Parallel processing performance evaluation of mixed T10/T100 Ethernet topologies on Linux Pentium systems
Decato, Steven W.
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The intent of this thesis is to answer the question as to whether real time battlefield visualization, once requiring high speed UNIX workstations and specialized parallel processors, can now be now performed on relatively inexpensive off the shelf components. Alternative network topologies were implemented using 10 and 100 megabit-per-second Ethernet cards under the Linux operating system on Pentium based personal computer platforms. Network throughput, processor and video performance benchmark routines were developed to assess the hardware's potential for parallel application in a distributed environment. Code was first ported to the Linux environment. Benchmark routines were then developed and tested on various machines. Dual 200 MHz Pentium Pro processor performance exceeded the dual processor 50 MHz SUN and 40 MHz SGI UNIX workstations currently used for terrain generation by a factor of 30 using a simple ray trace algorithms as a basis for comparison. The Intel Pentium Pro personal computer proved to be a capable platform for generating six to ten frame-per-second terrain simulations. However, Fast Ethernet throughput averages only 2.5 megabytes-per-second, thereby limiting the usefulness of a distributed approach designed to increase performance by dividing workload across the network.
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