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MacBytes
Jul 5, 2004, 09:13 AM
Category: News and Press Releases
Link: UCLA Plasma Physics to build 256 Xserve G5 cluster (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040705101342)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

nagromme
Jul 5, 2004, 10:17 AM
Sounds like the Xserve is a real win for Apple.

But why doesn't Apple hype the fact that iTunes Music Store runs off of Panther and Xserves? They announced that once early on, and it seems like a case study worthy of more attention on their site. The iTunes pages should say "running on Mac OS X" etc.

stoid
Jul 5, 2004, 10:26 AM
But I thought the Macs were too expensive and didn't have software and weren't compatible.



Oh.




Wait.




YAY!!!! Is the veil finally lifting, the clouds clearing, and the fog dissipating?? Go Apple!

Go orange!

GO BANANA!! :eek:

macridah
Jul 5, 2004, 11:56 AM
cool. I guess a graduated from UCLA a little too early. I probably would of had chance to at least see that cluster cuz I practically lived in the math and physics building.

There's always grad school.

Sabbath
Jul 5, 2004, 12:54 PM
Its really good to see the xServe making an impact. It seems Apples enterprise stuff is really well priced and starting to make a real impact. I think this should have some nice implications for the mac industry and us users, as macs become more and more acceptable to business.

wordmunger
Jul 5, 2004, 12:58 PM
Xserves are now shipping in 1-2 weeks from Apple Store. I wonder how Terascale (the original "Big Mac" at Virginia Tech) is doing in its project to upgrade to Xserves.

MacFan25
Jul 5, 2004, 01:04 PM
I'm really surprised at how much cheaper the Apple Supercomputers are compared to others. The Earth Simulator cost $350 million, and now the U.S. Army is going to use the #2 fastest (or at least its projected to be that fast) supercomputer for $5.8 million. :eek: That's a heck of a deal!

I think we will continue to see stories like these as those in the supercomputing industry realize the affordability of supercomputers built with macs.

nagromme
Jul 5, 2004, 02:58 PM
Ongoing energy costs seem to be a Mac benefit too. I've seen low power usage per performance mentioned in articles regarding the new UCLA cluster as well as the Xserves on US Navy subs.

slipper
Jul 5, 2004, 03:14 PM
geeze, supercomputers are getting to be so cheap now, soon well be able to buy them at our local discount stores :D

svenr
Jul 5, 2004, 04:51 PM
Do you guys remember this article?
http://news.com.com/2452-7339-5137856.html
Especially the last paragraph... Hahaha....

winmacguy
Jul 5, 2004, 05:00 PM
Do you guys remember this article?
http://news.com.com/2452-7339-5137856.html
Especially the last paragraph... Hahaha....
There are obviously a lot of institutions out there that dont mind all those "hidden costs" associated with setting up an Xserve cluster. ;)

g4cubed
Jul 5, 2004, 06:51 PM
There are obviously a lot of institutions out there that dont mind all those "hidden costs" associated with setting up an Xserve cluster. ;)

Hidden costs? :confused:

w00tmaster
Jul 5, 2004, 07:00 PM
it is taking me forever to get my new dual 1.8 G5....
Gah, I hate how it takes apple forever to customize an order, I would have bought all the components seperately and put them together myself cept I can't do that with the video card, not without paying a pretty penny anways. Anyone know why it is taking apple so long to ship?

ccuilla
Jul 5, 2004, 07:04 PM
Funny how critics of the Mac platform are notably silent on the issue of "hidden costs" when comparing the Wintel platform (desktops)...like the "hidden" costs of virus infections...(as only one example)

BornAgainMac
Jul 5, 2004, 07:07 PM
Will IBM be able to ever keep up with the demand of G5's? About the hidden costs, I suppose the cooling is a hidden cost. Upgrading to Tiger Server edition too.

sushi
Jul 5, 2004, 07:08 PM
I'm really surprised at how much cheaper the Apple Supercomputers are compared to others. The Earth Simulator cost $350 million, and now the U.S. Army is going to use the #2 fastest (or at least its projected to be that fast) supercomputer for $5.8 million. :eek: That's a heck of a deal!

I think we will continue to see stories like these as those in the supercomputing industry realize the affordability of supercomputers built with macs.
Also consider how much cheaper it is to upgrade an Xserver based system in the future vice something like the Earth Simulator.

Sushi

RubberChicken
Jul 5, 2004, 07:10 PM
I'm having a hard time clapping my hands in glee while we still don't have our XServe dual 2 ordered in February. Apparently there are at least a couple in Australia now. However even if they do show up, the hardware raid card BTO we ordered is still listed as MIA in both AUS and US. Meanwhile we have had to use a dual g5 workstation as a temp server, which also means there is a $3500 23inch cinema screen still in its box in the corner of the office, now superceeded. :mad:

winmacguy
Jul 5, 2004, 07:10 PM
Hidden costs? :confused:
I was being sarcastic when I made the comment about "hidden costs" you will notice the little ;) at the end :)

cdkf92
Jul 5, 2004, 07:12 PM
"ThinkSecret reports that UCLA's Plasma Physics Group is in the process of building a cluster composted of 256 Dual G5 Xserves."

Composting Xserves is a terrible idea. You'll get a much better compost from real apples. :rolleyes:

virividox
Jul 5, 2004, 07:17 PM
wow, thanks to big mac who showed the world that apples can make great super computers at a great prices more and more people are going the apple route. im sure they wont be disappointed with the performance and stablity. now only if i had a couple mill lying around

Golem
Jul 5, 2004, 07:29 PM
I'm having a hard time clapping my hands in glee while we still don't have our XServe dual 2 ordered in February. Apparently there are at least a couple in Australia now. :

We got ours a month ago. Ours was stock and we ordered the first 1-2 days they went on sale.

aussiemac86
Jul 5, 2004, 07:32 PM
wow, thanks to big mac who showed the world that apples can make great super computers at a great prices more and more people are going the apple route. im sure they wont be disappointed with the performance and stablity. now only if i had a couple mill lying around


Yeah the more publicity apple gets as being able to make some of the fastest super computers in the world can only be good for publicity for selling machines to consumers/profesionals, cheap advertising.

Go apple :)

nagromme
Jul 5, 2004, 07:32 PM
Ha ha, I remember those articles claiming that Macs cost tens of millions MORE to set up, due to all the extra labor Mac installation requires! :D But Macs have long known to be hard to set up. ;) Other brands of hardware take themselves out of the box and install themselves for free, of course.

g4cubed
Jul 5, 2004, 07:38 PM
I was being sarcastic when I made the comment about "hidden costs" you will notice the little ;) at the end :)

Okay I missed it, sorry. :D

ghulands
Jul 5, 2004, 07:56 PM
We ordered our dual 2ghz about 2 weeks ago in Australia, with BTO options so I just hope we get it this month. I hate it when I hear such and such received 1100 or 256 Xserves, cause I know it means my one is still a while off.

sfwalter
Jul 5, 2004, 08:00 PM
it is taking me forever to get my new dual 1.8 G5....
Gah, I hate how it takes apple forever to customize an order, I would have bought all the components seperately and put them together myself cept I can't do that with the video card, not without paying a pretty penny anways. Anyone know why it is taking apple so long to ship?

You too? I ordered a custom configured dual 1.8 on June 22nd and it was suppose to ship by July 2nd. On July 3rd I got an email that due to supply constraints that my order won't ship until July 19th. Practically a month for a machine they have in stock just to: put a different graphics card, a bigger hard disk, and an airport extreme card.

Sorry for venting, go Apple!

Roller
Jul 5, 2004, 08:25 PM
So why doesn't Apple advertise this stuff on TV more often? The last time I saw an ad for a G5 Mac was when they were first announced a year ago. Based on Apple's TV advertising, the average viewer probably thinks that Apple has nothing more to sell than iPods and the ITMS.

rainman::|:|
Jul 5, 2004, 08:26 PM
this is very cool, i lead a team that worked with the UCLA plasma group to build our own mac cluster, about 5 years ago... probably a lot of the same people. they have some very powerful minds in there-- they've been clustering Macs for quite a while.

paul

wizard
Jul 5, 2004, 08:36 PM
I've mentioned this before but I think the ZServes are a very well designed machine. Especially for applications as a compute server. It is possible one of the best platforms for its targeted market.

Dave


Sounds like the Xserve is a real win for Apple.

But why doesn't Apple hype the fact that iTunes Music Store runs off of Panther and Xserves? They announced that once early on, and it seems like a case study worthy of more attention on their site. The iTunes pages should say "running on Mac OS X" etc.

joeboy_45101
Jul 5, 2004, 08:58 PM
geeze, supercomputers are getting to be so cheap now, soon well be able to buy them at our local discount stores :D

Wasn't the the original PowerMac G4 touted as a supercomputer. Remember the commercial with the surrounding the G4 because the government was worried it could end up in the wrong hands. ;)

rendezvouscp
Jul 5, 2004, 10:58 PM
Wasn't the the original PowerMac G4 touted as a supercomputer. Remember the commercial with the surrounding the G4 because the government was worried it could end up in the wrong hands. ;)

Yup, they toted the Cube as being the world's smallest super computer too I think.

This is really cool. More power to Apple! (And, of course, the lab. :D)
–Chase

stoid
Jul 5, 2004, 11:20 PM
Wasn't the the original PowerMac G4 touted as a supercomputer. Remember the commercial with the surrounding the G4 because the government was worried it could end up in the wrong hands. ;)

Who can forget?? (http://www.esm.psu.edu/Faculty/Gray/graphics/movies/g4_tanks_LAN.mov) :D

fredwick
Jul 5, 2004, 11:42 PM
one of my friends is a famous plasma physicist at UCLA. i'll have to see what he has to say about it. he wants me to work on some of the computers in his alaska lab next summer.

rendezvouscp
Jul 6, 2004, 12:10 AM
Who can forget?? (http://www.esm.psu.edu/Faculty/Gray/graphics/movies/g4_tanks_LAN.mov) :D

Sorry, but that ad is horrible imo!
–Chase

~Shard~
Jul 6, 2004, 12:15 AM
I think we're going to be seeing more and more of these types of clusters/supercomputers surfacing thanks to the G5. :cool:

~Shard~
Jul 6, 2004, 12:16 AM
Who can forget?? (http://www.esm.psu.edu/Faculty/Gray/graphics/movies/g4_tanks_LAN.mov) :D

Wow, that takes me back - I completely forgot about that ad!

nagromme
Jul 6, 2004, 12:46 AM
I edited that once into an audio taunt for gaming: "Pentium PCs? They're harmless." :)

Now, I think they've updated the defnition of a supercomputer since then... anyone know what the definition now is? (I suppose there are many definitions--not just the definition the US uses to control exports.)

mj_1903
Jul 6, 2004, 12:53 AM
Hmm, I ordered a BTO PowerMac G5 about 2 weeks ago and got it about a week ago, so I don't know what the issue is with the non-shipping PowerMac's.

As for Xserve's, I know several universities in Sydney are exploring using them as mini-clusters and I know UNSW has 20 set up with that in mind. I guess the more you order, the faster they come.

dontmatter
Jul 6, 2004, 01:28 AM
I'm really surprised at how much cheaper the Apple Supercomputers are compared to others. The Earth Simulator cost $350 million, and now the U.S. Army is going to use the #2 fastest (or at least its projected to be that fast) supercomputer for $5.8 million. :eek: That's a heck of a deal!

I think we will continue to see stories like these as those in the supercomputing industry realize the affordability of supercomputers built with macs.

Hate to burst your bubble, but I think it's not how much cheaper apple supercomputers are as how much cheaper clustered supercomputers. I mean, OS X vs. linux, plus hardware, can't be more than a 20% difference either way...versus, what, 5000+%? But, the good news is, the new cluster model for the top supercomputers is both affordable enough to bring supercomputing to whole new markets, and apple seems to be doing quite well in capturing these. And, doens't it look great for OS X? "We're stable enough and powerful enough for the world's most important computer use. wouldn't you like one?"

Windowlicker
Jul 6, 2004, 01:36 AM
There are obviously a lot of institutions out there that dont mind all those "hidden costs" associated with setting up an Xserve cluster. ;)

muahaha! great journalism :) go cnet!

nagromme
Jul 6, 2004, 01:48 AM
Earth Simulator's not an ideal comparison since it's older--but there IS a cost benefit with Apple:

VA Tech was going to go with Dells, and Dell was cutting them a deal. In the end, they went with Apple to get more power for their money--even though Apple did NOT cut them a deal, they paid full price! The creator of the cluster knew nothing about Macs, but was won over by the G5 when it came on the scene just in time to save the day.

Analog Kid
Jul 6, 2004, 01:57 AM
We ordered our dual 2ghz about 2 weeks ago in Australia, with BTO options so I just hope we get it this month. I hate it when I hear such and such received 1100 or 256 Xserves, cause I know it means my one is still a while off.

We ordered a dual 2GHz XServe and got it in a week or so (in California). Added a low end video card and maxed the hard drive space, but nothing else...

One thing struck me when we pulled it out of the box-- it's huge. I mean, I don't know how big it is compared to other rack mount units, but for all those people saying "they got the G5 in an XServe, surely they can get it in a PowerBook" all I have to say is-- you've never seen an XServe.

Got an array of 7 fans lined up across the processors too.
Edit: 7 fans or 5? I can't remember now...

Perfect for what we need though. Plenty of data space, fast CPUs and talks Unix. Joy.

Telomar
Jul 6, 2004, 02:21 AM
I edited that once into an audio taunt for gaming: "Pentium PCs? They're harmless." :)

Now, I think they've updated the defnition of a supercomputer since then... anyone know what the definition now is? (I suppose there are many definitions--not just the definition the US uses to control exports.)It was 40 gigaflops sustained performance last I heard.

ipiloot
Jul 6, 2004, 02:35 AM
Do you guys remember this article?
http://news.com.com/2452-7339-5137856.html
Especially the last paragraph... Hahaha....

Good article :-). What the writer actually failed to notice was the fact that the big amount of workforce was needed to handle the desktop computers (install network cards, memory and removing video cards). It's going to be very different in case of servers.

Knox
Jul 6, 2004, 03:35 AM
Good article :-). What the writer actually failed to notice was the fact that the big amount of workforce was needed to handle the desktop computers (install network cards, memory and removing video cards). It's going to be very different in case of servers.

Not really - they still have to be taken out the box, memory installed, infiniband cards installed (in the case of the 'Big Mac') and stuck in a rack. That will still require a fair amount of manpower.

ghulands
Jul 6, 2004, 04:14 AM
We ordered a dual 2GHz XServe and got it in a week or so (in California). Added a low end video card and maxed the hard drive space, but nothing else...

One thing struck me when we pulled it out of the box-- it's huge. I mean, I don't know how big it is compared to other rack mount units, but for all those people saying "they got the G5 in an XServe, surely they can get it in a PowerBook" all I have to say is-- you've never seen an XServe.

Got an array of 7 fans lined up across the processors too.
Edit: 7 fans or 5? I can't remember now...

Perfect for what we need though. Plenty of data space, fast CPUs and talks Unix. Joy.

I ordered it with fiber channel card, video card and 2gb ram. Stock hdd because we have a 3.5TB Xraid coming as well :)

HiRez
Jul 6, 2004, 05:16 AM
So why doesn't Apple advertise this stuff on TV more often? The last time I saw an ad for a G5 Mac was when they were first announced a year ago. Based on Apple's TV advertising, the average viewer probably thinks that Apple has nothing more to sell than iPods and the ITMS.You can run all the Photoshop bakeoffs you want, but when you see Macs running simulations on aerodynamics, weather models, genetic coding, nuclear particle emission, etc., it's hard to dismiss them as toys. And it's not like it's a totally different product than normal people buy, Xserve is basically just a reformatted G5 tower. Can't wait to see who's using Macs for this stuff a few years from now once the word gets around.

Wardofsky
Jul 6, 2004, 05:29 AM
Now how am I going to make the fasters cluster in the world, with the US Military and the Big Mac and now this...

Cluster computing is the latest craze, the ladies love it ;)
(BTW: Above was apted from Robin Hood: Men in Tights)

Makosuke
Jul 6, 2004, 06:23 AM
I'm really surprised at how much cheaper the Apple Supercomputers are compared to others. The Earth Simulator cost $350 million, and now the U.S. Army is going to use the #2 fastest (or at least its projected to be that fast) supercomputer for $5.8 million. :eek: That's a heck of a deal!
Depending on what you're doing, it indeed is. But to be fair to the Earth Simulator and more "traditional" supercomputers (like Crays), it uses vector processors, which are better suited to certain tasks. So, it's quite possible for a vector-based supercomputer to be considerably faster than a clustered one using consumer-grade hardware on certain tasks, even if the cluster has vastly more cumulutive processing power.

Still, if your task works well on a cluster, things have sure gotten cheap, and it's good to see Apple out there in front.

stevehaslip
Jul 6, 2004, 07:47 AM
wait til a few more of these pop up, then there apple will have a major hold in the worlds most powerful supercomputer table. they might have 3 or 4 in the top ten!?! that'd be amazing!!!

ITMediaCo
Jul 6, 2004, 08:03 AM
One thing struck me when we pulled it out of the box-- it's huge. I mean, I don't know how big it is compared to other rack mount units, but for all those people saying "they got the G5 in an XServe, surely they can get it in a PowerBook" all I have to say is-- you've never seen an XServe.


My company has an XServe mounted under a PowerEdge 1750 server... they're pretty much the same size.

RubberChicken
Jul 6, 2004, 08:48 AM
We got ours a month ago. Ours was stock and we ordered the first 1-2 days they went on sale.

Nice one, how's it working out for you and what's it doing?
Maybe we should just forgot the BTO (just that you cannot add their raid card later) and maybe we could see one before they get updated next year!

wordmunger
Jul 6, 2004, 08:59 AM
wait til a few more of these pop up, then there apple will have a major hold in the worlds most powerful supercomputer table. they might have 3 or 4 in the top ten!?! that'd be amazing!!!
This might be a bit optimistic. After all, IBM is a major player in the supercomputer marketplace, and they manufacture the chips. They are integrating these chips into their next generation of servers, which if I recall correctly, can have up to 256 CPUs, and can in turn be clustered. Just one of these units is probably about as fast as the UCLA xServe cluster.

gropo
Jul 6, 2004, 09:23 AM
Just one of these units is probably about as fast as the UCLA xServe cluster.
Faster. I imagine IBM will be using an advanced crossbar infrastructure rather than infiniband. (and even of more import: Infiniband via double-pumped PCI bus)

Chaszmyr
Jul 6, 2004, 10:25 AM
It's great that Apple has these supercomputers on the list now. But keep in mind, 3 supercomputers is still just 3 supercomputers. They may be near the top of the list, but then the next few hundred computers on the list are all PCs.

Raid
Jul 6, 2004, 10:42 AM
Funny how critics of the Mac platform are notably silent on the issue of "hidden costs" when comparing the Wintel platform (desktops)...like the "hidden" costs of virus infections...(as only one example)

I also find it funny that these articles never really produce facts! The author presented no financial numbers or man-hour comparisions... all they did was express an opionon. I heard about this program Pooch (http://www.mactech.com/news/archivedisplay.mgi?id=000005c7b8e351e3) the article I linked to states At the same time, Pooch still retains its best features, such as its "onlyseconds" installation,

Ok granted a supercomputer is going to be a little more complicated then hooking up your G4 and new G5 together, but I would seriously think at worst, the set up time for a Mac array would be on par with any other system.

BTW Does anybody know why 256 computers are going to be used? Is it symbolic or does it have to do with operation efficiency?

wordmunger
Jul 6, 2004, 11:18 AM
Faster. I imagine IBM will be using an advanced crossbar infrastructure rather than infiniband. (and even of more import: Infiniband via double-pumped PCI bus)
I don't know about that--it depends upon the actual number of processors--the UCLA installation will be 256 dual xServes, for a total of 512. I don't think even all that bandwidth can beat out the pure horsepower of double the number of processors (but again, I'm not sure of the exact specs of the new IBM rigs, and I'm too lazy to look it up).

mike412
Jul 6, 2004, 11:29 AM
Is it just me or does the webcam link not work? I have tried it in Safari and Explorer.

manu chao
Jul 6, 2004, 11:41 AM
Do you guys remember this article?
http://news.com.com/2452-7339-5137856.html
Especially the last paragraph... Hahaha....

Sorry to burst everyone's bubble but the guy has a point. No matter what computer or OS, setting up a big cluster is a complex task. These big companies like HP, IBM, Sun etc. have a lot of knowledge and experience which they are willing to sell to you when you set up a cluster.

When Apple is selling a cluster, they certainly also sell some advice but they don't have the experience and track-record yet to match these other companies. Things like this take time, quite some time.

Those institutions and companies which buy Xserve clusters today probably already have enough competence in clustering (or feel confident enough that they will aquire it quickly) to do so.

HardHatMac9
Jul 6, 2004, 12:09 PM

wordmunger
Jul 6, 2004, 12:14 PM
When Apple is selling a cluster, they certainly also sell some advice but they don't have the experience and track-record yet to match these other companies. Things like this take time, quite some time.


From the Apple Web site:

Apple Consulting Services
Highly skilled engineers offer comprehensive, onsite consulting for enterprise-oriented deployments. Services include presales assessment, migration and integration planning, and deployment of Xserve and Xserve RAID in heterogeneous environments. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact consultingservices@apple.com.


It seems they've already done it. Or I'm sure the scientists who set up the Big Mac at Virginia Tech would be willing to consult on such a project. When your platform sports the #3 supercomputer in the world and costs less than the competition, I don't think there's much of a credibility issue.

AstroPlain
Jul 6, 2004, 12:48 PM
My company has an XServe mounted under a PowerEdge 1750 server... they're pretty much the same size.

John's blog at http://www.bobbis.net/blog/comments/comment.php?eid=84 has some commentary and a picture of their XServe RAID, XServe G5, and PowerEdge 2650. (all property of Iowa State University)

--

Doctor Q
Jul 6, 2004, 01:15 PM
A nice step for UCLA.

For an interesting bit of UCLA computer science history, read about Leonard Kleinrock (http://www.lk.cs.ucla.edu/LK/Inet/birth.html), who set up the very first node on the Internet, at UCLA in 1969.

tortoise
Jul 6, 2004, 01:18 PM
Ongoing energy costs seem to be a Mac benefit too. I've seen low power usage per performance mentioned in articles regarding the new UCLA cluster as well as the Xserves on US Navy subs.


Power consumption is a major cost factor in running a cluster. The rule of thumb is that the cost of power consumption is $1 per watt per year (this covers cooling and direct power consumption). For your average dual processor node (G5 or Opteron), that amounts to about $200 per year for power costs alone, a not insignificant amount of money in the overall calculus. Note that you can't use the "typical" power ratings for this, but peak power ratings (the 2.5GHz PPC is not exactly an exemplary low-power chip in this regard). The 90nm 2.0GHz chip is probably in a sweet spot for price performance with respect to power consumption for these kinds of codes. Power consumption also impacts space efficiency.

The new lower power Opterons are also pretty interesting, at around 30 watts. These are being explicitly designed for extremely dense supercomputing clusters, possible because these chips can be passively cooled relatively easily. For some reason, Opterons run much cooler than Athlon systems even in the non-low power version. Most dual processor systems have a measured peak draw of about 180-190 watts as opposed to >200W for Athlons.

Both the AMD64 and PPC970 systems are similarily power efficient, and because of power cost and space concerns, is one of their big advantages versus Intel P4/Itanium and AMD Athlon systems for cluster computing.

iris_failsafe
Jul 6, 2004, 02:31 PM
IBM's technology is actually far more complicated and advanced (therefore much more expensive). It is called Blue Gene and it incorporates into the processor the memory and Ethernet. Processors are connected through a 3D torus. The idea is to have this machine working by 2005 and achieve 100 Teraflops (Earth Simulator does 35.81 Teraflops). The cost of the project is aprox. 250 million.

MacFan25
Jul 6, 2004, 02:37 PM
The webcam link provided in the story doesn't seem to be working. Anybody got the real link or is the webcam just down? It would be kind of interesting to see what the cluster looks like.

Makosuke
Jul 6, 2004, 02:54 PM
The webcam link provided in the story doesn't seem to be working. Anybody got the real link or is the webcam just down? It would be kind of interesting to see what the cluster looks like.
Yes, it seems to be down. I was having a lot of trouble with the link posted here earlier, as well, but I did manage to get it to load once--you could see about three racks, that seemed to be about half-full of XServes.

morkintosh
Jul 6, 2004, 03:02 PM
I'm really surprised at how much cheaper the Apple Supercomputers are compared to others. The Earth Simulator cost $350 million, and now the U.S. Army is going to use the #2 fastest (or at least its projected to be that fast) supercomputer for $5.8 million. :eek: That's a heck of a deal!

I think we will continue to see stories like these as those in the supercomputing industry realize the affordability of supercomputers built with macs.

I am as much as a mac zealot as the next guy on this board, but I have to say the difference between the cost of the earth sim and the cost of say Big Mac has nothing to do with apple. The earth sim was built specifically to be a super computer and with all the specialized hardware from NEC cost as much as it did. You can build price and preformance comparable systems by clustering macs, xeons, whatever ...

aldo
Jul 6, 2004, 05:04 PM
Well it's all very well saying that 2000 or so machines have been sold for clusters, but Apple is still falling way short on how many G5s it wants to sell. The PowerMac is not shifting as fast as Apple wants.

The shocking inventory management is not helping this. Quite frankly, for what you pay for a Dual 2GHz G5 you should be getting express service. Apple has major problems here, 1month for a computer should be a very big exception and not a major case at all.

Dell can get you a server in 8 to 24 hours depending on what service class you are in. 3 days would be an odd case for Dell.

While everyone hates Dell here, you have to admit that they have the best damn supply lines in the business. They are insanely efficent and this is how they pull the prices down... Apple just can't match this and this is why Apple has never really broke into the Enterprise industry.

Lancetx
Jul 6, 2004, 05:13 PM
Well it's all very well saying that 2000 or so machines have been sold for clusters, but Apple is still falling way short on how many G5s it wants to sell. The PowerMac is not shifting as fast as Apple wants.

The shocking inventory management is not helping this. Quite frankly, for what you pay for a Dual 2GHz G5 you should be getting express service. Apple has major problems here, 1month for a computer should be a very big exception and not a major case at all.

Dell can get you a server in 8 to 24 hours depending on what service class you are in. 3 days would be an odd case for Dell.

While everyone hates Dell here, you have to admit that they have the best damn supply lines in the business. They are insanely efficent and this is how they pull the prices down... Apple just can't match this and this is why Apple has never really broke into the Enterprise industry.

Well, I don't know about all of their systems, but a quick check reveals that Dell Precision Xeon workstations, which is the closest thing to a Power Mac G5 that Dell has, currently have a 3-4 week backlog themselves...

Preliminary Ship Date
7/29/2004

nagromme
Jul 6, 2004, 10:48 PM
Sorry to burst everyone's bubble but the guy has a point. No matter what computer or OS, setting up a big cluster is a complex task. These big companies like HP, IBM, Sun etc. have a lot of knowledge and experience which they are willing to sell to you when you set up a cluster.

And when they sell that to you... you pay for it.

The labor cost of setting up a Mac cluster is NOT significantly higher than setting up an x86 cluster--in fact, it is likely to be lower thanks to how easy Macs are to manage remotely (software setup) and how easy the PowerMac and Xserve are to work with physically (hardware setup).

But no matter which platform may cost more for labor, there is NO way the difference erases the MILLIONS of dollars of price advantage VA Tech found with Macs.