What needs to be purchased to have a complete 4-node Cluster Box cluster?

The Cluster Box looks interesting, but it’s not clear what else needs to be purchased in order to have a complete cluster with all nodes populated. I assume that Mixtile Blade 3’s are needed, but are the breakout boards and cables also needed or is this functionality provided by the Cluster Box? What about heat sinks for each blade? Finally, what storage options exist within the box?


Most of these questions seem to be answered in the Mixtile “getting Started” guide for the Cluster Box (Hardware Installation Guide | Mixtile). I suggest that adding this information or a link to this page to the ordering page so it will be clearer what to order might be useful if you would like to cut down on such questions. I’ll just add another on the storage options: Do each of the NVMe slots correspond to one of the nodes, and are these separate or possible to enable for booting?

1 Like

Hey Scienceman,

Thanks for the detailed info and helpful suggestion. Sorry for the lack of detail on the product page. We will add more info about the introduction of the clustering functionality.

In response to your question, we would like to provide a thorough explanation:
1.Mixtile Blade 3 can be used as a standalone single board.
2. Clustering Functionality of Mixtile Blade 3:
Two forms of clustering functionality are Daisy-Chain Topology and Mixtile Cluster Box.

2.1 Daisy-Chain Topology
To cluster two pieces of Mixtile Blade 3, you should purchase:

  • 2* Blade 3
  • 1* Breakout Board
  • 1* PCIe-to-PCIe Cable

Here is the pic of the four pieces of Blade 3 Daisy-Chain Topology.
For N Blade 3 boards stacking, you will need N Breakout Boards and N-1 PCIe-to-PCIe Cables.

2.2 Mixtile Cluster Box:
Mixtile Cluster Box is an enclosure with a built-in PCIe switch designed to accommodate a four-node cluster of Mixtile Blade 3.
To build a 4-node cluster with Cluster Box, you should purchase:

  • 4* Blade 3
  • 1* Cluster Box

Each Mixtile Blade 3, when purchased, includes an attached heatsink. The Cluster Box is equipped with two internal 60mm fans.

Currently, the Cluster Box only supports installing M.2 SSD for storage. Each M.2 NVMe SSD is connected directly to the PCIe of the respective Blade 3 and is independent, allowing you to connect up to four SSDs.

While it is possible to boot the Blade 3 with an NVMe SSD, this feature is currently under development. Presently, Blade 3’s system is on eMMC, booting from eMMC for stability and reliability.

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions or suggestions, please feel free to share.

Best regards,

Thanks! Are educational discounts for academic organizations available? And if so, how can we specify this when ordering?

Just a quick check on the above questions. Thanks!

Thanks for the email response. I have been able to order a cluster box and blades to get started. Will post back to the forum anything we learn from comparing this with our other single-board-computer clusters in our center.

1 Like

Anticipate with eagerness!