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Asus Releases Desktop-Sized Supercomputer

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the many-cores-make-light-work dept.

Supercomputing 260

angry tapir writes "Asustek has unveiled its first supercomputer, the desktop computer-sized ESC 1000, which uses Nvidia graphics processors to attain speeds up to 1.1 teraflops. Asus's ESC 1000 comes with a 3.33GHz Intel LGA1366 Xeon W3580 microprocessor designed for servers, along with 960 graphics processing cores from Nvidia inside three Tesla c1060 Computing Processors and one Quadro FX5800."

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260 comments

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Asus! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881125)

I fucked your dead great grandmother up the asus!

Re:Asus! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881485)

Before or after she died?

Re:Asus! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881613)

During the transition.

wow (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881133)

and it's much cheaper and more effective than just using multiple multi-core processors. parallel computing is the future. how long before we have three dimensional processors?

Anus! Somebody pinch me ! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881843)

Oooo, thanks Stanley, you hunk of man you, but I said pinch, not punch!

Hrmm (5, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881135)

How many pets would I have to eat to balance out the carbon footprint of this?

I've got a six-pack of kittens at the ready.

Re:Hrmm (5, Funny)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881151)

The PSU is only 1100W. It's not that intensive - three teslas are like three big graphics cards. 2 or 3 kittens would be sufficient, so you've got enough to share.

Do you have pepper sauce?

Eat a vacuum cleaner (4, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881285)

The PSU is only 1100W. It's not that intensive - three teslas are like three big graphics cards. 2 or 3 kittens would be sufficient, so you've got enough to share.

1100W? Can I eat my vacuum cleaner instead? Yummy.

Do you have pepper sauce?

Pepper sauce? Pepper sauce?!? Do you have any idea what the carbon footprint of pepper sauce is? My brother ate pepper sauce once. He had to eat a whole zoo full of animals to make up for it! Stay away from the sauce!

Re:Eat a vacuum cleaner (5, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881545)

>Pepper sauce? Pepper sauce?!? Do you have any idea what the carbon footprint of pepper sauce is? My brother ate pepper sauce once. He had to eat a whole zoo full of animals to make up for it! Stay away from the sauce!

But it's *green* pepper !

Re:Eat a vacuum cleaner (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882059)

Only if you don't empty the bag.

Re:Hrmm (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881645)

How many pets would I have to eat to balance out the carbon footprint of this? I've got a six-pack of kittens at the ready.

Do you have pepper sauce?

Seconded; pepper sauce goes great with bonsai kittens [google.com] , though I don't think these come in six-packs unfortunately.

How many pets (0)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881199)

One case of them kittens would be equivalent, or you could substitute one PITA mother-in-law. Would you like some ketchup with your soylent green? It's a nice color contrast.

Re:Hrmm (1)

zullnero (833754) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881519)

Forget pets, this is going to take a 6 pack of HUMAN babies!

In other news (1)

MassiveForces (991813) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881139)

manufacturers around the world fear a race to the top!

Not an Eee! (4, Funny)

quenda (644621) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881985)

I was expecting it to be called the Eee-1. But EEE-niac would have been cool too.

Cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881141)

A note in Asustek's literature said the ESC 1000 has a cost structure in software and hardware of US$14,519 over five years, but an Asustek representative declined to give a per-unit price or when the ESC 1000 would be available globally.

Mmm. 14.5k to make and I'll assume they want to make a profit here. 25k? 30k? Possibly more?

So hey, how much does a regular supercomputer cost? And how do you cool these things?

Boinc Applications... (4, Interesting)

Xin Jing (1587107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881153)

As a participant in the Milky Way and SETI projects for BOINC, I can say this development is impressive and would be a cruncher's dream come true. It would put supercomputing power in the hands of the everyman and allow applications that rely on distributed computing to take a leap forward.

Re:Boinc Applications... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881173)

More importantly can this actually run Crysis 2? Probably not.

Re:Boinc Applications... (3, Informative)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881391)

Yeah, as long as that everyman can afford $14,519 for crunching purposes...

For that price I'd build myself a real virtual reality gaming room.

Re:Boinc Applications... (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881943)

Or blow it all on booze, coke and hookers !

Re:Boinc Applications... (1)

quenda (644621) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881991)

Or blow it all on booze, coke and hookers !

You forgot the blackjack.

Re:Boinc Applications... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881403)

I can't imagine anyone buying such a machine specifically to run SETI@Home or similar projects. If you want/need a machine like this you will have a specific use for it, as I don't think it's that speedy for most games etc - to run your projects on graphics cores you will need special software, this is useless for generic computing. And those distributed projects are set up with the idea of using spare cycles - not to buy hardware specifically for it.

Now if you still happen to have spare time on the computer then maybe you could do a dataset or two of SETI. It will do those tasks really fast.

Re:Boinc Applications... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881405)

As a participant in the Milky Way and SETI projects for BOINC, I can say this development is impressive and would be a cruncher's dream come true. It would put supercomputing power in the hands of the everyman and allow applications that rely on distributed computing to take a leap forward.

BOINC already supports CUDA & has alpha(?) support for ATI's version.
There's nothing stopping you from packing a tower with graphics cards and a high end PSU.

Re:Boinc Applications... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881895)

As a participant in the Milky Way and SETI projects for BOINC, I can say this development is impressive and would be a cruncher's dream come true. It would put supercomputing power in the hands of the everyman and allow applications that rely on distributed computing to take a leap forward.

Yeah, but unless it's going to offer the surreal experience of porn in 4-D, you're probably not going to get many people biting to spend this "paltry" amount.

Now, I CAN see the average man "investing" $15K for a new holodeck o'porn...Sad? Yes. True? Damn skippy.

Re:Boinc Applications... (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882027)

Troll? I hope that was a misclick...

You could of course get it in 2U last year (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881155)

Very impressive, but you could get something very similar last year.

No point running desktop Windows on this monster.. (0, Troll)

jkrise (535370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881157)

This grade of machines need Linux on them... not Windows; and Asus has been in bed with MS for some while now.

Re:No point running desktop Windows on this monste (4, Insightful)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881197)

While I wouldn't choose to do my scientific computing on Windows, I know some people do, and those Tesla cards (which are providing the bulk of the processing power) really don't care which OS you're running.

Re:No point running desktop Windows on this monste (3, Informative)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881383)

And you're saying this...why? Are you somehow convinced that these processors show up as general purpose CPUs? They don't. There is no conceivable reason something like this "needs" Windows. You're going to have specialized compilers generating specialized code that gets handed off to the GPUs. OS is mostly a non-issue.

Re:No point running desktop Windows on this monste (4, Funny)

hherb (229558) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881495)

Nah - with such processing power, one might actually see a Windows machine perform properly! From boot to blue screen of death in mere milliseconds! Run your malware faster than ever! See clippy dance furiously across the screen in smooth 250 fps animation!

Re:No point running desktop Windows on this monste (1)

Youngbull (1569599) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881627)

This grade of machines need Linux on them... not Windows; and Asus has been in bed with MS for some while now.

it has support for red hat and suse...

Re:No point running desktop Windows on this monste (1)

Chris Snook (872473) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881805)

But if you run Linux on it, you have to deal with the Nvidia drivers.

Re:No point running desktop Windows on this monste (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881867)

Yes indeed. Who in their right mind would run anything GPU-intensive on Windows? The platform is well known for having absolutely terrible video drivers. I hear that most manufacturers don't even support the platform, and just expect the community to write drivers!

Now they're copying Apple too!? (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881179)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Eb1yih5kNY [youtube.com]

I remember when that ad came out. I was so pissed. Apple preys on people who have no concept of the scale of computing and this campaign really got under my skin. Now I just laugh at it, but they're still advertising this way, with their comparison charts and graphs touting biggest and best with comparisons to competitors' computing hardware from years past.

Re:Now they're copying Apple too!? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881893)

Yes, this bugged me too. The Apple campaign actually made sense. The definition of 'supercomputer' for US export had not been updated for some years and so the G4 actually was classified as a supercomputer for export purposes. This ad was actually run in response to the fact that the US government was not permitting G4-based machines to be exported to any of the 50 countries that were under arms embargo at the time, and which had previously been able to buy G3-based Macs. The definition, as I recall, was that anything that could perform more than one GFLOPS counted as a supercomputer. The AltiVec unit on the G4 pushed it over this limit.

Now, however, the machine in TFA is over a thousand times faster. And it's also a desktop. It's not a supercomputer any more than my laptop (which is much faster than the early Crays) is a supercomputer. The definition of a supercomputer evolves over time. Given the fastest supercomputer today runs at over 1PFLOPS, it's quite silly to claim that something a thousand times slower is a supercomputer. There is a bigger difference in processing power between this machine and the fastest supercomputer than between it and my (two year old) laptop.

Index? (3, Funny)

Swoopy (101558) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881185)

The real question of course is, what the "Windows Vista experience index" of this machine is. If it's anywhere below 5.5 it's obviously not worth the bother.

Re:Index? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881825)

I'd love it if it went to 11.

Super computer? (5, Informative)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881187)

Ummm isn't this just a ridiculously powerful desktop computer rather than a super computer? The current 500th super computer on the top500 list is this machine [top500.org] which has a Rmax of 17 Tflops and an Rpeak of just over 37.6. Now its impressive that this desktop system has 1/37th of the power of the lowest machine on the super computer list... but does that really make it a super computer? Moore's Law says that it will take around 10 years for this desktop box to evolve to the power of that current bottom top500 box. So in other words its 10 years behind the performance of the current 500th best super computer.

If its because it hits 1 Tflops then in a few years time you'll have mobile phone "super computers" as Moore's Law is still moving onwards.

This is a very very fast desktop computer suited to certain simulation elements which are GPU intensive. Nice box, fast box.... but not a real modern super computer.

Re:Super computer? (3, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881275)

Well, that's easy enough. Just get 38 of these things, hook'em together and MosesJones, you will have #500 on that list!

Re:Super computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881301)

So are you suggesting that by definition, a supercomputer is something on the Top500 list? If so, there can only be 500 supercomputers in the world. And if that were the case, it wouldn't be a list of the *top* 500 supercomputers, it would be a list of the only ones. In reality, there can be any number of supercomputers in the world, and whether this one qualifies depends on the definition.

Is it based on the number of cores? This one has almost 1,000. Is it based on the raw performance? This thing can theoretically do 1,100 GFLOPS. Is it based on shared memory bandwidth and interconnect speed? If so, I don't know how this one qualifies, but you might have to reconsider some on the Top500 list also.

dom

Re:Super computer? (4, Insightful)

Kumiorava (95318) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881453)

Supercomputer is a computer that is one of the most powerful computers available at a given time. Therefore referring top500 list is very valid when determining what is supercomputer and what isn't. Top500 list can very well be used in determining whether we have a supercomputer or not. If the modern computer isn't faster (at least in certain specific tasks) than the lowest performing computer on the list I wouldn't consider it being a supercomputer. I don't understand the need to dilute supercomputer word to include cheap hacks like this, there are valid names for these such as minicomputer. What do we call the best performing computer? superdupercomputer?

Re:Super computer? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881973)

Therefore referring top500 list is very valid when determining what is supercomputer and what isn't.

His point (or so it would appear to me) is that such a definition is self-referential and circular, hence largely useless.

Re:Super computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881987)

In the current configuration - this is a complete waste of money, heaps of processing power but it's going to bottle neck.

It's all about I/O!

Speed of the processors and crunching ability is nothing if you can't feed it data to be crunched.

Re:Super computer? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881351)

Seconded. Also it appears to have only 24 GByte of RAM, a miniscule amount for modern HPC. A machine I know well that fairly recently dropped out the top 500 has over 3 TBytes, and was considered memory starved.

That said, to be fair, that may not be an issue. GPUs at present are a niche market, and the impression I have is that applications that run well on them tend not to be memory intensive - but I'm no expert here so I could well be wrong. Whatever, a general purpose "supercomputer" it is not.

Re:Super computer? (3, Insightful)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881441)

"Supercomputer" might mean cluster, a big node (to go in a cluster), or big-iron mainframe.

It's not a cluster, and it's not much of a mainframe, but it has a helluva lot of FLOPS for a single node. To me, it looks similar to the nodes that went into Roadrunner's TriBlades - 2 Opterons (as general purpose processors) plus 4 PowerXCell 8i (for heavyweight vector processing), and a total of 16G memory. But I'm not an expert.

Still, I bet that if you could hook 3240 of them together, you would have a strong Top500 contender.

Re:Super computer? (2, Funny)

SuperBigGulp (177180) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881597)

>but I'm no expert here so I could well be wrong.

Welcome to Slashdot! You'll fit right it!

Re:Super computer? (0)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881425)

Well, saying that 37 of these boxes (or perhaps just 17), at a price of $537203 (or just $246823) can beat a system that fills a whole hall, has 129600 cores, and certainly costs a fortune, is pretty impressive, no?

But you are right. And I guess by then, the definition of "supercomputer" will have changed to >1 petaflop.

Re:Super computer? (2, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881445)

Please ignore parent comment. I realized the obvious error, stemming from the misinformation in GP comment.

Re:Super computer? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881439)

The definition of supercomputer seems to vary pretty wildly. I remember a few years back when Apple was running adds for their PowerMac that had hit 1 gigaflop, making it the world's first supercomputer desktop, supposedly. There was a time when saying something was a "supercomputer" was the same thing as saying it was "capable of 1 gigaflop." Whether that time has technically passed or not, I don't really know. Tacking the word modern before the term, as you did, seems to keep it relevant, regardless.

Re:Super computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881629)

Tacking the word modern before the term, as you did, seems to keep it relevant, regardless.

Not in the art world. There we've finished with modern and even post-modern. It seems now we're onto contemporary. Which leads to problems, since you can't really be post-contemporary.

Re:Super computer? (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882017)

Which leads to problems, since you can't really be post-contemporary.

If anyone asks what genre my band is, I'm going to say "Post-Contemporary" from now on. :-D

Thanks, AC !

Re:Super computer? (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882063)

Yeah that was a US government classification that would prevent you from selling a 1 gigaflop computer to certain countries like Iran or whatever. That's why on one of their commercials they had a Power Mac being guarded by a tank.

Re:Super computer? (2, Informative)

textstring (924171) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881479)

So in other words its 10 years behind the performance of the current 500th best super computer.

If the top500 list is really a good indicator, this system would have definitely made the 2004/06 list and maybe the 2004/11. You can basically build a 5 year old top 500 supercomputer today for $15k. It would have been top 10 in 1999/06. So it's 10 years from top 10 supercomputer to a personal, desktop "super"-computer but it'll probably take even less time for today's fastest machines to become affordable.

Also remember this is your personal supercomputer. It's working on your jobs 24/7. And really, 1/40th of current "super"-computer speeds for HPC testing, development and even actual relevant work really isn't that bad. You could get some serious work done of one of these boxes (or any generic box like it).

Re:Super computer? (0, Flamebait)

vikstar (615372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881707)

Yeah, just because it is capable of 1.1Tflops doesn't mean it can do 1.1Tflops on whatever calculation you give it, only for certain specific calculations that scale well to GPUs. Hell, if you forgive the reductio ad absurdum, then I've got a piece of circular glass on my desk than can do 1Yflop, but it can only perform a specific lighting caustics simulation.

But how can you trust the results? (5, Interesting)

HalfFlat (121672) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881195)

The Tesla c1060 [nvidia.com] processor boards sound like a very efficient way of packing in compute power, but unless they're neglecting to mention it, the 4GB of GDDR3 RAM each has on board has no error correction. Given the rates of correctable errors observed e.g. here [toronto.edu] , I could never recommend using it for computing simulations that matter. A flipped bit in a floating point number can have a disproportionate affect on the outcome of calculations that rely upon it, and short of running the whole simulation a second or third time, one couldn't be confident that such an error did not occur.

Large compute-intensive simulations can take weeks, and are used to justify engineering and business decisions that involve the disposition of large amounts of money and other resources — it is important that the computational part of the process can be relied upon.

MOD UP (1)

Fotograf (1515543) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881241)

mod this up. So truth, seeing problems like this in very "not life saving industry" every day

Re:But how can you trust the results? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881261)

I'm a student at the University of Washington and once talked to a representative for Cray about using GPU's a a cheaper supercomputer and he told me that they generally have a nontrivial error rate. The issue with using ECC memory is that the GPU's are also libel for errors within their computations, making the ECC RAM pointless. A weird pixel in one frame of a game is no problem, but an error when performing a large simulation creates problems if the algorithm isn't designed to compensate for that noise.

Re:But how can you trust the results? (5, Informative)

mkaushik (1431203) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881327)

Then you would be happy to know that Nvidia's new Fermi chip supports ECC throughout the architecture.

Re:But how can you trust the results? (0, Offtopic)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881407)

If error rates are a problem, just use implicit algorithms, and maybe a bit of smoothing. (Ducks).

Re:But how can you trust the results? (0, Offtopic)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881607)

Or coconuts. (Swallows)

Re:But how can you trust the results? (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881411)

Given the relative prices of graphics cards and anything Cray sells, why not just run all computations in duplicate on two different graphics cards, and redo any that differ? Even given the performance penalties of regular checkpoints and comparisons on top of needing twice as much hardware, it still ought to be vastly cheaper.

Re:But how can you trust the results? (4, Interesting)

bertok (226922) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881353)

The Tesla c1060 [nvidia.com] processor boards sound like a very efficient way of packing in compute power, but unless they're neglecting to mention it, the 4GB of GDDR3 RAM each has on board has no error correction. Given the rates of correctable errors observed e.g. here [toronto.edu] , I could never recommend using it for computing simulations that matter. A flipped bit in a floating point number can have a disproportionate affect on the outcome of calculations that rely upon it, and short of running the whole simulation a second or third time, one couldn't be confident that such an error did not occur.

Large compute-intensive simulations can take weeks, and are used to justify engineering and business decisions that involve the disposition of large amounts of money and other resources — it is important that the computational part of the process can be relied upon.

Which is why the upcoming NVIDIA "Fermi" GPU based boards will support 4GB of ECC memory. Also, they'll have about 2 TFLOPS of single-precision power, and you can stack 4 of them in a box = 8 TFLOPS beside your desk.

I can't wait until the US government starts banning these things because they could be used by terrorists to design nuclear weapons or something. 8)

Re:But how can you trust the results? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881389)

A flipped bit in a floating point number can have a disproportionate affect on the outcome of calculations that rely upon it, and short of running the whole simulation a second or third time, one couldn't be confident that such an error did not occur.

First rule in government spending: why build one when you can have two at twice the price?
-Contact [imdb.com]

TFA says something about "US$14,519 over five years" for one box
Is that cheap enough to justify buying twice what you need and running the simulation in parallel?

As an aside, the biggest problem I see is that it 'only' has 24GB of RAM.
In my uninformed opinion, that doesn't seem nearly enough for supercomputing purposes.

Re:But how can you trust the results? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881557)

Everything named after Tesla should be trusted by default.

Not long ago (2, Informative)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881223)

The Cray T3E-1200E reached 1 teraflops in 1998. Now, we can reach that same level of performance (depending on the app) with a desktop computer. How time flys...

Re:Not long ago (3, Interesting)

XDirtypunkX (1290358) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881395)

We've had over a teraflop of single precision available to consumers in graphics card form for a few years now; the newly released ATI 5870 actually has more than double that in a single chip. Soon the 5870 x2 (with double the performance again) will be out and you'll be able to have multiple of those in one PC.

eroasion of the word (1)

pinkishpunk (1461107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881235)

how I long for the good old days, where a supercomputer meant a sexy cray, Sgi, thinking machines blinking led monster. Its just not the same when a supercomputer basicly is the same hardware as we have at our desk. Seems anything today can be a supercomputer, even the ugliest box.

But think of the fun with people who don't know... (1)

MaizeMan (1076255) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881357)

In response to any question: I'm not sure, let me consult my super computer and get back to you. In any presentation: After crunching a lot of numbers on my super computer I can tell you that ...

Shame on US, Chinese companies lead the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881245)

Is it any wonder that US economic dominion is eroding the way it is. This is yet another telltale sign of the fact that China is going to be the economic superpower of the 21st century not the US.

Re:Shame on US, Chinese companies lead the way (2, Informative)

temojen (678985) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881281)

Are you referring to Republic of China or People's Republic of China? ASUSTek is from Republic of China.

Re:Shame on US, Chinese companies lead the way (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881359)

The one with all the squinty people. Which one's that?

-Prince Philip

Re:Shame on US, Chinese companies lead the way (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881823)

I think that's San Francisco.

Re:Shame on US, Chinese companies lead the way (1, Troll)

hydrolyzer (1637811) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881303)

I couldnt really care less who the economic super power is, but nVidia is an american company is it not? I would consider having a chinese company make a product from american parts a nice and balanced economic system, rather then an american company making things from american parts. I for one, welcome our new multicultural overlords.

CUDA or OpenCL? (0, Troll)

Shag (3737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881259)

Sounds like a nice toy to run stuff coded for CUDA or OpenCL - does anything OS than OS X support either of those properly yet?

Re:CUDA or OpenCL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881331)

I believe both are supported across all 3 big platforms. CUDA definitely already runs on Windows and Linux in addition to Mac OS for a while now.

WIndows 7 not Vista? (2, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881291)

processors to attain speeds up to 1.1 teraflops.

So you're saying it's fast enough to run Windows 7, but forget Vista?

Re:WIndows 7 not Vista? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882039)

He's saying that the idea of running Vista on this thing will flop, 1.1 trillion times.

Thats not a super desktop computer idea (4, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881307)

This is :
http://helmer.sfe.se/ [helmer.sfe.se]

needs more "super" (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881309)

I put it to you that any computer that fits on or under a desk is not "super".

Asustek has unveiled its first supercomputer... (2, Insightful)

hallux.sinister (1633067) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881311)

...which will be used principly for... typing e-mails and surfing the internet, just like 90+% of other desktop computers... oh yeah, and downloading lots and lots of porn. Way to go, guys! Keep the hits coming!

How $$ (1)

diefuchsjagden (835254) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881333)

How much is this Swedish(Taiwanese) Made Pen15 enlarger gonna Cost?? It maybe "desktop" sized but I doubt desktop prices!

Second Life (1)

kakur (233321) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881399)

Finally, I can play Second Life at full framerate....

Re:Second Life (2, Informative)

polle404 (727386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881595)

...but it still can't run Crysis at full framerate...

Might get my geek card revoked for this but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881437)

Doesn't the GTX 295 alone put out 1.8 TFLOPS? It can't possibly be much different in architecture to the cards in this "supercomputer"... Slap in a different BIOS and you'd have the same thing, but significantly cheaper, right?

Compile times... (1)

stakovahflow (1660677) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881511)

Wow, just thinking of how quickly I could compile text-based monopoly or fortunes, from source, on Debian here... No, it may not be a true "Super Computer", but it'll sure play a mean console game, won't it?

Obligatory (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881555)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these...

Why the ancient graphics? (1)

Oblong_Cheese (1002842) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881575)

Why does it have such an ancient and shitty graphics card? The GeForce FX series were terrible in their day and not worth the gold in their circuits today.

Re:Why the ancient graphics? (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881683)

Why does it have such an ancient and shitty graphics card? The GeForce FX series were terrible in their day and not worth the gold in their circuits today.

It's got Quadro FX graphics hardware, not GeForce FX. No, they aren't particularly similar, despite the name.

Super computer (1)

jdc18 (1654245) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881585)

You know if every computer becomes a super computer, there wouldnt be any super computers.

Facts etc. (1)

Rotonen (1401997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881601)

Since when has a workstation processor been considered server hardware?

How about non Floating Point performance ? (4, Insightful)

Gori (526248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881605)

San somebody who has actually worked with such machines enlighten me about its performance on tasks that are not floating point intensive? Our simulations mainly push many,many objects around, with relatively little, or no floating point math in them.

Do such machines still make sense, or are we better off with a bunch of general purpose CPUs clustered together? How do they compare to Suns Niagara cpus that have umpteen hardware threads in them ?

Re:How about non Floating Point performance ? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881909)

I work in military research in the UK, we've been building similar machines to this general spec (Xeon/Nehalem/Nvidia Teslas/loads of RAM) for a year of so now. This type of machine is pretty amazing for running our engineering codes; we've achieved a 30x speed up in some cases when compared to a regular high end desktop PC, running a variety of fluid dynamics codes.

Although it's not a high priority to my management, I personally think the power consumption of the Teslas when compared to regular super computers is the outstanding thing about them. It's like 110W Vs 30Kw! Not to mention they're very portable, and don't require much specialist cooling. You can literally have engineers with 2 terraflops sitting under their desks for £2000, and not have to spend >£30,000 on electricity per year.

Do such machines still make sense, or are we better off with a bunch of general purpose CPUs clustered together? How do they compare to Suns Niagara cpus that have umpteen hardware threads in them ?

They're equivalent to "a bunch of general purpose CPUs clustered together", depends on your code.

Re:How about non Floating Point performance ? (1)

Gori (526248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881953)

Thanks for the comment!

running a variety of fluid dynamics codes.
 

This is indeed the key. Our models are Java/semantic web type of things, with many, many threads and inter agent communication. almost no math. I guess in that case it would not make too much sense to move to these architectures.

can it run MATLAB? (3, Interesting)

nerdyalien (1182659) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881609)

nice to have powerful machines. But what about the programming end ?

More specifically, can it run MATLAB or Octave and use all the flops for computations ?

I think its a known fact that most academia use MATLAB/Octave to do model creation/testing...

Oh Nose (0)

BlindRobin (768267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881739)

Now Microsoft has new minimum desktop specs for it's next iteration of the Windows ...

But... (1)

thephydes (727739) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881749)

Does it run windows 7?

Just imagine a Beowulf Cluster of these! n/b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881771)

n/b

Now... (1)

jplopez (1067608) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881781)

... imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!

Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881947)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these....

Almost bought this mobo but... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882035)

It seems like loading up a motherboard with loads of PCI Express slots coupled with the 5520 chipset just makes for trouble. I actually almost bought the motherboard upon which this computer is based, P6T-WS-Professional, but the problem is that it got some fairly mixed reviews as far as stability goes. Tyan has a similar product, the S7025, but let yous you use two CPUs. In both cases, people are reporting issues with.the boards.

It's rather unlike ASUS, for sure, as I trust the brand of motherboard. So I stepped down to a less exotic asus z8pe-d12, which, has the added bonus of letting me run dual xeons, rather than just the single. I probably could have gone with the Tyan, but it was more expensive, and honestly, GPU computing isn't something I'm doing.

Incidentally, not having PCI Express lanes like this is probably killing AMD more than anything else right now. I looked at building an Opteron board based on Shanghai / Istanbul instead of Nehalem but the difference was PCI Express x16. There's not much out there at all for AMD that supports it and dual CPU. It's a shame because I had an Opteron previously and I like the brand a lot.

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