View Full Version : Should Google use a farm of Cubes in place of PCs?

Nov 7, 2003, 04:45 PM
RObert Cringely of I,Cringley (http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20031106.html)
in this weeks column talks baout the issues of heat in computers and mentions Google's farm of 1500 pcs and how they chose lower performance over heat/power issues.
I sent Bob an email suggesting cubes - heres our exchange:

Dear Robert,
Given your discussion of cooling, and the use of slower PCs (by
Google) to address heat issues, I am surprised you did not mention the Mac Cube which (in its stock form) uses no fan- only convection cooling and a large heat sink (VERY large heat sink...) - As I'm am sure you are well aware of ;-)

Now, I'd be curious to know if a roomful of 400,450 or 500 Mhz G4
cubes running OSX or even Linux would produce less heat than that roomful of PCs they have. I'm pretty sure they have sufficient
computing power to handle most tasks - (especially if they are not
running the beautiful, but CPU-cycle consuming Aqua interface). And also if the Mac OS is as memory hamstrung as others you allude to at the end of your column.



Roberts Response:

Dear Joe,

Let me get this straight. You are wondering if Google would be
better off with a mess of discontinued Mac cubes rather than their
current P3's? Run from the command line and those little beauties
with their convection cooling would be fast AND quiet. Well, yeah,
but I'm not sure how many cubes are still available, still I get your

I had another reader describe the Big Mac cooling system but he
didn't mention the VERY LARGE heat sink. What is the heat sink? A
lake, river, glacier? Are there even glaciers in Virginia?

All the best,


Nov 7, 2003, 05:02 PM
Just because the Mac Cube uses passive coolling, does not make them cooler. CPUs dissipate Heat, Period.