I've started a project to build my first Pi cluster and am currently setting up a cluster of three Rpi 3B+ boards each running the latest version of Debian My understanding is that that'll equate to one master node and two slaves. My question is:

Later on down the road, would I be able to integrate another device (say, a Dell Optiplex 9010) if it was running a Debian distro with MPICH or is there a red flag there due to variances in processor architecture?

I'm still very new to parallel computing so apologies if this is really elementary or if the premise is incorrect.


  • This is not a specifically Raspberry Pi question. I believe you would get more useful answers on the Unix/Linux SE than here. And I know that as a reviewer it is not my place to answer question in a comment. But the bottom line is that adding another machine on the same subnet is all the same whether it is the first or the last to be added. However, since you mention parallel computer, be aware that is another ball of wax entirely. I recommend you clarify the language you plan to use, and how each processor is to communicate with the others, before posting this on a more appropriate SE.
    – SDsolar
    Apr 15, 2018 at 4:30
  • Thanks for the feedback (and the helpful answer). I think John's answer has me on the right track for now, but should I pose another question in this vein, I'll be sure to consider language and interconnect when adding detail.
    – Kevin
    Apr 15, 2018 at 4:55

1 Answer 1


Simple answer: yes.

Long answer: Processor architecture does not come into it at all as the link between the devices is not that strong, ie. is it only a network link. That means adding another device will certainly benefit the cluster but if that new device is a lot more powerful than a raspberry pi then it will end up doing most of the work.

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