My friend and I are wanting to build a computer for stritctly number crunching. (More specifially, finding a prime number for huge, huge numbers.) We will be making fast computers, plus try to get a distributing computer network too. (Other computers will share the CPU load.) So, my question is, what is the best type of computer to crunch numbers? 1. Pentium 4 2. AMD Athalon 64 bit 3. Dual Pentium Xeon/P4 4. Two computers with either AMD XP+ or Pentium 4? I'm just trying to figure out if I should go with a dual processor set up, which processor is the best, and/or if I should share the load between two different computers. Thanks for your help!

Have you ever heard of a program called pi fast. You could make a computer that calculated pi to loads of decimal places. I think the worl record is something huge like 33.3 trillian. Jimbob

Depends on the kind of numbers you're dealing with: if its floating point, the 64bit processors are the route to take (ideally with Opterons but the A64 will suffice). If its with integer calculations, go for mass SMP configurations (traditionally done with mass Xeons but more recently, a Dual Opteron/A64 configuration is a very strong alternative). What algorithm are you using for prime calculations? Certain algorithms favor certain types of setups. In a theoretical setup you should be considering much bigger configurations (but that would be otuside of your budget range i would imagine). For a more reasonablle configuration 2-, 4- and 8-way Opteron configurations are the optimal solution: you get the overall lpower of SMP and the precision/individual-power of the 64bit capacity

Yeah if you're operating on a non-coporate or non-grant type of budget (i.e., your own money), the cheapest and most effective option would be the dual/quad Xeon/Opterons and since the Opterons will destroy the Xeons when it comes to floating point calculations, you're probably better off with them.