Computer cluster? (Not FIRST related)

First off, sorry about posting this question here, I didn’t know where else to go where I could get help.

But as to the actual question: I have two computer towers running Windows XP and another tower without an OS. I also have a Dell laptop running Windows 7. What I want to do is somehow use them in tandem (as a cluster? Not sure if that’s the right word…) as a regular home computer. I sometimes push my laptop too hard, and I’m looking to speed it up in any way. Is what I’m wanting to do possible, and if so, how? Thank you in advance!

Not possible to use as a regular computer running windows. There are however cluster based OS like

but it will be far from your familiar windows based desktop experience - all you will get is a linux shell and the OS will automatically hop processes over the network to slave nodes. Pretty good for determining protein structures, calculating pi to zillion digits - but not for desktop computing - because not all algorithms are easily parallelizable.


Not exactly sure what your asking, but this is awesome - I use it at home between 2-3 computers (2 desktops and a laptop).

Sweet, I’ll take a look at those! Thanks!

I don’t know of any good way to do generic load-sharing amongst computers. If you have specific tasks you want to run on the tower PCs, there are probably lots of ways to automate and control those from another computer. You’ve have to give us more details on exactly what you’re trying to do for us to help.

I suspect that your XP machines (3+ years old?) have very little to offer the Win7 laptop (1 year old?), which I’m guessing is more powerful than all the towers together. In what way are you stressing the laptop? RAM? Graphics? Heat?

My opinion and past experiences is that building a cluster with old computers is just not worth it. Back when P4s were common I made a small 8 node cluster with 8 P2s (300Mhz). The combine processor power was 2.4ghz. Most P4s at that time were 2.8 :frowning: Granite I did have 8 cores on the cluster.

With that being said I found Cluster Knoppix was the easiest to use. Cluster Knoppix is a live CD so you don’t actually have to install it. You just have to boot from the CD. Once one node is up you boot others off of it’s PXE/DHCP server. If not other DHCP is on the network and computer is configured for network boot it will automatically boot up Cluster Knoppix and join the cluster.

Chaos Linux is another alternative that uses OpenMosix which is what allows the clustering.

OpenMosix regardless of which version you use will automatically move processes to idle nodes as the you start to take the CPU.

A quick Google OpenMosix, ClusterKnoppix, or Chaos Linux will get you started.

Good Luck!!!