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Big Mac Benchmark Drops to 7.4 TFlops

CowboyNeal posted about 11 years ago | from the number-adjusting dept.

Technology (Apple) 417

coolmacdude writes "Well it seems that the early estimates were a bit overzealous. According to preliminary test results (in postscript format) on the full range of CPUs at Virginia Tech, the Rmax score on Linpack comes in at around 7.4 TFlops. This puts it at number four on the Top 500 List. It also represents an efficiency of about 44 percent, down from the previous result of 80 achieved on a subset of the computers. Perhaps in light of this, apparantly VT is now planning to devote an additional two months to improve the stability and efficiency of the system before any research can begin. While these numbers will no doubt come as a disappointment for Mac zealots who wanted to blow away all the Intel machines, it should still be noted that this is the best price/performance ratio ever achieved on a supercomputer. In addition, the project was successful at meeting VT's goal of developing an inexpensive top 5 machine. The results have also been posted at Ars Technica's openforum."

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A supercomputer by Any Other Name.... (4, Interesting)

bluethundr (562578) | about 11 years ago | (#7283258)



I've always been sort of intrigued by ,a href="http://www.top500.org/">Top500. Has there ever been a good comparison written about the similarities/differences between a 'supercomputer' and the lowly pc sitting on my desk running Linux/XP? At what point does the computer in question earn the title "Super"?

Re:A supercomputer by Any Other Name.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283282)

Similary, could a comparison be written about the similarities/differences between genuinely +5 insightful posts and those that are put together so quicky and shoddily that's it's as obvious as shit that you just wanted to get first post?

Re:A supercomputer by Any Other Name.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283307)

"Similary, could a comparison be written about the similarities/differences between genuinely +5 insightful posts and those that are put together so quicky and shoddily that's it's as obvious as shit that you just wanted to get first post?"

pissed that you didn't think of it first? quit whining before I knock that dick outta your mouth!

Re:A supercomputer by Any Other Name.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283341)

Well, next time, take a look down the bottom of the posting screen and you'll see a nice PREVIEW button. Press it. Amazing, modern technology, ain't it!

Oh, and stop dreaming about be sucking you off. It concerns me.

I for one, welcome our new karmawhoring overlords! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283340)

Hey, at least it's not Sir Haxalot.

So, is it perverted if I install a fleshlight on my ipod?!!!

I can't decide whether to go trick-or-treating as goatse man or penisbird guy this Halloween!

Re:I for one, welcome our new karmawhoring overlor (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283375)

Hey, at least it's not Sir Haxalot.

I agree. Sir Haxalot is a fag. NO wait. He's a super duper dick in the mouth fa660t~~~!!!!

Re:A supercomputer by Any Other Name.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283312)

When it has a whole fucking lot of CPUs?

My computer is SUPER!!! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283332)

Thanks for asking!!

Re:A supercomputer by Any Other Name.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283338)

Well, when Apple was advertising their computers as "supercomputers", they were using the U.S. Government's definition. Any computer that could perform 1 gigaflops or higher was classified as a weapon. Of course, just about any general purpose processor (as in intended for a general purpose computer) manufactured since 2000 has been able to do that, so the definition has probably changed.

I always found it interesting that it was illegal to export Macs for quite some time because thye were classified as weapons.

Re:A supercomputer by Any Other Name.... (3, Insightful)

Carnildo (712617) | about 11 years ago | (#7283425)

The big difference is that a "supercomputer" is usually heavily optimized towards vector operations: performing the same operation on many data elements at once. Think of it as SIMD (MMX, SSE, etc), only more so. A "supercomputer" would be pretty useless at ordinary tasks such as web browsing or word processing, as those can't be vectorized or parallelized very well. A "supercomputer" might be good as a graphics or physics engine for gaming, but that's sort of like using a cannon to swat a fly: a lot of work for something that can be done with a simple flyswatter.

Re:A supercomputer by Any Other Name.... (4, Funny)

BostonPilot (671668) | about 11 years ago | (#7283496)

Nah, the real defintions is:

Super computers cost more than 5 million dollars

Mainframes cost more than 1 million dollars

Mini-Super computers cost more than 1/4 million dollars

Everything else is by definition a Plain Jane (TM) computer

btw, I've worked on all 4 kinds ;-)

snazzy new G5 logo too! (4, Funny)

JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) | about 11 years ago | (#7283270)

Way to go /. -- updated the logo from G4 to G5 just in time.

--

Re:snazzy new G5 logo too! (1)

wankledot (712148) | about 11 years ago | (#7283421)

Too bad it looks like ass. The anti-aliasing on the "G5" part is awful.

Dear Apple (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283272)

Dear Apple,

I am a homosexual. I bought an Apple computer because of its well earned reputation for being "the" gay computer. Since I have become an Apple owner, I have been exposed to a whole new world of gay friends. It is really a pleasure to meet and compute with other homos such as myself. I plan on using my new Apple computer as a way to entice and recruit young schoolboys into the homosexual lifestyle; it would be so helpful if you could produce more software which would appeal to young boys. Thanks in advance.

with much gayness,

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day, S.J.

Important items of note (5, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 11 years ago | (#7283274)

It's worth noting a few important things:

First, from a an Oct 22 New York Times [nytimes.com] story:

Officials at the school said that they were still finalizing their results and that the final speed number might be significantly higher.

This will likely be the case.

Second, they're only 0.224 Tflops away from the only Intel-based cluster above it. So saying "all the Intel machines" in the story is kind of inaccurate, as if there are all kinds of Intel-based clusters that will still be faster; there is only one Intel-based cluster above it, and with only preliminary numbers for the Virgina Tech cluster at that.

Third, this figure is with around 2112 processors, not the full 2200 processors. With all 1100 nodes, even with no efficiency gain, it will be number 3, as-is.

Finally, this is the a cluster of several firsts:

First major cluster with PowerPC 970

First major cluster with Apple hardware

First major cluster with Infiniband

First major cluster with Mac OS X (Yes, it is running Mac OS X 10.2.7, NOT Linux or Panther [yet])

Linux on Intel has been at this for years. This cluster was assembled in 3 months. There is no reason for the Virginia Tech cluster to remain at ~40% efficiency. It is more than reasonable to expect higher than 50%.

It's still destined for number 3, and its performance will likely even climb for the next Top 500 list as the cluster is optimized. The final results will not be officially announced until a session on November 18 at Supercomputing 2003.

Re:Important items of note (2, Interesting)

Ianoo (711633) | about 11 years ago | (#7283308)

I wonder how dual Xeon boxes would do using Infiniband? Probably a lot better than they're doing at the moment.

Re:Important items of note (2, Interesting)

Evil Adrian (253301) | about 11 years ago | (#7283357)

Officials at the school said that they were still finalizing their results and that the final speed number might be significantly higher.

This will likely be the case.


Why is this likely? The number dropped, why is it more likely to go up rather than down (or nowhere, for that matter)?

Actually, it's already at 8.2 Tflop today (Oct 22) (2, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 11 years ago | (#7283397)

So, yes, these numbers are preliminary, and yes, they WILL increase - they already are. See http://www.netlib.org/benchmark/performance.pdf (the official source of preliminary numbers), page 53.

Re:Important items of note (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | about 11 years ago | (#7283416)

Why is this likely? The number dropped,...

The EFFICIENCY dropped from 80% to 40%. The total output (in TFLOPS) went up from the previous test with only a fraction of the processors. Perhaps you're thinking it went down because actual is less than theoretical? That was, of course, to be expected.

Re:Important items of note (5, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | about 11 years ago | (#7283449)

The number dropped because they used a better benchmark (testing all the nodes, rather than a subset). It'll probably go up because now they'll be able to tune the system to get around bottlenecks.

Re:Important items of note (4, Insightful)

Durinia (72612) | about 11 years ago | (#7283401)

On the other side of the issue is that it places 4th in the current Top 500 list, which was released in June. We won't really know where it places on this "moving target" until the next list is released in November.

Not really (4, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 11 years ago | (#7283442)

The preliminary performance report at http://www.netlib.org/benchmark/performance.pdf contains the new entries for the upcoming list as well (see page 53).

NEW YORK TIMES DETECTED (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283493)

Someone double-check the facts to make sure they're not lying again.

Also Important? (3, Informative)

ThosLives (686517) | about 11 years ago | (#7283514)

If you read the fine print, the Nmax for the G5 was 100,000 higher than for the Linux cluster. Now, that's kind of interesting, because the G5 cluster was then only slightly slower doing a much bigger (450,000 Nmax vs 350,000 Nmax on the Xeons) problem. I wonder why they don't somehow scale the FLOPs to reflect this fact.

Anyone know how much merit there is to using Nmax (or N1/2) to compare different systems?

You forgot a few firsts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283553)

First major cluster that was ridiculously over hyped and over reported

First cluster that caused Maccies to orgasm without even touching themselves

First cluster that was built entirely out of cancelled/pushed back orders for machines by "the little people"

First cluster to cause the generation of 4.6 terabytes of false reporting about Dell cluster cost exaggeration, overblown performance figures, projected hyper-linear scaling....

Innovative, to say the least.

Re:Important items of note (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283655)

0.224 tflops is like 2000 P4s worth of calculatin'.

Expressing something in a decimal doesn't make it less significant.

BAHAHAHAAH (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283279)

You fucking mac fag boiz lose again.

Another victory for gayness and taking it up your ass.

Here's a nickel, go buy yourself a real computer.

Die

Dear Father O'Day (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283283)

Dear Father O'Day,

Thanks for your letter. Being Catholic myself, I know exactly what you're talking about! It has always been our plan here at Apple Computer Inc to revolutionize personal computing with our high-quality and highly gay products.

I'm happy to answer your letter by letting you know that YES we will be releasing an entire hLife ("homo-life") software line. You'll be able to recognize it in stores by the small stylized logo depicting a large cock entering a tight anus with an Apple logo on it. ("Suddenly it all comes together" indeed!).

Anyway, I hope you and other members of our community will join us on our mission, and purchase the exciting new hLife boxed set. Only the boxed set comes with translucent cock rings!

Sincerely,

Harry Rodman
Vice-president
Homosexual Liaison Services
Apple Computer, Inc.

the REAL reason to build a top-5 supercomputer (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283284)

What they're not telling you is that the real reason they are building a supercomputer is because the only copy of the router passwords is GPG-encrypted, and they lost the key.

Too good to be true... (5, Insightful)

mrtroy (640746) | about 11 years ago | (#7283289)

That 80% efficiency simply sounded too good to be true, and it was.

Now its at 44%. Thats not a small drop, thats a MASSIVE drop.

They didnt predict any loss in going from a small subset to the whole system? Or was it a publicity stunt (we can outperform everyone! our names are __________!)

Re:Too good to be true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283352)

They predicted it would drop from 80% to about 60% with all the nodes which obviously didn't happen.

Re:Too good to be true... (1, Troll)

DoctorScooby (669432) | about 11 years ago | (#7283450)

How the HELL is this flamebait? Oh, because it's telling the truth about Apple for once. Jeezus Christ you people are a bunch of Apple-humping patsies.

I bet you're still pissed off at people coming forward and admitting their TiBook paint is chipping, or their AlBooks have white spots on the screen too. Apple's good, but they're not perfect, you shilling Woz-humpers.

QUICK! HIDE THE TRUTH!
PEOPLE MIGHT HEAR!
EVERYONE GATHER TOGETHER TO PROTECT APPLE'S PERFECT IMAGE!

Since the mods are insane. REPOST (-1, Redundant)

DAldredge (2353) | about 11 years ago | (#7283488)

That 80% efficiency simply sounded too good to be true, and it was.

Now its at 44%. Thats not a small drop, thats a MASSIVE drop.

They didnt predict any loss in going from a small subset to the whole system? Or was it a publicity stunt (we can outperform everyone! our names are __________!)
--
[I can picture a world without war, without hate. I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it]

Re:Too good to be true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283524)

why do they not split this cluster into smaller clusters. have 17, 128 nodes clusters all getting 80% instead of one large 2200 proc machine getting ~40%?

Thank GOD (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283293)

I knew the Mac zealots were overblowing this story, as they always do. You guys are so fucking cool!!!

Big mac cluster.. (4, Funny)

jandrese (485) | about 11 years ago | (#7283295)

That's nothing, last time I benchmarked my Big Mac Cluster (100 Big Macs) it came to almost 57.6 megacalories. Those Apples will never be able to match that!

Re:Big mac cluster.. (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 11 years ago | (#7283410)

Calorie is a unit of heat transfer, 1 Cal (uppercase C) is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1g of water 1 degree celsius. Lower case calorie is 1/100th that.

Re:Big mac cluster.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283454)

The unit of measurement accepted by scientists and governments worldwide is the calorie, designated cal. It is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius. This is the standard unit of heat transfer and is one thousandth of the Calorie used in nutrition designated by C. Calories are the currency of heat exchange in Earth's radiation balance.

Re:Big mac cluster.. (3, Funny)

Frymaster (171343) | about 11 years ago | (#7283510)

1 Cal (uppercase C) is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1g of water 1 degree celsius

which brings up a totally off topic question.... a can of coke is 350 ml. it contains 300 calories.

now, let's say i drink this coke. it is really cold - say 4 degrees. my body temperature is a nice, mamallish 37 degrees. by drinking this coke i am warming up 350 g of what is essentially water from the temperature of the can to that of my body - a difference of 33 degress.

33c * 350ml = 11550 calories.

since the coke is only 300ish calories in the first place...

why don't i lose weight drinking ice cold coke?

Re:Big mac cluster.. (4, Funny)

cK-Gunslinger (443452) | about 11 years ago | (#7283585)

I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

HIBT? HIL? IIAND? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283586)

Because nutritionists deal with Kcals, but call them cals. So they're off a matter of 1000x when talking to thermodynamacists.

Re:Big mac cluster.. (3, Informative)

zulux (112259) | about 11 years ago | (#7283598)

since the coke is only 300ish calories in the first place...

For consumers, food calories are really kilo-calories. So in this case, you coke has 300,000 physic-style calories.

If you look at a euopean food-labels, sometime you can seem them writen as kcal.

Re:Big mac cluster.. (1)

CrowScape (659629) | about 11 years ago | (#7283609)

You need to show that the energy heating the 350 g of cold liquid would not have been emitted anyway and that your ingestion of the coke did, in fact, cause your body to sufficiently increase the ammount of fuel it burned in order to stay warm. Your body probably did react in some small degree to the drop in temperature, but not nearly enough to make up for the 300 calories. It's a decent arguement for drinking soda cold, though, I suppose.

Re:Big mac cluster.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283633)

How calories work [howstuffworks.com] .

Re:Big mac cluster.. (1)

gordyf (23004) | about 11 years ago | (#7283647)

I've wondered that myself. It would seem that drinking cold water (or ice!) would be an excellent way to lose weight, but it doesn't seem to be that way...

Re:Big mac cluster.. (1)

hondo77 (324058) | about 11 years ago | (#7283512)

Our thanks to the Anal Retentive Chef [goodeatsfanpage.com] for his guest editorial.

Re:Big mac cluster.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283414)

That's the funniest thing I've read all day

Re:Big mac cluster.. (1, Funny)

mccrew (62494) | about 11 years ago | (#7283475)

...my Big Mac Cluster...

Um, yeah, could I get some fries with that?

Re:Big mac cluster.. (1)

CrowScape (659629) | about 11 years ago | (#7283478)

Assuming each chip dissipates 42 Watts, give it about 44 minutes and it will match 100 Big Macs.

Re:Big mac cluster.. (1)

3Suns (250606) | about 11 years ago | (#7283636)

Seeing as a large apple is about 100 kilocalories, you'd need a cluster of maybe 580 apples to best your Big Mac Cluster. If you go to an apple orchard I'm sure you could find a better price-performance ratio with apples than you could with Big Macs at McDonalds. Plus, most orchards will probably let you gather virtually unlimited quantities of fallen apples for free.

Instant Numbers... (3, Insightful)

Dracolytch (714699) | about 11 years ago | (#7283297)

Not terribly surprising. Much like estimated death tolls for disasters, never believe the first set of benchmarks for a computer. Wait until thorough testing can be done before you start believing the numbers.

Y'all should know this by now. ;)
~D

Are all macs like this? (-1, Flamebait)

NaCh0 (6124) | about 11 years ago | (#7283304)

Poor effeciency and it will take months to stabilize?

Doesn't sound like a good deal to me.

Re:Are all macs like this? (1)

Jesrad (716567) | about 11 years ago | (#7283361)

Not all Macs, just clusters of G5s. The thing's experimental, you know.

Besides, I wouldn't complain about my computer outputting only 7.4 TFlops.

No, but all trolls are like you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283419)

Thhbbt!

Re:Are all macs like this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283467)

How long does it typically take to tune a supercomputer cluster? The order of "months" seems pretty good. I would expect "years" on a typical system of this scale.

It took me months to get Windows tuned and stable on a single PC. (And the jury's still out on that one)

Does anyone else have trouble reconciling... (4, Funny)

ikewillis (586793) | about 11 years ago | (#7283313)

"best price performance" and "Apple" in their minds?

Re:Does anyone else have trouble reconciling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283593)

Thanks for sacrificing your post so some Mac zeolot can mark it down. That is one fewer point they can use to mod their own viewpoint up.

Re:Does anyone else have trouble reconciling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283620)

What a dumbfuck.

Why the fuck do morons post dimwitted comments UNDER THEIR REAL LOGIN???

People read your post history.

Catch Phrase (4, Funny)

humpTdance (666118) | about 11 years ago | (#7283314)

Best Price/Performance ratio = promotional video with the phrase:

"Virginia Tech: Home of the Poor Man's Supercomputer and Michael Vick."

mod this funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283370)

please.

Frys... (0, Offtopic)

Lodragandraoidh (639696) | about 11 years ago | (#7283329)

Could I have frys with that?

Re:Frys... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 11 years ago | (#7283438)

just pour some coke(liquid kind of) inside few of them.

i'd think it would fry then.

Your best buys... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283535)

... are **always** at Frys!

Guaranteed.

I bet VT saw an ad, tried to get all its bits and pieces there, then realized ya' can't get anything they actually advertise, and everything else is opened-box returns... But the surly staff make ya' feel right at home!

Oh. You meant "fries." My mistake!

This is NOT all that surprising. (5, Insightful)

dbirchall (191839) | about 11 years ago | (#7283331)

A single G5 FPU (each CPU has 2) can do 1 64-bit (double precision) FLOPs per cycle, or 2 if and only if those two are a MULTIPLY and an ADD.

Apparently there are a lot of cases where a MULTIPLY and an ADD do come together like that, but I'm not surprised if LINPACK doesn't consist entirely of those pairs. ;)

The 17.6 TFLOP theoretical peak assumed a perfect case consisting entirely of MULTIPLY-ADD pairs. In a case assuming no MULTIPLY-ADD pairs, the theoretical peak is 8.8 TFLOPs.

7.4 TFLOPs is only 42% of 17.6 TFLOPs, but it's 84% of 8.8 TFLOPs. I suspect the actual "efficiency" of the machine lies somewhere in the middle.

(As for me, I'm happy with just ONE dualie...)

Re:This is NOT all that surprising. (2, Informative)

humpTdance (666118) | about 11 years ago | (#7283481)

Until these applications are written in 64 bit code, it won't matter. Smeagol and Panther will still have to cross that bridge so old utilization rates will continue to apply.

From: http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/39/31995.html [slashdot.org]

The PowerPC architecture was always defined as a true 64-bit environment with 32-bit operation defined as a sub-set of that environment and a 32/64-bit 'bridge', as used by the 970, to "facilitate the migration of operating systems from 32-bit processor designs to 64-bit processors".

The 'bridge' technology essentially allows the 970 to host 32-bit operating systems and apps that have been modified to support 64-bit addresses and larger files sizes as both Smeagol and Panther have. Adding 64-bit address support to existing applications lies at the heart of the optimisations for the Power Mac G5 that Apple suggests developers make.

Re:This is NOT all that surprising. (4, Informative)

hackstraw (262471) | about 11 years ago | (#7283544)

FWIW here are the efficiencies for the top 10 on www.top500.org:

87.5 NEC Earth-Simulator
67.8 Hewlett-Packard ASCI Q
69.0 Linux Networx MCR Linux Cluster Xeon
59.4 IBM ASCI White
73.2 IBM SP Power3
71.5 IBM xSeries Cluster
45.1 Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER HPC2500
79.2 Hewlett-Packard rx2600
72.0 Hewlett-Packard AlphaServer SC
77.7 Hewlett-Packard AlphaServer SC

Some tweaking will do it good... (1)

overbyj (696078) | about 11 years ago | (#7283335)

If you look at the difference #3 and #4 on the list, you see it is quite small. The G5 should be capable of more than a little better performance than a Xeon (which is the #3 cluster) in floating point. Some good tweaking will increase the efficiency this preliminary number is just over 40% theoretical, which largely points to a lack of optimization for that cluster.

Re:Some tweaking will do it good... (2, Interesting)

defl8ed (690375) | about 11 years ago | (#7283670)

Yes, the G5 should be capable of more than a little better performance than "a Xeon", but what I find interesting is that it is a Xeon which was initially released well over a year ago by Intel. What I am curious about is if someone could build an equally "cost-efficient" super computer based on more recent intel hardware. The differences in speed, cache, front side bus, etc. that Intel has made in the past year would no doubt lead to higher numbers. If I were comparing a Xeon Cluster to a G4 cluster, people would scream that it's apples and oranges - why does the same not hold true for intel CPUs?

This Mac cluster (-1, Flamebait)

stratjakt (596332) | about 11 years ago | (#7283336)

This is like a million macs all running linux?

Impressive.

How would one go about calculating how many orders of magnitude gayer this is than a single G5?

Gayest cluster since "Queer Eye" hit the air.

WTG U of A(nus).

Would anyone like to help me (0, Flamebait)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | about 11 years ago | (#7283349)

build a 7.4 TFlops computer for 500 pounds [slashdot.org] ? Please?

This is still cool! (1)

Lord_Pain (165272) | about 11 years ago | (#7283351)

I'm a big Mac fan. But I have to say that this kind of project, whether it involves Macs or Intel machines, is just too cool.

This is what it's all about for me. Seeing what you can do to push the envelope AND in the mean time getting something useful out of the whole endevour.
Cost efficient super-computers is a worthy goal. Earth quake prediction, simulated stress on a skyscaper, launch/re-entry calculations for spacecraft, etc. There is no end to all the good that can come from this sort of pioneering spirit.

Sorry! I get kind of goofy when I see cool stories like this. :)

Official comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283354)

Ha Ha!

The Mac cluster is still on top per CPU (4, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | about 11 years ago | (#7283363)

While these numbers will no doubt come as a disappointment for Mac zealots who wanted to blow away all the Intel machines, it should still be noted that this is the best price/performance ratio ever achieved on a supercomputer.

It still bests all other Intel hardware with only the Alpha hardware on top. And given the CPU count, even the Alpha hardware does not match it. Look at the numbers.....The Linux based 2.4Ghz cluster has almost 200 more CPU's on board with a 217 Gflop/sec difference. The Alpha clusters are running anywhere from 1,984 to 6,048 more CPU's.

Re:The Mac cluster is still on top per CPU (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283420)

That's right, it's still the best according to some utterly unimportant metric you made up just to save face after talking so much shit earlier. Good little Mac zealot, you are...

Re:The Mac cluster is still on top per CPU (1)

Rhys (96510) | about 11 years ago | (#7283462)

That depends how much a maintinence nightmare it ends up being. Time will tell. Raw number crunching is great but is not the end all be all of clusters, as strange as that may sound.

Re:The Mac cluster is still on top per CPU (1)

stevesliva (648202) | about 11 years ago | (#7283483)

Look at the numbers.....The Linux based 2.4Ghz cluster has almost 200 more CPU's on board with a 217 Gflop/sec difference. The Alpha clusters are running anywhere from 1,984 to 6,048 more CPU's.
For those of you wading through that huge postscript file, you want Table 3 on page 53, which actually shows the Big Mac beating a Xeon cluster, but just behind an Itanium 2 cluster.

Now at 8.2 Tflop as of today (Oct 22) (4, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 11 years ago | (#7283366)

See http://www.netlib.org/benchmark/performance.pdf [netlib.org] page 53.

Since yesterday's release at 7.41 Tflop, the G5 cluster has already increased almost a Tflop, and is now ahead of the current #3 MCR Linux cluster, and about 0.5 Tflop behind a new Itanium 2 cluster.

Re:Now at 8.2 Tflop as of today (Oct 22) (1)

morcheeba (260908) | about 11 years ago | (#7283495)

So, at that rate, they should be #2 by Haloween!

Big Mac? How does that compare with a WOPR? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283367)

/Watched WarGames too many times as a kid.

And mac fans are complaining? (1)

downix (84795) | about 11 years ago | (#7283380)

If someone used off-the-shelf machines that my company made, and got even into the top-10, you can bet your bottom dollar that the next thing in my job-pile would be a "make an announcement that we're in the top-10 fastest computers in the world."

This is fantastic, no matter what way you cut it! Using commodity components, these folk have turned the G5 into a real champion. No longer do budgets have to be in the hundreds, or even tens of millions to get a top-notch supercomputer. And this is not even the end, at the rate things are going, I would highly suspect that IBM is considering the G5 for one of it's own supercomputer projects, so hope is not lost yet. Imaging an IBM supercomputer, for under $1 million! Beat up your favorite chess champion and still afford the mansion in the Bahamas. 8)

What "commodity"? (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | about 11 years ago | (#7283591)

What's makes a "commodity" component? Or "off-the-shelf" component?

The component cost of machines built out of "commodity" equipment still is much, much too high to warrant all the attention these machines have been getting.

I'd like to see hot machines and clusters built out of something I could afford to buy on a couple month's wages. What everyone's paying attention to costs more money than I'll probably hold over five years.

Re:And mac fans are complaining? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | about 11 years ago | (#7283666)

Umm, they've got the POWER4, which is internally the same thing as the G5 (which they also make). WHY would they use the consumer-grade G5 (that Apple is demanding in mass quantities) when they can use the POWER4 that does the same thing and is server-grade (and IBM already uses)?

Bizarro slashdot day (0, Offtopic)

jargoone (166102) | about 11 years ago | (#7283384)

First an article talking about a Linux PDA, then an article talking about a Windows Mobile 2003 SmartPhone.

Then a typical Apple-lover's article about the new PowerBook, now one that will surely break the hearts of all the Dell haters from last week.

What the hell is going on today?!?

They didn't save the world AGAIN? (4, Insightful)

ianscot (591483) | about 11 years ago | (#7283385)

Yet another Apple product that failed to save the world. Lately they do nothing but disappoint us. Boo.

First you have the iTunes store which doesn't do anything but give the average user basically anything he or she might have wanted to have in on online music store. Despite its being free, we're all cheesed off that it doesn't support OGG, or it's meant partly to push iPods (duh), or whatever.

Now this -- a supercomputer that has, to quote that again, the "best price/performance ratio ever achieved on a supercomputer." But dang it all, it doesn't completely blow away every established precedent -- it's just in the top five on the usual list of comparisons. One more crushing disappointment.

From Microsoft, we just want products that don't completely ream us. From Apple, we want the entire world to seem a little friendlier and cooler with every product release, every dot-incremenent OS update. They both disappoint us, but the expectations seem a little different...

Re:They didn't save the world AGAIN? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283430)

This fucking faggot pansy cunt fucker got a 2?

Mac Zealot.

Re:They didn't save the world AGAIN? (1)

Tokerat (150341) | about 11 years ago | (#7283648)


LOL, I think that might be the best thing I have ever read.

PS to PDF (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283396)

Which program does the best conversion of PS to PDF?

What about the RAM? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | about 11 years ago | (#7283431)

Do these benchmark results take into account that software they have to run to check for memory errors?

Macs suck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283457)

One word: Overpriced

OS X is OK if a bit slow and clunky but the hardware costs too damn much.

Re:Macs suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283621)

Read this: best price/performance ratio ever achieved on a supercomputer.

You wanker!

I am sick and tired... (2, Funny)

DavidBrown (177261) | about 11 years ago | (#7283472)

of all of these so-called "benchmark" discussions. Everyone really knows, in their heart of hearts, that the only valid benchmark is to be found in real-world applications such as Quake III. I want to know how many fps this alleged "supercomputer" gets.

Moore's Law applied (3, Interesting)

moof-hoof (678977) | about 11 years ago | (#7283517)

...it should still be noted that this is the best price/performance ratio ever achieved on a supercomputer.

Yes, but doesn't Moore's Law and the commodification of computer hardware suggest that each new generation supercomputer will have the best price/performance ratio?

Efficiency: switch topology? (2, Insightful)

mfago (514801) | about 11 years ago | (#7283541)

Efficiency is strongly dependent on the interconnect. Does anyone know if the 128 node benchmark (that supposedly showed ~80% efficiency) was run with only one Infiniband switch -- i.e. all nodes connected through only one switch?

BTW, the performance never was stated to be 17 TF, so it did not drop to 7.4 (or whatever it ends up to be).

Price vs Preformance (2, Interesting)

Metex (302736) | about 11 years ago | (#7283546)

While I am amazed at the initial price vs preformance that this cluster of macs have obtained I am worried about the eventual cost all the electricity and cooling will be for the cluster. I remeber reading in some random article that the electricity used to cool and power the computer was extimated around 3,000 midrange homes. Just from a quick calculation of homes x $100 x 12 months we get the horrible figure of 3.6mil. So over a 10 year lifespan of the cluster it will cost 36mil more the the current price.

While it is still cheaper then the original cost of Intell or IBM super computers I personaly would rather spend more and waste alot less electricity, since if I remeber correctly the cost of engery for comparable super computers was in the range of 0.5 mil-1 mil. Although they are stationed in other countries so the cost of electricity could be dramaticly less in japan then in america but I doubt it. Someone should really get the kW per hour used by the top 5 super computers and then calculate the price per year based on that.

Pentium 4.... non xeon? (1)

davidylin (581724) | about 11 years ago | (#7283547)

I wonder how cheap an Intel cluster would become using discounted Pentium 4's or even the celerons.

I like to lick weiners. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283566)

NT.

Thats nothing (4, Funny)

madpierre (690297) | about 11 years ago | (#7283583)

I installed a button on the front of my cluster
to manually clock the CPU's.

So far i've managed ONE whole flop.

My record is for the slowest supercomputer
on the planet.

News.com.com also has story on this.... (1)

Omega1045 (584264) | about 11 years ago | (#7283587)

The Story is also here [com.com] at News.com.com

44% efficiency is the best of all time -- not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7283603)

What are you smoking? The efficiencies of the top 5 supercomputers (R_max/R_peak) are: .87, .67, .69, .59, .73 -- I got bored after that...

An efficiency of 44% is about the *worst* I've ever heard.
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