Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,558
16,654
CNet News received further confirmation that Virginia Tech will be using 1,100 PowerMac G5s from Apple as part of a supercomputer cluster.

CNet provides some more details of the cluster, which will be interconnected through Infiniband switches from Mellanox Technologies, a cooling system from from Liebert, and switches from Cisco.

The cluster, first reported by ThinkSecret, is anticipated to to be ranked amongst the top Five fastest in the world and is under a deadline to get ranked in the Top 500 List.

Virginia Tech emailed students thatthere will be an information session on September the 4th, according to a Slashdot posting. Another post provides some more details of the project.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
16,059
5,292
One reader submits the following

"I am currently a student at Virginia Tech close to the G5 cluster project. The following is all i know about it:

Tech has ordered 1100 2GHz G5's, but only 1000 are for use in the cluster. The remaining 100 are incase the cluster does not meet the predicted benchmarks. As for the benchmarks, if all goes to plan, it will be the third fastest computer in the world. The computers are all base-models, except for 4GB of RAM in each box. The networking will be done with specialized cards not provided by Apple that will supposedly be 2 to 3 times faster than Fiber Channel. All the G5's were purchased at regular education price, although Apple gave Tech a price break on the RAM. The computers were ordered the day the G5 was announced, so it is unlikely that of the tens of thousands of pre-orders, the 1100 would cause any noticable backup. The shipments will be coming in burst, with 400 having arrived today.
"
 

Mav451

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2003
1,657
1
Maryland
actually i know a few ppl who go to V Tech...BUT they aren't even CLOSE to being tech heads. So i doubt asking them will help much...but it could be worth asking.
 

job

macrumors 68040
Jan 25, 2002
3,794
3
in transit
The networking will be done with specialized cards not provided by Apple that will supposedly be 2 to 3 times faster than Fiber Channel.

Then what are they if they are not Fiber Channel?
 

macfreek57

macrumors 6502
Jan 1, 2002
379
0
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
As for the benchmarks, if all goes to plan, it will be the third fastest computer in the world. The computers are all base-models, except for 4GB of RAM in each box. The networking will be done with specialized cards not provided by Apple that will supposedly be 2 to 3 times faster than Fiber Channel.


sounds pretty sweet
 

geerlingguy

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2003
562
6
St. Louis, USA
Hmmm...

Hmmm... I wonder how long it would take to render a two and a half hour to MPEG-2 using this cluster. I do it on my G4/400 about once a month, and it takes about 8 hours. What do you think? 10 seconds? Less? :D
 

LimeLite

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2003
651
0
Los Angeles, Ca
So they're using the base hard drive size, but if each one had 500GB's of storage, that would be 500TB's of storage. What's the next step after a TB?
 

holmesf

macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2001
527
24
Re: Hmmm...

Originally posted by geerlingguy
Hmmm... I wonder how long it would take to render a two and a half hour to MPEG-2 using this cluster. I do it on my G4/400 about once a month, and it takes about 8 hours. What do you think? 10 seconds? Less? :D

Um, if the work were distributed with 100% efficiency it would take around 10 seconds, but this is not possible.
 

MrMacMan

macrumors 604
Jul 4, 2001
7,002
11
1 Block away from NYC.
Originally posted by LimeLite
So they're using the base hard drive size, but if each one had 500GB's of storage, that would be 500TB's of storage. What's the next step after a TB?

Petabyte?

I think that is it.


Very good news.

Top 3!

Wow, very nice.
 

mymemory

macrumors 68020
May 9, 2001
2,495
0
Miami
Originally posted by mainstreetmark
But, what are they gonna DO with this thing?

Play solitarie.

I think is stupid to have a closter made of G5, at list they could wait for the rack version, can you imagine how much room that is going to take? 1000 superdrives they won't use, 1000 of VRam cards they won't use. All they need is one PCI slots, Ram and the procesors.

Do you know how many scolarships they could pay for that?

What a huge waist of money and resources.
 

rice_web

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2001
584
0
Minot, North Dakota
Originally posted by mymemory
What a huge waste of money and resources.

But, if this cluster IS used, it may just make a difference that could save hundreds of millions of dollars for chip producers. I could easily see a quick ROI with this cluster.
 

Vlade

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2003
959
0
Meadville, PA
Off topic... I just got finished writing a long reply, and BAM, a kernel panic... so i'm not rewriting it.

Basically it said "Someone get folding on these computers"
 

MacRETARD

macrumors newbie
Jan 3, 2003
26
0
Originally posted by mymemory
Play solitarie.

I think is stupid to have a closter made of G5, at list they could wait for the rack version, can you imagine how much room that is going to take? 1000 superdrives they won't use, 1000 of VRam cards they won't use. All they need is one PCI slots, Ram and the procesors.

Do you know how many scolarships they could pay for that?

What a huge waist of money and resources.

My first reaction was yeah its a waste too, why not wait for the G5 xserve? But if they want them now for a new project for a new semester then they couldnt wait. Also even though one desktop is roughly 4U of rack space if they have plenty of room and racks its probably not a big deal if they take more space. It can also be more expensive to cool servers if they are packed denser.

This money almost certainly came out of a different pool than would be used for scholarships or paying teachers. Projects like this are a prestige thing used to increase the schools reputation and encourage more geeks to attend. Im sure they could make some money charging for time on the supercomputer as well.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
16,059
5,292
Originally posted by Macmaniac
Macminute confirmed also, they said Virginia Tech gave official confirmation

They are just quoting this CNet article.

arn
 

bobindashadows

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2002
419
0
Originally posted by Roller
It's gonna be fun upgrading them when 10.3 ships. :)
They'll probably have some sort of NetBoot system going, so you'll install it on one G5, and you reboot everything and they have the same stuff.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.