HPL. HPCG. Bookends. One will show you the best possible performance from your cluster while the other will show you the worst. Running and optimizing these two foundational HPC benchmarks was the task for the twelve 2023 Winter Classic Invitational Student Cluster Competition teams.

The mentor organization, HPE in this case, provided the students with everything they needed to run and optimize the two benchmarks. This included training, access to virtual clusters, and answers to the questions that popped up during the one-week practice period. We’ll be interviewing the HPE mentor team to get a behind the scenes look at how this module went.

In this latest version of our Studio Update Show, Dan Olds and Addison Snell take you through the results and how the changed the leaderboard (there were big changes).

On the LINPACK side of the challenge, the scores skewed high, with a median score of a little over 90 points (we’re normalizing the scores to a 100 point scale).

 The Texas Tech Red Raiders took the top slot and earned a full 100 points. Their rival/partner team, The Texas Tech Matadors nabbed second place, finishing less than two points behind the Red Raiders. UC Santa Cruz was a close third at 97.01 points.

It was a different story for HPCG. We had five teams that didn’t submit a valid score, bringing the median score down to 30.06 points. This kind of thing happens in these competitions, particularly during the first real challenge.

Judging from system use patterns, most of the teams didn’t get started until late in the week, and they tackled LINPACK first.  LINPACK, being LINPACK, can become addictive, compulsively changing parameters to chase that elusive highest possible score. My theory is that the teams put most of their time into LINPACK, neglecting HPCG until the last minute. Again, it happens, and I know the teams learned a valuable lesson from this.

On the happier side of HPCG, the CSU Channel Islands High Performance Dolphins team nailed down first place, netting 100 points, with the UC Santa Cruz Not So Slow Slug team taking second with a tally of 98.66. The Texas Tech Matadors finished third with 83.56 points.

Big Board Impact

With these results, the CSUCI High Performance Dolphins are holding a 27 point lead with their total score (so far) of 289.90 points. UC Santa Cruz used their HPL/HPCG prowess to vault from 12th place into second with a total score of 262.81 points.

The Battle for Texas Tech rages on with the Matador team narrowly leading the Red Raiders team by 254 to 230 points. University of New Mexico is in fifth, with UTEP, and Cal Poly Pomona narrowly trailing.

The teams that didn’t get a score from HPCG took a hit, to be sure, but this competition is far from over. We’ve logged 300 points out of the 700 point total, so we’re not even halfway through it from a scoring perspective. As we’ve seen so far, anything can happen, so stay tuned, we’re just getting started. 

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