Wednesday, February 16, 2005

A well-deserved retirement

Back in early 2002 I wrote a program that automatically generates a checkers opening book, without any human intervention. The algorithm for this was invented by Thomas Lincke and it's called drop-out expansion. I have a computer at home which works on the opening book day and night. Yesterday, I replaced its mainboard, CPU and memory for newer components. After 20 months of nonstop computing, this AMD Athlon XP 2400+ CPU has certainly deserved retirement! During this time, it searched through nearly 100'000'000'000'000 checkers positions, generating the largest part of my now 1.6 million-move opening book.
The replacement is an AMD Athlon 64 3400+ CPU, like the old machine this one also has 1.5GB memory. The reason that I don't have Intel inside is that the AMD processors are better suited for integer computations than the Intel CPUs - for floating point it's the other way round. But since checkers programs (chess programs too) only use integer numbers, you get much more bang for the buck when you choose an AMD processor.

No comments: