20 November 2017

Improve Engine Hardware - High Performance

The heart of last week's post, Improve Engine Hardware - Parts List, was a three-column table:-

The following table gives a side-by-side comparison of those two sources for the 'most important' components.

A list of components for a high-end chess engine was posted last month by Chessdom.com, 44 cores server to power TCEC Season 10 (October 2017):-

The premier computer chess event TCEC Season 10 is starting next week with the participation of the strongest chess software. The event will not only be record breaking regarding the ELO and strength of the engines, but also the hardware for S10 will be a 44 core server.

Another reliable source appeared last week on Chessbase.com, Building the ultimate chess machine (November 2017):-

Pros travel around the world almost constantly, and the elite players more than any. You might imagine this would mean they are dependent on top-of-the-line laptops, which they certainly have as well, but they all know that a top desktop computer will always outgun even the most formidable laptop. The solution is simply to access their desktop computer remotely, via the internet.

Here are the specific hardware recommendations from both sources.

  TCEC Chessbase
CPU Intel Dual Xeon 2699 v4 - Total 44 cores AMD RYZEN Threadripper 1950X 16-Core
Mobo Supermicro X10DRL-i ASRock X399 Professional Gaming sTR4
RAM 64 GB RAM meaning max of 16 GB hash per engine G.SKILL TridentZ Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 3200
Cooling ? Arctic Liquid Freezer 240

The Chessbase article raised another relevant question:-

What if you could put together three full computers, each with 50% of the performance, for the price of one Threadripper [i.e. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X]? In other words, getting 50% more analysis power at your fingertips. The recommendation would still be one Threadripper.

For a discussion of the Dual Xeon 2699, which might be the highest performance hardware currently running chess engines, see Two 22 Core Xeon CPUs!? (youtube.com). I like the use of the chess symbol ('!?') in the title.

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