Manager, Sales & Marketing)


Posted on February 13, 2015 by Chris Stephens

I thought I would take a minute and let you all know how Puget Systems is doing as a business and how our 2014 shaped up. How was 2014? In a word? Stunning.

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

A Race To the Bottom

Posted on February 2, 2015 by Brett Nordquist

I've been a customer of DirecTV for just over 14 years. Yesterday, I called DirecTV and cancelled my account. To their credit, they didn't hassle me very much, and only read off a script a few times to remind me that DirecTV is better than anyone else. Let’s perform a little back of the napkin math: $100/month for 14 years comes out to just under $17,000. I've also recommended DirecTV to a number of friends and family bringing that total much higher.

In the late 90s I had the opportunity to take a factory tour of the Porsche plant in Stuttgart Germany. I watched as engineers assembled engines by hand. The only automation I noticed was how parts were delivered to each work station by robotic carts. Our tour guide pointed out that each Porsche was built-to-order and that a number of models had long waiting lists. But it was an area near the end of the tour, just off the main assembly line that stood out to me that day. In this area were maybe a dozen or so women stitching together what looked to be large swaths of leather or canvas. Looking around the plant of such a high performance car company, this particular area felt antiquated. Another man in our tour group asked the tour guide why those women were not using commercial stitching machines.

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

Tiny Glowing Screens

Posted on December 23, 2014 by Brett Nordquist

I sat on a chair made for a Kindergartner in the back of a dark auditorium waiting for my daughter to perform at her school Christmas program. You can almost feel the nervous energy coming from the children and especially the parents like me who are not sure if their child remembered to bring their sheet music, instrument and every part of their costume including the reindeer antlers.

OK, you got one of the Intel “fire sale / crazy Eddie sale” Xeon Phi 31s1p cards … now what? I'll give you some tips on how to get this thing working!

Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

What I Wish I Had Known

Posted on November 24, 2014 by Brett Nordquist

As part of my job at Puget Systems, I speak with many of our customers at various stages of ownership that range from about a week to a couple of years. These customers often share feedback that we use to improve our products and services. Occasionally customers share what they wish they had done differently when they were configuring their computers. I share this information with our sales team, and figured it might be helpful to those of you considering a new computer today. So in the vein of "If I could do it all over again..." here are a number of items our customers would change if they could turn back time:

Posted in Technology | 1 Comment

If you have done a fresh install of CentOS 6.6 or “updated” to it from a 6.5 install and you are setting up NVIDIA CUDA 6.5 you may be having trouble with a failed build of the nvidia-uvm kernel module. Read on for a fix …

Posted in Software | 5 Comments
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

The Right Tool

Posted on October 28, 2014 by Brett Nordquist

A few months ago my car wouldn't start. I narrowed the problem down to the starter motor. After doing a little research online, I decided I could perform the repair myself. I ordered the motor and expected the replacement to take a couple of hours. If you've ever replaced a starter engine, you know that getting to the starter is often the most time consuming part of the project. It didn't take long to realize the tools I had on hand were not tailored for the job. I’m a lot more comfortable around computers than I am cars. But I figured with detailed instructions in hand, I’d have my car up and running soon. That wasn't the case.

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

5 Time-Saving Apps

Posted on October 19, 2014 by Brett Nordquist

I love apps that save time, even just a few seconds on each use. Most of my day is spent writing so any tool that allows me to keep my focus on that activity earns a spot on my computer. Over the years, I’ve test dozens of utilities that promised to save time, and I’ve found that very few have lived up to that promise. Many are either too complex, require too much administration or just don’t work the way they should. But a few apps have withstood the test of time. These are the apps I use multiple times a day. A few of these I use a dozen or more times a day. The attribute each has in common is they save time.

Posted in Software | 4 Comments

The new Xeon E5 v3 Haswell processors are here, all 30+ of them! There is a bewildering variety of clock speeds, core counts, and power usage. There are processors in the new v3 familly ranging from the single socket E5-1620v3 with 4 cores at 3.5 GHz to the dual socket E5-2699v3 with 18 cores at 2.3GHz. How do you make a choice for a new system?! How do these new processors perform when you programs parallel scaling is less than perfect?

Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

First Impressions

Posted on September 29, 2014 by Brett Nordquist

I recently had two experiences while shopping for groceries that I want to share. I do most of the grocery shopping for our family in the evenings when the crowds are lighter and the kids are in bed. I decided to try the largest grocery store in the area. Inside is a deli, bank, pharmacy and coffee shop. This store is open 24 hours. I entered the store around 9 pm, grabbed a cart and made my way down the aisles. I was especially impressed with the bakery, but when I got to the produce area, I noticed most sections were covered with large tarps. It felt like a game of hide-and-seek trying to find the gala apples and seedless grapes, but I managed to find what I came for and headed towards the checkout stands.

Posted in Business | 0 Comments
Jeff Q. Stubbers (Mr. Customer Service)

Asus 4K PQ321Q Monitor

Posted on September 10, 2014 by Jeff Q. Stubbers

Sales Consultant Jeff Stubbers recently took home an Asus 4K monitor for personal use, and he liked it so much that he wrote a blog post about it.

On the drive from the kid’s school to our home, we pass through a field of black lava formations on the outskirts of Santa Clara, UT. My daughter asked asked why the lava was black, and before I could say anything my son said, “The lava turns into obsidian when it comes in contact with water.” Where did he learn that? Minecraft.

Posted in Gaming | 4 Comments

The Intel Xeon E5 v3 Haswell EP processors are here. The floating point performance on these new processors is outstanding. We run a Linpack benchmark on a dual Xeon E5-2687W v3 system and show how it stacks up against several processors.

Memory bandwidth is often an important factor for compute or data intensive workloads. The STREAM benchmark has been used for may years as a measure of this bandwidth. We present STREAM results for the new Xeon E5 v3 Haswell processor with DDR4 memory and compare this with an Xeon E5 v2 Ivy Bridge system.

The new Intel desktop Core i7 processors are out, Haswell E! We look at how the Core i7 5960X and 5930K stack up with some other processors for numerical computing with the Intel optimized MKL Linpack benchmark.

LAMMPS is a molecular dynamics program capable of running very large (billions of atom) dynamics simulations. It is modular with many contributed packages to add extra potential energy functions, atom types etc.. There was recently added a package, USER-INTEL, that adds some nice code optimizations for Intel Xeon hardware. We grabbed the latest source code and did a build with this new code and fired it up on our quad Xeon test system and got very good performance.

Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

Changing Priorities

Posted on August 16, 2014 by Brett Nordquist

I'd never used a Dremel before. But I'd have to learn if I wanted a PC that stood out from all the nondescript beige boxes my friends owned. So I spent the afternoon tracing the pattern on side panel of my Lian-Li aluminum case using a stencil I'd found online. Had YouTube been around at the time, I would have searched to find a Dremel tutorial but it would be few more years before it existed.

OpenFOAM is a collection of programs and libraries for computational fluid dynamics, CFD, and general dynamical modelling with many solver types. It can give linear scaling and excellent parallel performance on Quad socket many-core systems. Read on to see performance on a 40-core Xeon and 48-core Opteron system.

I’ve been doing application performance testing on our quad socket systems and I am especially liking the quad Xeon box on our test bench. I realized that I haven’t published any LINPACK performance numbers for this system (that’s my favorite benchmark). I’ll show the results for the Intel optimized multi-threaded binary that is included with Intel MKL and do a compile from source using OpenMPI. It turns out that both openMP threads and MPI processes give outstanding, near theoretical peak performance. Building from source hopefully shows that it’s not just Intel “magic” that leads to this performance … although I guess it really is.

Lara Graham (administrative assistant)

Summer Newsletter

Posted on July 24, 2014 by Lara Graham

To the best of my knowledge, it’s been at least six years since we've written about life behind-the-scenes here at Puget Systems. So we’re going to kick off a whole new generation of newsletters - focused more on the people and less the technology - as we dive into this summer season of 2014. I hope you enjoy this little glimpse of what working at Puget Systems is really like, day to day.

Posted in Company | 0 Comments
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