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Top 500 supercomputer list released; VT Xserve cluster takes...

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. macrumors bot

  2. macrumors 601


    Someone should sneak into the facility where BlueGene is and set it up to Fold for MacRumors :D
  3. macrumors G3


    I knew that System X was up against some formidable beasts this time, but it still did better than I expected.

    Half the top 10, at slots 1, 4, 7 and 8 and 9 are all PowerPC or POWER4+. Not bad.
  4. macrumors G5


    Not bad--"Big Mac" wasn't even assured of making the Top 10 despite its recent speed boost, last I heard.

    And still none of the other machines come CLOSE in terms of price per power.

    I wonder when the big Army cluster and others will appear on the list?

    Go IBM!
  5. macrumors G5


    Mac supercomputer clusters

    FYI, here's a list of Mac supercomputers I've bookmarked. Xserve clusters seem to be big lately. Price/performance, reduced heat output, and UNIX with easy management are often cited as reasons.

    Recent Xserve clusters of 32 processors or more:

    * VA Tech's "System X" aka "Big Mac"
    (1100 dual-2.3 nodes and counting, used for a range of academic research)

    * French CGG cluster
    (672 dual nodes, integrated into an existing 40 TFLOP cluster for oil prospecting)

    * Australian Defence Force's "Checkmate"
    (16 dual nodes, used for command and control simulations)

    * UNC's cluster
    (43 dual nodes, used for proteomics research)

    * UC Davis's cluster
    (38 dual nodes, used for Genome Center research)

    * University College Santa Cruz's cluster
    (36 dual nodes and counting, used for a range of academic research)

    * US Army's "MACH 5"
    (1566 dual nodes, used by Army and NASA for hypersonic flight research)

    * U. Maine's "Baby MACH 5"
    (256 dual nodes, used for software development and optimization for MACH 5)

    Also, the US Navy is using Xserves on board submarines, to run their Linux-based sonar imaging system.

    And VA Tech is considering much larger Mac clusters in future: "System L" and "System C."
  6. macrumors 6502a


    To be in the top 10 is still awesome. I'm sure there will be more mac clusters next year. The price to performance ratio is still unbeatable. Apple came out of no where to make the top 10 (3 then 7) the first year after the G5 came out--now that's potential for something bigger, faster, and more kick ass.
  7. macrumors 601


    It's totally awesome if you compare System X to the other computers in the top 10 (in terms of number of processors and total performance). The G5 owns other processors.
  8. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    That's just nuts - 50 TeraFlops and then 100 TeraFlops - I'm wondering if they're planning on using newer CPUs.....you'd probably have to - so the real question here is what do they know? :D

  9. macrumors 6502a


    Wow, the number one machine is using IBM 440s. That the same cpu used in the game cube :)
  10. macrumors 65816


    Great results! Nothing with the same amount of Processors can top Big Mac. In fact, if you notice 2500 Xeon 3.06 Ghz can't do it! Very good results, just some really high end monsters out there!
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Don't forget the PPC970 cluster that is #4... it's IBM computers, but the same processor family as the Xserves.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Number 7 for VT is awesome, especially considering the cost. I wonder if anyone has plans to cluster larger numbers of Mac nodes . . .
  13. macrumors 6502a


    after looking at the list of the fastest computers, I notice the vt cluster beats computers that have more CPU's and the CPU's are have faster (in Ghz that is). This to me means apple's xServe architecture is a major contributer to the performance, plus the genius' at VT helped too of course.
  14. macrumors 68040


    Thats good!

    When is the COLSA 1566 Xserve system ready?

    This is nice:
    #7 Virginia Tech
    System X
    1100 Dual Apple XServe, PPC 970fx 2.3 GHz / 2200

    #10 NCSA
    Dell PowerEdge 1750, P4 Xeon 3.06 GHz, Myrinet / 2500

    #17 Shanghai Supercomputer Center
    Dawning 4000A, Opteron 2.2 GHz, Myrinet / 2560

    (2200x G5@2.3GHz)>(2500x P4Xenon@3.06GHz)>(2560x Opteron@2.2GHz)
  15. macrumors 6502a


    I read in a couple of years, IBM is planning of introducing supercomputers capable of 1 petaflop. Thats 1,000 teraflops, and next year, IBM is already slated to bring out Blue Gene capable of at least 1/3 of that.

    1 petaflop just boggles my mind! We're at least 3 years from that milestone, so I really wonder what sort of computational tasks you can throw at that sort of ultra-supercomputer.

    I've speculated with the arrival of photonic or quantum computers, a single CPU node could theoretically calculate in excess of 1 petaflop, but I guess that sort of exotic technology is still decades away.
  16. macrumors 603


    Petaflop, Teraflop, they all boggle my mind. Heck, a Gigaflop used to boggle my mind. Really, the point is, what these computers can do. I think with Petaflop-level computers, we might see applications in modeling climate change, much more accurate weather/hurricane predictions, a better understanding of the origins of the universe, perhaps more effective economic analysis tool. Yes, exciting times!
  17. macrumors 603



    Naa the real question is when is VT going to build their own power plant to power those suckers. ;)
  18. macrumors newbie

    Blue Gene

    Listen, I'm a Mac fan too, but System X does not come anywhere near Blue Gene/L.

    Rough numbers --

    System X == 12 TFLOPS @ 7mil or $583,333 per TFLOPS.

    Blue Gene/L (when finished) == between 280 and 360 TFLOPS @ 100mil or between $357,142 and $277,778 per TFLOPS.
  19. macrumors demi-god


    Wow. Blue Gene/L already dominates everything else, even though it isn't finished yet. Let's say the finished Blue Gene/L cranks out 350 TFLOPS - that puts its performance at 7x (!) the current second-place supercomputer!

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