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Cray's CX1 Desktop Supercomputer, Now For Sale

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the was-promised-is-here dept.

Supercomputing 294

ocularb0b writes "Cray has announced the CX1 desktop supercomputer. Cray teamed with Microsoft and Intel to build the new machine that supports up to 8 nodes, a total of 64 cores and 64Gb of memory per node. CX1 can be ordered online with starting prices of $25K, and a choice of Linux or Windows HPC. This should be a pretty big deal for smaller schools and scientists waiting in line for time on the world's big computing centers, as well as 3D and VFX shops."

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294 comments

Nice Specs (5, Funny)

mythandros (973986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452305)

Will it get Crysis up over 15 fps?

Re:Nice Specs (2, Funny)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453129)

Sixty replies, and still no wonder has speculated on the possibility of a Beowulf cluster? Changed days...

Yawn (1, Flamebait)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453299)

Sixty replies, and still no wonder has speculated on the possibility of a Beowulf cluster? Changed days...

Seriously - is this a slow news day or what? It's a blade server-in-a-box. BT,DT, nothing new(and actually quite overpriced for what it is). The OP obviously didn't understand what they were looking at, and neither did the person who okayed this as being newsworthy.

Re:Nice Specs (1)

ggreenwood4 (1339141) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453209)

Your stuck with Intel Extreme Graphics.

Re:Nice Specs (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453325)

Eeek! So does anyone know how it compares to a PS3 for number crunching? Because at the price of $400 for a PS3 you could get 62 PS3s for the same money as one of these Cray boxes.

Yet... (2, Funny)

hyperz69 (1226464) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452309)

It still can't play Crysis Maxed!

Re:Yet... (4, Funny)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452533)

No, but at least it can run Vista with most of the bells and whistles turned on.

Re:Yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25452763)

Barely.

Re:Yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25453049)

barely... how many wonderful memories

Re:Yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25453001)

that is, as long as you have all 64Gb of Ram, and don't load any other applications.

Re:Yet... (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453365)

ok i think here and now is the official time to end the Crysis jokes. Its been a year since release so its time to move on.

the official word now is to use FarCry 2 in lieu of Crysis.

You'll need one hell of a desk (5, Insightful)

thered2001 (1257950) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452317)

35 inches deep and weighing in at 136 lbs. fully loaded. My desktop would not be able to sustain that!

Re:You'll need one hell of a desk (1)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452549)

For your convenience, Microsoft will also be offering their Microsoft ® Desktop Though ® Edition for only $2995.

Re:You'll need one hell of a desk (1)

Patchw0rk F0g (663145) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452723)

It's like the old chestnut about the mansion: If you can afford the Cray, you can afford the desk and the upkeep... :-)

Re:You'll need one hell of a desk (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25452927)

You'll also need a heck of a pair of earplugs. I have one, and it sounds like a jet engine. Every time I walk by the room it's in (with the door shut), I wonder why someone is vacuuming in there.

Cray hasn't quite figured out the under $50M marketplace...

Re:You'll need one hell of a desk (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452945)

My girlfriend weighs that much, so I'm pretty sure my desk can handle it.

Re:You'll need one hell of a desk (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25452959)

My wife weighs almost that much...and we've already proof tested the desk to that level.

Re:You'll need one hell of a desk (5, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453091)

And, the computer won't be on a desk in reverse cowboy. Plus, it's a static load.

Re:You'll need one hell of a desk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25453169)

You, sir, have big hands!

Re:You'll need one hell of a desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25453371)

You LIE!! Your hand does not weigh 136 lbs.

Re:You'll need one hell of a desk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25453477)

Your girlfriend? How did you ever manage to get out of your parents' basement.

Not bad, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25452323)

will it run Vista?

Yes, but only for a short time (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452345)

Once the viruses get in, game over.

Re:Yes, but only for a short time (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452513)

it says it runs windows. that's just what the herders need, a few crays in their herd.

Re:Yes, but only for a short time (4, Insightful)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452915)

I know you're being facetious, but the limiting factor in the output of a bot on a botnet is its connection speed, not its processing power. A '486 can saturate a 10mbit connection without taking a severe performance hit. Seeing as most of us don't quite have gigabit internet connections at home, this thing wouldn't be any more valuable to a herder than your neighbour's $500 laptop.

Re:Yes, but only for a short time (1)

tux_attack (1173501) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453473)

Unless the bot herder wants to make a powerful SETI@home team.
In that event it is very useful.

boing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25452349)

That's my dick hitting the ceiling

Re:boing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25453229)

Wow, you have low ceilings!

Gaming? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25452379)

Just wondering if this piece of machinery could really be used for gaming and therefore be the ultimate hardware for modern 3D shooters (for now)?
IANAGT - I am not a gamer though.

Re:Gaming? (2, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452449)

Not even close. The heavy lifting for 3D games is done on the GPU, and I'm not aware of any games (except perhaps games that utilize multiple monitors, like flight simulators) that can make use of more than one GPU.

So a single game could potentially drive many monitors, but not do more visually on a single display.

However, this thing could do some amazing real-time raytracing, but again, no games have been designed for such hardware yet.

Re:Gaming? (3, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452657)

A number of modern games can make use of 2+ cores, but 8 isn't going to happen with any efficiency. Note also that this is a cluster in a single box -- those 8 nodes are each different computers on a very fast local network. That means a different OS image per node, and each process on its own node. For lots of supercomputing applications, this is the norm -- each node does its share of the work and they talk over the network. But no games support this; they all expect to run on a single computer.

Also, for gaming performance, I imagine you'd want dual graphics cards -- which this box doesn't support. (It does include "visualization node" options, which have a single Quadro FX card each.)

Still, for something like a desktop render farm, this might make sense -- except I imagine the customers for such would be more interested in options with better price/performance.

Re:Gaming? (2, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452839)

A modification to an engine (this has already been done to quake 3 and 4) to use raytracing, would lend itself well to this hardware. Raytracing is very SMP-friendly.

Re:Gaming? (2, Informative)

mpsmps (178373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452947)

Not even close. The heavy lifting for 3D games is done on the GPU, and I'm not aware of any games (except perhaps games that utilize multiple monitors, like flight simulators) that can make use of more than one GPU.

So a single game could potentially drive many monitors, but not do more visually on a single display.

Actually, you can configure the Cray CX-1 with "visualization nodes" [cray.com] that contain GPUs, not just CPUs.

Re:Gaming? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452473)

Even if you could use it for gaming, it wouldn't do you any good unless the game were specifically built to take advantage of multiple CPU's.

Summary is incorrect (1, Insightful)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452387)

Those boxes are just blade systems with up to 8 blades with up to 2 quad core CPUs each, so a total of 64 cores per blade system. Certainly not not "64 cores per node" where Cray calls a blade a "node".

Re:Summary is incorrect (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25452435)

"supports up to 8 nodes, a total of 64 cores and 64Gb of memory per node"

8 [nodes] x (2 [cpu] * 4 [cores]) = 64 total cores.

I do not see where it says 64 cores per node.

Re:Summary is incorrect (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452829)

"supports up to 8 nodes, (a total of 64 cores) and (64Gb of memory per node)"

This is why I like the "Oxford comma".

Natural language is ambiguous (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452843)

There's two relevant ways to parse that fragment. There's one where the "and" in "64 cores and 64G of memory per node" creates a single coordinated constituent, such that it can be paraphrased as "there are 64 cores per node and there are 64 Gb per node." There's a second, the one that I think you favor and that seems correct pragmatically, which may be paraphrased as "there are 64 total cores, and each node in the machine can have 64 Gb."

Structural ambiguity happens all the time in natural language.

Re:Natural language is ambiguous (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452989)

The nodes don't support 64GB each, so both ways to parse that fragment yield wrong information. I think it's safe to assume that the author of the summary just thought that a node was the whole system with 8 blades.

Re:Natural language is ambiguous (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453093)

I was merely pointing out language problem in the two posts, specifically the syntactic ambiguity. The parse itself yields no information about anything but the formal structure of the statement, and says nothing about the result you obtain by evaluating the propositions with respect to facts in the world.

Cheers.

Re:Summary is incorrect (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452527)

Also, I see no way to configure more than 32GB of memory per node (so 256GB max in the box).

Re:Summary is incorrect (1)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452903)

So what does that mean practically? This looks like a cluster-in-a-box, connected internally with gigibit ethernet or infiniband. As in, I have to use MPI code to utilize all the processors. If I run "top" I will see at most 8 CPU's on the current node. So cannot processes be automatically migrated to another "node". Do I have to ssh into the second "node" to access the 8 CPU's sitting there?

This seems...not that clever.

Please correct me if I have misunderstood what this thing is. And ditto from another comment...why not just buy a rack and put 8 1U's in it for a lot cheaper? It looks like that would be identical.

Re:Summary is incorrect (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453047)

It's a turnkey cluster, something that Linux vendors were doing 10 years ago.

The "blade" version of this idea is also old news has been done by everybody.

Desktop? Where's the notebook? (5, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452399)

When they package this as a notebook or netbook (at an attractive price), I'll be interested.

Re:Desktop? Where's the notebook? (4, Insightful)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452727)

Well... My netbook has 2 GB of memory, 160 GB of storage, gigabit networking and thinks it has two 32 bit cores. It's a veritable late 80's, early 90's supercomputer that fits in my backpack. And I bought it cheap.

Re:Desktop? Where's the notebook? (4, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453455)

Well... My netbook has 2 GB of memory, 160 GB of storage, gigabit networking and thinks it has two 32 bit cores. It's a veritable late 80's, early 90's supercomputer that fits in my backpack.

Even in the mid 90's, GHz processors, and gigs of RAM/hard disk were still largely uncommon. I think you're talking late 90's before that started to become relatively common.

I continue to be stunned at what you can buy as an entry level box nowadays for a really cheap dollar amount. My local "white box" PC store will sell you a dual-core 5GHz (or whatever) 64-bit AMD machine for under $300 -- add a little RAM and disk space and you've got a helluva system for not very much money.

How many home PCs nowadays have TB's of storage? I know several people who do -- I remember when home users didn't have gigabytes, terabytes would have been unimaginable.

Cheers

Re:Desktop? Where's the notebook? (0)

adrenalinerush (518023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452767)

Informative? You've got to be kidding me.

This is a small very high-performance computer. In a notebook format, you're looking at maybe 20 minute battery life.

Meanwhile, the netbook segment is aimed at even lower power (and performance) numbers. Clearly, these two markets don't overlap.

Horsepower (1, Funny)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452421)

Well, Microsoft had to do something to create demand for the next version of Windows. Not much of a market for an OS where people need to book time at their neighborhood super collider when they need to edit a document.

Probably makes one hell of a spam node too!

Re:Horsepower (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25452465)

weak

Re:Horsepower (4, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452643)

Well, with all the sloppy inefficient programming, feature bloat, and generally craptastic work that goes into the ongoing, illogical, disuseful, nightmare that is MS Word, you will need one of these puppies just to run Word and Windows 7 anyway.

Vista's MINIMUM memory requirement is 512 megs.

Windows 2000's recommended minimum was 64 megs.

Personally, I don't find Vista any more useful than Win2k. More stable, yes, but I don't see how upping the RAM req by an order of magnitude was required to make Win2k more stable. All it needed was better programming and better testing.

I think what we have going now is the kind of thing that happened when gas was cheap: SUVs. When gas is expensive (viz Europe and Japan) the average car gets Really Small and Efficient. When RAM was really expensive, programming was tight and efficient. Now that RAM is measured in gigs and drives in terabytes, there is no incentive to do efficient programming or wrangle in feature creep and bloatware.

Eventually we will hit some physical / cost limit on RAM, and then good programming will become a requirement. OF course, by then, there won't be anyone left who knows how to do that...

RS

Re:Horsepower (1)

Grismar (840501) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453335)

Yes, it's a shame that this time-honored tradition of good programming will be lost to humanity. Back in the days, when people still knew how to program ... Besides that, your argument is flawed. Even if we do hit a physical or cost limit on RAM, that won't imply that less RAM will get more expensive all of a sudden. Good programming will never become a requirement for the same reasons that it was before. There are plenty of other reasons for good programming right now and none of those have anything to do with the price of RAM. Personally, I think the problem is with the fact that people still want shinier toys with more needless features. At some point, people will tire of the complexity of their toys. I think some of that may already be showing, since people seem to be critical about Vista for more reasons than just the need for insane hardware. Same goes with reluctance to upgrade office applications or web browsers.

Bit steep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25452425)

For $25k you could build a machine from 8 U1 servers with 10Gb ethernet or even Infiniband as the interconnect. And that includes the price of the rack and the switch.

Also worth noting is that even Microsoft can't get away from reality: HPC users want Linux.

Re:Bit steep (2, Informative)

EvilRyry (1025309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452469)

Or you could just buy the Cray for the same price and forget about the extra overhead of 8 separate boxes.

BTW, you can also order these from the factory with RHEL.

Re:Bit steep (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25452717)

The Cray is just a blade, so for $25k you could buy a blade, 8 nodes and your interconnect. Perhaps I should clarify: for LESS THAN $25k you can buy a rack of 8 nodes and the interconnect.

BTW, you can also order these from the factory with RHEL.

Yeeees. Hence my comment.

Re:Bit steep (1)

Umrick (151871) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453077)

It's really a perspective thing. I just spec'd one with a Visualization node, Storage node, and 3 compute nodes. 20 cores, 3600GB storage, 160GB ram, monitors and all. $88k. Given that the medical practice I worked at between 2002 and 2006 had one server alone that cost $133k, and two others at $60k, $77k all for an electronic medical records system, this Cray doesn't seem like all that bad a deal for something so compact.

This is not meant to flame (2, Insightful)

malignant_minded (884324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452521)

Is there a reason microsoft would be the prefered OS for this type of machine? I would think the type of people requiring such hardware would be quite capable of running some kind of *nix OS to perform their operations and see the advantages in doing so, like a familiar OS. I imagine MS has invested a decent amount of cash to be the logo broadcasted on the cray site, is there a reason why they want this market? This seems like it would be a very niche market for them.

Re:This is not meant to flame (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452651)

Is there a reason microsoft would be the prefered OS for this type of machine?

Yes there is. Microsoft are desperate to get into the cluster computing market, and they hope this will get them a foothold.

I don't think it will though. The simple fact is that this level of supercomputing can be achieved with less cost by buying off the shelf components and building your own. It won't be as pretty but we are talking possibly ten thousand cheaper if you want to match the performance of this system. Using Windows also imposes a serious drag factor. I'm not against using Microsoft software just because its Microsoft. The process scheduling of Linux is simply superior. That's a pretty big deal on a large system.

I built a seriously powerful cluster just using the cast off PCs from other departments at my university. It went from a project to help me with my own research needs to becoming an essential department resource, and it cost less than 2k.
Sure, I'd like a cray, but I don't believe it wouldn't be possible to equal its performance without the price tag.

Re:This is not meant to flame (2, Informative)

malignant_minded (884324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452667)

FTA the CX1, it is trying to push down into a market where newbies in life sciences, digital rendering, financial services, and other fields are playing around with supers for the first time.

25,000 that seems like a lot of cash to fork for something that you don't know how to use.

It's a fact: Windows HPC Server 2008 (HPCS) combines the power of the Windows Server platform with rich, out-of-the-box functionality to help improve the productivity and reduce the complexity of your HPC environment. Windows HPC Server 2008 can efficiently scale to thousands of processing cores and provides a comprehensive set of deployment, administration, and monitoring tools that are easy to deploy, manage, and integrate with your existing infrastructure. http://www.microsoft.com/hpc/en/us/default.aspx [microsoft.com]

So this is meant for people that need a rendering farm or some calculations performed but have no idea how to build a cluster, again how big is this market?

Re:This is not meant to flame (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452677)

Windows HPC has actually gotten decent reviews, probably because their programmers didn't have to listen to marketing demanding "backwards compatibility" and "make it idiot proof". We can always hope that Windows 8 will be a port of HPC to the desktop, just like XP was NT reworked.

XP was not "NT reworked". (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452799)

XP was Windows 2000 with a new theme and some bundled software. Even now about the only software I run into that has trouble on Windows 2000 is software that specifically checks for the OS it's running on and refuses to run on anything less than XP.

It was NT4.0 where Microsoft really worked over NT, culling subsystems and doing things like putting GDI in the kernel to let it run games at the cost of stability.

More like Apple (4, Funny)

ehaggis (879721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452581)

Perhaps to enhance their marketing, they can offer the computer in CrayOn colors (like Apple's iMac colors). Cray Gray, Big Iron Gray, Super Computing Gray, Gray, Gray Passion, etc..

Remember, you can order any color - as long as it is gray.

Re:More like Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25453291)

Does it come in Earl Gray?

Have they run Vista Upgrade Advisor on it Yet? (0, Redundant)

wazzzup (172351) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452591)

Just curious to see, you know, if it's ready for Vista yet.

Can't Build My CX1 (1)

ehaggis (879721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452605)

Why do I get a 404 error when trying to configure my CX1? I'll just wait until Psystar comes out with a knockoff anyway.

64 cores enough for scientific work? (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452609)

Are 64 cores enough for a lot of complex biology and physics simulations? Seriously, if the protein folding experiments are any indication, wouldn't this just be a drop in the bucket of the power needed to crunch those simulations?

How well would for example... (4, Interesting)

rzei (622725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452747)

For example Blender [blender.org]'s renderer's scale on a system like this? Of course something like MentalRay might scale easily but has anyone any hands on experience?

One might argue if you are throwing away $25,000 on a system like that you might use software that costs, but then again, Blender has made tremendous progress these last years..

Detail: it's not the same Cray (2, Informative)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452771)

Just a company that bought the name.

From their website (2, Informative)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452821)

Cray Research merged with SGI (Silicon Graphics, Inc.) in February 1996. In August 1999, SGI created a separate Cray Research business unit to focus exclusively on the unique requirements of high-end supercomputing customers. Assets of this business unit were sold to Tera Computer Company in March 2000.

Tera Computer Company was founded in 1987 in Washington, DC, and moved to Seattle, Washington, in 1988. Tera began software development for the Multithreaded Architecture (MTA) systems that year and hardware design commenced in 1991. The Cray MTA-2â system provides scalable shared memory, in which every processor has equal access to every memory location, greatly simplifying programming because it eliminates concerns about the layout of memory.

The company completed its initial public offering in 1995 (TERA on the NASDAQ stock exchange), and soon after received its first order for the MTA from the San Diego Supercomputer Center. The multiprocessor system was accepted by the center in 1998, and has since been upgraded to eight processors.

Upon the merger with the Cray Research division of SGI in 2000, the company was renamed Cray Inc. and the ticker symbol was changed to CRAY.

So, is this the recommended spec for Windows 7? (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452775)

I guess the MS execs want to avoid another "suitable for Vista" debacle :-)

I bet it will still take a bloody week to boot..

Why not build your own supercomputer? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452783)

I suppose this is good news for those that don't want to get their hands dirty building their own cluster. You could just network several servers together and simply install Rocks [rocksclusters.org] or UniCluster [univaud.com] or any number of other cluster packages.

Re:Why not build your own supercomputer? (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453015)

You could just network several servers together and simply install Rocks [rocksclusters.org] or UniCluster [univaud.com] or any number of other cluster packages.

Yet you don't mention Beowulf. Imagine that...

Re:Why not build your own supercomputer? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453479)

Yeah, clusters used to be called Beowulfs. Now that term is reserved for those posters on Slashdot that continue to repeat that stupid meme.

Not even close (2, Insightful)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452785)

Yawn. Lame. This isn't even close to the high density, high performance machines from my friends at SiCortex. If you're a serious player in HPC-land, the SiCortex machines have you salivating. I'm not trying to sound like an advertisement but they're simply awesome machines. Up to 5832 64-bit MIPS processors running Linux in a relatively small footprint. I don't have a direct connection to the company but I've worked closely with them in the past and it's the real deal. Check it out - SiCortex.com [sicortex.com]

this could be really hot in pharma (1)

viridari (1138635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452827)

I worked for one of the bigger pharmas for awhile in R&D, and I think something like this could find its way onto the desk of every top scientist in the division. I know some of the divas would ask for two... and they would get it without ${EMPLOYER} even blinking.

Bits or bytes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25452835)

Seriously, for a tech/geek site, not understanding the difference between "b" and "B" is disappointing. Who runs this place?

Sweet ride (1)

Patchw0rk F0g (663145) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452847)

Since my "Visualization" system priced out at $13,000+, I'll need to wait for that lottery win before buying.

On a more serious note, I can see a system like this being a huge boon with regards to 3D and video production... makes me salivate. And at such a low five-figure price, it's nice to see something that's within the reach of most professional studios and artists. If this is the 2008 model and price, where could we be by 2010? 2015?

Now, where did I leave those garbage bags full of returnable bottles....?

Small schools spend $25,000 for this? (1)

Catalina588 (1151475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452941)

The Intel Skulltrail is the small supercomputer price-performer right now. A Skulltrail is currently #3 in RAC at Rosetta@Home while simultaneously running GPGPU-based Folding@Home. All for less than $7,000.

And you can play Crysis on it too.

No, it's not Top 500-class HPC, but Skulltrail (or a roomful of Skulltrails) seems a better use of teaching dollars than a Cray.

Must be a nice keyboard, and an amazing power cord (3, Informative)

autocracy (192714) | more than 5 years ago | (#25452997)

Power Cord (kit of 2) $110.00 Keyboard and Mouse $188.00 Yep...

Compilation of thoughts... (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453005)

With this new computer, you can:

Send email if you are not John McCain.
Calculate the value of Pi farther than anyone cares really.
Run Vista and Crysis - but not at the same time.
Set up a self aware VM cluster....
Create your own spam botnet
Heat your computer room
Be the coolest guy at the next flashmob computing meet

or... you could .... Watch pr0n

Re:Compilation of thoughts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25453481)

you could also record several pr0n at the same time with software encoding

As always, a very nice design (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 5 years ago | (#25453433)

As a side note, Cray has always had a flair for designing machines that are not only powerful but also have design the conveys this power.

I wouldn't mind having a box like that. I'd wait 'til it runs something else than MS though.

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