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Earth Simulator, G5 Cluster Drop In 'Top 500' List

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the win-some-lose-some-send-me-some dept.

Technology (Apple) 343

daveschroeder writes "The November Top 500 supercomputer list has been published at SC2004. Topping the charts is IBM and the US Department of Energy's 'BlueGene/L DD2' beta system, at 70.72 TFlops, followed by NASA's 'Columbia' at 51.87.TFlops. For the first time in several publications of this list, Japan's Earth Simulator is no longer in the number one slot, falling to third. Virginia Tech's 'System X' Xserve G5 cluster, while 20% faster than the original cluster that debuted at number 3 last November, has fallen to number 7 due to the new entries, but remains the fastest supercomputer at an academic institution. Here's an excellent cost comparison (Google cache) of the top machines ('System X' is significantly cheaper than anything else in the top 20, not to mention cheaper than many things far below it in performance)."

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Just imagine (1)

The Islamic Fundamen (728413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763174)

A large beowolf cluster of all these machines. Think of the frames you could get on HL2 or Doom 3!!

Re:Just imagine (1)

Spodie! (675056) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763198)

Hell, I'd just love to have access for a weekend and load up Folding@Home on it. Love to see those stats!

Re:Just imagine (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763417)

Hook it up and I think that 'anonymous' may just be displaced as the top contributor...

Re:Just imagine (2, Funny)

BottleCup (691335) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763414)

It seems like every time there is a new supercomputer in a Slashdot headline, the first few responses are about running Doom 3 or some other FPS. Those computers are better off used for among other things to create predictive complex simulations like global weather, seismic activity, the global economy etc ... etc. Using such a beast for a simple FPS would be such a waste.

Re:Just imagine (2, Funny)

mlk (18543) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763494)

Using such a beast for a simple FPS would be such a waste.
So true, we should use a complex, awe-inspiring game, which will push the limits of any machine. I suggest Nethack.

18th post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763182)

ohh yeah baby!

Hmm (5, Insightful)

foxalopex (522681) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763187)

Err, I'm not sure if the costs can be accurately compared in this way. One needs to remember that a cluster of separate computers acting as a supercomputer compared to a custom designed hardwired system isn't exactly the same thing! Otherwise you can start comparing stuff like SETI which I'm sure is the world's cheapest supercomputer because it technically didn't cost anything to SETI themselves.

Re:Hmm (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763304)

Viruses are the new supercomputers.

Sounds right, actually (3, Insightful)

MooseByte (751829) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763316)


"I'm not sure if the costs can be accurately compared in this way. [ ... ] Otherwise you can start comparing stuff like SETI which I'm sure is the world's cheapest supercomputer"

Actually that sounds like a perfectly valid comparison, SETI included. In bang for the buck SETI deserves to win hands-down in that scenario, and fairly. System X deserves its place as well.

Re:Sounds right, actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763469)

Except that not all supercomputers are created equally. Sure, it may be cheaper, but that doesn't mean it can solve the same problems as the custom built ones.

Bandwidth and latency issues play a role in what a supercomputer can accomplish with its theoretical FLOPS rating. Not all problems can be split up to work on a SETI style cluster.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763381)

I'd guess the servers that send and recieve data from SETI clients aren't exactly cheap. Cheaper than building a more traditional cluster, but it certainly wasn't free.

Re:Hmm (1)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763476)

If you put conditions on the comparison, such as the computers are all housed at the same location and the money came from the same place, then the comparison works fine. Donations don't have to be counted, because that's up to each institution's discretion and individual efforts to collect.

Re:Hmm (5, Insightful)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763551)

All the systems on the Top 500 list are benchmarked running Linpack. If you can run Linpack on SETI@home, you're welcome to count it.

The Dept. of Energy (5, Funny)

aztektum (170569) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763189)

I hear they're using it to convert heat into electricity for the rest of the government. Hence their name.

Re:The Dept. of Energy (1)

thegoogler (792786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763242)

No, there using it to keep the earth warm.. you think that molten core stays molten all by itself?

Pizza arguments (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763194)

A few more thoughts...

Before anyone says "Of course System X is cheaper! Virginia Tech had free student labor to put it together! They paid them in pizza!"

The only thing anywhere close to System X is NCSA's Tungsten, a 2500 processor Pentium IV Xeon Dell Linux cluster. It cost $12 million, just for the asset (comparable to System X's $5.8 million overall price, including the upgrade to Xserve G5s). That's twice the cost, and over 2Tflops less performance. 2Tflops is a top 100 supercomputer...so it's a whole top 100 supercomputer poorer in performance, for an extra $6.2 million.

Another example is PNNL's 1936 processor Itanium2 cluster: 3.5Tflops less performance than System X, for $25 million.

Any way you slice it - no pun intended - System X is still a LOT cheaper, even if you allot, say $2M for professional installation and systems integration - an EXTREMELY liberal estimate, probably by an order of magnitude.

System X also has the highest Rmax per CPU of any system on the list, except for specialty non-commodity systems like Earth Simulator.

And on top of it all, last November, they hit #3 in the world, #2 in the US, and #1 academic, as well as the first academic site to ever exceed 10Tflops, all for less than $7 million in total - including all improvements to buildings, physical plant, and other infrastructure.

That first system might not have had ECC, but what it did do is break into the top 5, following all the rules of the Top 500 organization, for relative pocket change - for a price that was absolutely unheard of, sharing the spotlight with systems that cost $100 million or more - and also catapulted Virginia Tech to a supercomputing center of national prominence overnight, able to attract additional attention, funding, grants, and publicity. Not to mention testing and proving the suitability of a completely new OS, platform, processor, and interconnect for high-performance computing, increasing choice for all (and resulting in new clusters based on the same technology, such as the US Army/COLSA cluster). And even as new systems enter the top ten in the tens and hundreds of millions of dollars, System X retains the title of #1 at any academic institution, and shares the top 10 with the best of the best.

Seems to me that Virginia Tech pulled a real coup here, and a full year later, is still considerably cheaper that anything else. And now, it's being used for real scientific work. To bring a whole new platform onto the scene in essentially under a year and break into the ranks of the supercomputing elite virtually overnight, and to do it significantly, and sometimes ridiculously, cheaper than everyone else, is a feat that can't be ignored.

Thanks for that post (5, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763235)

That was a close one... I was starting to worry that Apple might be dying again.

Re:Pizza arguments (3, Insightful)

thpr (786837) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763251)

Before anyone says "Of course System X is cheaper! Virginia Tech had free student labor to put it together! They paid them in pizza!"

No, my real question would be: What is the ongoing operating expenses of System X? After all, I'm interested in total cost of ownership, not in acquisition cost.

Re:Pizza arguments (3, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763273)

I'm sure it would be similar to any Linux cluster in the top 10; there's no reason to believe it should be any different or require significantly different levels of system administration and maintenance.

power costs? (4, Interesting)

CaptainPinko (753849) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763332)

adminstration and maintenance similar perhaps... but what about power?a few watts per core adds to a lot more heat PLUS the cost of cooling. i think it would be interesting if they printed a FLOP/$ per annum for each of the top 500. the cost of acquisition being spread evenly over the lifetime of the cluster.

Re:power costs? (5, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763394)

That's easy...the Xserve G5s consume a LOT less power (and therefore generate less heat, resulting in lower cooling costs) than any competitive products (Xeon, Itanium2, Opteron)...and this was true even when they were using the 970 (as opposed to the 970fx they are using now).

Several of the researchers at Virginia Tech have referred to this in various news stories numerous times - one estimate was over two times less power than comparable systems.

Re:Pizza arguments (3, Informative)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763509)

I remember the power usage and heat generation was lower than the competition... they were able to save a lot of money on cooling systems by going with the G5's. That has to be saving them a lot of money day to day. I don't have the wattage numbers on hand right now, but I do remember G5's beating P4's, Opterons and especially Xeons, so there's no way Virgina Tech is paying what those x86 top ten people are in energy bills. The XServe's keep track of their fans and internal temperature, automatically letting the admin know when a machine is GOING TO FAIL and preemptively swap out faulty components before they cause serious damage to the systems. I don't know what sort of Apple Care that kind of system comes with, but I'm sure it's competitive with their consumer systems, I'd imagine any hardware failures are completely covered absolutely free for at least the first year, probably three or more if they pay Apple for any support.

-Don.

VT ongoing cost of ownership evaluation... (4, Funny)

MacDork (560499) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763514)

200 pizzas a week. ;-)

Re:VT ongoing cost of ownership evaluation... (2, Funny)

LittleBigLui (304739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763560)

You USians and your funny units... how much is that in Libraries-of-Congress?

Re:Pizza arguments (5, Informative)

hernick (63550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763561)

A major cost is power and cooling requirements. According to Apple, a single drive, dual processor 2.0GHz XServe will use about 250W peak. Virginia Tech has 2.3GHz machines and Infiniband PCI-X cards. There's also networking gear and other support equipment to consider. So, we'll use a high figure of 350W per node, giving us a 40% overhead. As for heat production, same overhead, 1200BTU/h per node.

We're going to consider the worst-case scenario, under which we have a 100% load, year round, on all 1100 nodes. That gives us a power consumption of 385kW and 1320kBTU/h of heat generation.

Now, we need to get rid of that heat, and that's going to require a lot of power. My research indicates up to 300kW may be required, but that's a high number and actual requirements may be lower.

So, here we are, with 685kW required for power and cooling. That means a 6000MW/h a year.

Now, the cost of power is high, since you need to amortize and maintain the UPS equipment and the generators. We'll use a figure of 0.15$/kW/h, or 150$/MW/h. Very generous.

So here we are. The absolute worst case for power and cooling. Full load, year round, expensive cooling, overpriced power and amortized UPS and generators.

900 000$/yr. Below a million. It's not that bad, is it ? The real cost is likely below a half-million.

As for the rest, well, how much pizza is really required to entice graduate students and professors to work on that machine ?

Don't get carried away with LINPACK flops/cost! (4, Informative)

Richard Mills (17522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763361)

You raise good points, and the team at Virginia Tech did do something remarkable. That said, cost per flop of the LINPACK benchmark is interesting but not particularly meaningful. For instance:

"Another example is PNNL's 1936 processor Itanium2 cluster: 3.5Tflops less performance than System X, for $25 million"

What is not captured by the LINPACK scores is that PNNL's machine will absolutely spank the BigMac cluster at what the PNNL machine is intended for: running computational chemistry codes such as NWChem. A lot of the cash for the PNNL machine went into large memories and fast I/O that simply does not show up in the LINPACK benchmark. Furthermore, there are a lot of very high-profile scientific publications that have come out of the computational chemistry abilities of the PNNL machine. That's something else extremely important that doesn't show up in the rankings.

There are a lot of similar examples, but the PNNL one is one that I know something about, so I chose it. Basically, I'm saying to not read too much into those cost comparisons. It really is comparing Apples to oranges... er, HPs in this case. =)

Re:Pizza arguments (1)

natet (158905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763537)

You are comparing apples to oranges when all you look at is the total cost of the system. First of all, the VT computer doesn't have the same level of support as other computer installations. I can only speak directly of the PNNL computer, as until recently I was on the team of administrators on that computer, but we had a team of hardware engineers on site to handle any of the hardware problems that occur in the operation of the system. Second. the PNNL supercomputer has nearly a half a pedabyte of disk. Yes, that's nearly 500 TB of disk space. That is where the bulk of the $25 million was spent. We purchased such a large amount of disk because the computer was being built to solve a specific class of problems.

Price per flop is a very poor mesure of the value of a supercomputer. All it amounts to are some good sound bites.

Hey (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763196)

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And we thought Macs were expensive (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763201)

Guess not.

Crazy Japanese. (-1, Troll)

Daleks (226923) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763206)

I wonder how many tentacle porn or shizer movies were rendered on the Earth Simulator.

Power architecture does well (5, Insightful)

blamanj (253811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763209)

5 of the 10 top machines use the Power archtecture, either the Power4 or PPC family.

Re:Power architecture does well (1)

ghutchis (7810) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763238)

And 8 of the top 25 by my count. Not bad at all--and quite a chance from the last few rankings, where Intel really ruled.

Re:Power architecture does well (5, Informative)

Brett Johnson (649584) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763300)

It is actually 6 of the top 10, and 13 of the top 25.

Re:Power architecture does well (5, Informative)

Brett Johnson (649584) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763392)

I think it is interesting that 11% of the top 500 are Power architecture, and 64% of the top 500 are intel based systems. Yet 50% of the top 10 are Power architecture and only 20% of the top 10 are intel architecture. Also interesting is that the Power based systems seem to have twice the Mflop/dollar ratio over the intel systems.

EARTH TO MAC ZEALOTS: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763211)

System X is not a single system image machine. It will not work well for problems requiring low internode latency and high internode bandwidth in comparison to a real supercomputer.

Christ, clusters are not the end all and be all of high performance computing systems.

HELLO THIS IS MAC ZEALOTS: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763246)

You are entering the Reality Distortion Field

Prepare to be assimilated.

But.. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763269)

It doesn't matter. The brushed aluminum case makes it at LEAST 3 times faster.

Re:EARTH TO MAC ZEALOTS: (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763274)

Don't discount infiniband... it has one of the lowest internode latencies available (quadrics has a lower latency, but lower max bandwidth). So if an OS that supported multi-machine spanning was used in a senario like VA tech, you'd be dead wrong. The hardware is there, just not the software, just not yet.

Re:EARTH TO MAC ZEALOTS: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763337)

Infiniband is no replacement for the kind of performance you get out of a real internal bus.. i.e. what Cray uses. Those are your real supercomputers and your silly Apple clusters, while nice and very economical for many situations, will fail badly for many others. SO you're dead wrong man.

Re:EARTH TO MAC ZEALOTS: (3, Insightful)

kc8apf (89233) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763401)

While you are correct that clusters are not the ultimate solution for high performance computing, single-image computers are not a great solution either. They require specific optimizations to be done for the particular system and do not lend for easy system upgrades.

Re:EARTH TO MAC ZEALOTS: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763506)

I don't know how you can say that They aren't easy to do upgrades. The 128 processor single image system I maintain is as easy as upgrading a workstation. And the applications generally don't require any optimization just to get running. Most cases it is as easy as running on a workstation, just alot bigger.

Who has coffee? (5, Insightful)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763228)

It's nice that Off The Shelf boxes like Apple and Intel can make a super computer cluster. When do the stories stop? We know that if you put enough PCs together, you get a very powerful machine. What we should be looking at is cutting edge technology in specialized CPUs. Give me 10,000 vanilla boxes and some good custom software, but give me a cutting edge CPU designed for super computing, that's science. We already know that it is possible to fill a fucking building with Pentiums, or better 68000s.

Re:Who has coffee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763256)

WTF? mod fucking parent up

Moderator Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763357)

There are maybe.. two posts (counting this one) about the pitiful inter-node performance (when compared to a real supercomputer like a Cray) and they get knocked to Redundant/Troll/Flamebait/etc. almost immediately, but when some Mac fans come by and salivate over the VT cluster, they almost all get modded up without really adding anything to the discussion.

Re:Who has coffee? (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763367)

Bah. At the end of the day, scientists actually want to compile a program and run it, without having to worry about some wacky experimental CPU architecture. Granted, some problems require innovative designs, but if the majority of your problems just require a room full of pentiums, well, whatever.

super computations? (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763232)

Earth Simulator spent a while at the top of the list - that's a lot of TFLOPs under the curve - a lot of seconds. What did it accomplish while it was king of the hill? How much Earth was simulated?

Re:super computations? (1)

Cobalt Jacket (611660) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763237)

There are prior systems which spent a lot longer there.

Re:super computations? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763257)

It's area under the curve: how much longer, but how much slower? And uptime / CPU time is the "T" axis, not "wall time"; if Earth Simulator has better utilization, it wins again with better "T%" of wall time.

Anyway, that just clarifies the competition. If others have spent more FLOPs as the "superest", what have they done with their time?

Re:super computations? (4, Funny)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763319)

They simulated the entire earth up until the creation of slashdot. Then everything suddenly ceased.

how much? (1)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763339)

blockquoth Doc Ruby
How much Earth was simulated?
All of it...

The Matrix has you, Neo.

;)

It's still running (5, Funny)

Rui del-Negro (531098) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763425)

> How much Earth was simulated?

Well, I've noticed a vew glitches (disappearing keys, poor AI in girlfriends, crazy presidents in some countries, etc.), but I'd say most of the Earth has been running reasonably well.

Sla.... (1)

kgbspy (696931) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763439)

DB Error: connect failed

Maybe they could run the top500 website on it, using up some of those spare cpu cycles...

VA Tech Supercomputer (5, Informative)

dretay (583646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763234)

I was down at Virginia Tech last year when I was looking at colleges. They would not let anyone near that computer. Even the guy who was giving the tour was complaining about the limited amount access Tech students were given. The main reason he cited was that the companies developing the supercomputer had technology that they didn't want people who had not signed NDA's to see. Anyway, the point was that while the computer may be owned by the university, students aren't even allowed to see what $5 million of their tuition bought.

Re:VA Tech Supercomputer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763266)

if virginia is anthing like my university (likely), then that money was not from tuition - it was from profit from spioff companies and research.

Who cares that you went there? Just because you didn't get to look at a bunch of Apple hardware doesn't mean we'll (a) listen to you, or (b) give a flying fuck about it.

Go home to your mother, dick.

Re:VA Tech Supercomputer (2)

dretay (583646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763288)

The point wasn't that I didn't get to look at the hardware, but that no one was able to do it. The only reason I said I had been there was to back up my position with actual facts and experience. And seriously, if you are gonna do a hostile post, at least use your account.

Re:VA Tech Supercomputer (1)

ananke (8417) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763391)

Unmm, that cluster is in a machine room of a building designed to house a lot of IT/network resources. Of course they don't let anybody just stroll in. It's not like every IT building you've been into was designed as a zoo.

Re:VA Tech Supercomputer (5, Informative)

jdog1016 (703094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763423)

It's not even technically on campus. Its at the nearby Virginia Tech Corporate Research Facility. And in any case, you can arrange a tour [vt.edu] if you want.

Re:VA Tech Supercomputer (1)

dretay (583646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763450)

Cool,
I guess a lot has changed since I was down there last year. Thanks fo the link

Re:VA Tech Supercomputer (2, Interesting)

monkeyboy87 (619098) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763559)

Tech has a long tradition of this. We weren't allowed to come near the IBM 3090 (a near super computer in the late '80's) when I was an undergrad there either.

it was housed in the CRC about 1 mile off campus in those days. Probably freed up the room for the cluster when they decomissioned the old 3090 behemoth.

Erm ... (2, Interesting)

phoxix (161744) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763243)

What exactly did the Big Mac do anyways ?

I can assume it was put to some sort of use. But I honestly get the feeling it was more to have fun, and look cool (which means more bling bling from sponsors, alumni, etc)

Sunny Dubey

Re:Erm ... (1)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763333)

Virginia Tech: We got da BLING BLING! Yeah, baby!

Re:Erm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763452)

You have been found guilty of using the term "Bling Bling". You must leave /. now, handing in your Geek bagde at the door.

Good day luser.

Re:Erm ... (3, Funny)

BJH (11355) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763574)

Bagdes? We don't need no steenking bagdes!

hehehe, IBM knows how to play (3, Funny)

BortQ (468164) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763248)

IIRC then IBM just came out with their entry very recently. Perhaps they know how to play supercomputer sniping. It's easy to learn on ebay.

Funny MIPS (3, Funny)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763252)

These numbers seem surreal, like thinking about Monopoly money. I'm sitting here at my old PII-300, analyzing the cost/power ratio of machines costing a mere $6M, or as much as $350M. This one cost, uh, nothing.

On any one of those systems, you could emulate a Beowulf cluster of this one, and still have time to play Thermonuclear War.

Re:Funny MIPS (1)

BlacKat (114545) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763271)

I thought it was Global Thermonuclear War. :)

"Would you like to play a game?"

Re:Funny MIPS (1)

ockegheim (808089) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763471)

If anyone wants an excellent flops/dollar deal they can have my old Mac SE/30 for free...

cluster operating system (2, Interesting)

MrMartini (824959) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763254)

I get a kick out of the fact that System X runs Mac OS X.

Only with Mac OS X can you get the combination of commercial software (such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop), user friendliness, no known viruses, best available security, and stability/scalability suitable for world-class superclusters.

Re:cluster operating system (1)

dretay (583646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763330)

I think you may be mistaken about the viruses

Slashdot has previously covered a http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/04/08/ 1922237&tid=172&tid=3 [slashdot.org] trojan and a http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/10/23/ 0229241&tid=179&tid=172&tid=1 [slashdot.org] opener malware.

But you're right, MUCH less than windows. I've been using my MAC for about one year now, and I have gotten 3 people in my lab to switch over.

Re:cluster operating system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763416)

Unless you're talking about network cards, 'Mac' is not an acronym.

Re:cluster operating system (1)

dretay (583646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763521)

Umm, according to wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Macintosh [wikipedia.org] it is a nickname, and I never said it was an acronym.

Re:cluster operating system (-1, Troll)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763349)

I hear the latest upgrade actually sucks Steve Jobs' cock for you.

Re:cluster operating system (0, Troll)

dretay (583646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763419)

Yah its not like Apple dominates the MP3 market or is the most widely-distributed UNIX-based operating system http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/unix/ [apple.com] or is reccomended as the safest OS http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/11/02/172 2237&tid=172&tid=179&tid=190 [slashdot.org]

Seriously, everyone seems determined to put Apple down when they are in fact producing quality products.

Re:cluster operating system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763447)

lol, that's so funny, really. normaly I get so tired of crapy trolls. but your rejoinder was quite amusing! now if only slashdot posters would all be so cool...

Re:cluster operating system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763448)

It whitens your teeth and makes your farts smell of roses, too.

what if... (0, Troll)

Suburbanpride (755823) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763268)

They made a beowulf cluster of all the top 10?

Cluster (-1, Redundant)

tuxter (809927) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763292)

Imagine a beowulf......

Earth Simulator has liberal bias (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763308)

The Earth Simulator computed that global warming will cause major climate change in the next 50 years.

Clearly it suffers from liberal bias.

Re:Earth Simulator has liberal bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763477)

"The Earth Simulator computed that global warming will cause major climate change in the next 50 years."

...and it consumed so much power it skewed the real result nearer to 42.

Excellent comparison? (0, Offtopic)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763309)

On the "excellent comparison" page... wow. Excellent? Worst use of tables EVER.

Must...not...stare...at...ugly... colors!

Honestly, can someone actually read anything from these? Ugh

Re:Excellent comparison? (1)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763433)

View-> Page styles-> No style.

Or alternativly install the EditCSS (or webdevbar) plugin and just add a rule of * {background-color: white;color:black;}

CPU benchmarks (3, Informative)

3770 (560838) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763317)

You can compare CPU benchmarks here [spec.org] .

AMD is beating the crap out of Intel.

Re:CPU benchmarks (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763497)

This is the best specint AMD has to offer (yes, the fastest operon is slower):
AMD Athlon (TM) 64 FX-55 1 core, 1 chip, 1 core/chip 1750 1854

Here is the best intel:
3.4 GHz, Pentium 4 Proce 1 core, 1 chip, 1 core/chip with HT Technology enabled 1667 1705

Here are the best specfp numbers for AMD:
AMD Athlon (TM) 64 FX-55 1 core, 1 chip, 1 core/chip 1741 1782

Which just edges out the best Pentium
3.6GHz Xeon) 1 core, 1 chip, 1 core/chip 1700 1721

But gets beaten by a low end I2
1300 MHz, Itanium 2 1 1808 1808

Also by a Fujitsu SPARC
PRIMEPOWER900 (1890MHz) 1 core, 1 chip, 1 core/chip 1510 1803

Gets trounced by the second-best I2 available
1500 MHz, Itanium 2 1 2161 2161

And gets demolished by the top end POWER5
1900 MHz, 1 CPU 1 core, 1 chip, 2 cores/chip (SMT off) 2576 2702

Re:CPU benchmarks (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763579)

Why don't you try comparing the prices of those CPUs too, eh?

move towards clusters... (1)

pagal_paanda (824030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763322)

After looking at the G5 cluster, would we see a shift in supercomputers made out of clusters? Anyone for Athlon 64 based clusters?

Why does slashdot keep posting these stories? (3, Funny)

The Pim (140414) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763329)

Is there some fantasy supercomping league I don't know about?

Re:Why does slashdot keep posting these stories? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763404)

No, there's a fantasy Mac league.

Re:Why does slashdot keep posting these stories? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763413)

No, the story just gives them an excuse to plug Apple products. If it wasn't for that, this stuff would hardly get any mention at all.

Just another PR and propaganda piece, just like their write-ups saying the ipod being better whenever mentioning other non-apple mp3 players.

Typical Mac propaganda (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763343)

"Hey look! Macs are really good at doing something you'll never make any use of."

Did anyone see... (1)

lukateake (619282) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763379)

... the No. 1 entry under the "Not Ready In Time" header? Oak Ridge is planning something in 2008 that has an estimated R-Max of 10,500. (And, no, that's not a typo!) It's a little short on details, unfortunately.

Surely someone here knows a little more. Details? Is it for real?

Fair to compare cost? (1)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763389)


I can't get the cost comparison link to work for one reason or another. But I was wondering if they were comparing current day cost, or the cost when the machine was built?

I mean, the cost of processors has gone down significantly in the past several months, so a machine built a year ago with the same speed processors as a machine built today would cost much more.

Not to mention that some of the machines on the list are most likely second (or greater) renditions of an earlier super computer, only with more procs/Ram or whatever, so those could be cheaper just because less R&D money went into them...

Just a thought, I can't see the link myself so I thought I would ponder some thoughts at those who could.

What is with the Apple fan-boyism? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763400)


Now Apple markets good computers. Tend to be on the expensive side, but they are usually high quality.

The Power970 is decent enough in itself. The opteron is more powerfull, but is also much more energy hungry. The Intel Itanium is nice but it's very expensive. etc etc

But what is this worship of Apple? It makes no sense.

Story 1: Earth simulator.. blah blah blah., but Mac cluster!

Story 2: SGI supercluster.... blah blahblah, But Mac cluster!

Story 3: Blue Gene cluster, 65000+ cpus... blah blah blah, but Mac cluster!

Realy? Who gives a fvck about the 7th place computer, and who gives a damn about cost analysis at this point? What about the Top5?

Did you know that Blue Gene is PowerPC?
Did you know that Linux now runs the majority of top super computers...

Did you know that Blue Gene proccessors only run a 700mhz??!!!

Did you know that #4 is 3564 Power970's running at 2.2 ghz? And that beats out 4000+ Intanium2's running at 1.7ghz?

This is a Geek site.. what about OSes?
By ranking:
1. Linux, 2. Linux, 3. Unix, 4. Linux, 5. Linux, 6. Unix, 7. OS X, 8. Linux, 9. Unix, 10. Linux (most powerfull x86 btw), 11. Unix, 12. Unix, 13. Linux, 14. ?, 15. Linux, 16. Linux, 17. Linux, 18. Linux, 19. Linux, 20. Unix.

Were is the most powerfull Windows computer? Well there is one cluster that is probably still on the top500. I dare you to find it, though. It's probably around #200 or #300, which is stil freaking fast.

Ok, So the big Mac is still #7. That's great, but there are 6 wonderfull computers that have all sorts of great technology that your completely ignoring because Apple wets your pants.

Did you know that Blue Gene will eventually have over 65,000 proccessors??

Re:What is with the Apple fan-boyism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763464)

"This is a Geek site.. what about OSes? By ranking: 1. Linux, 2. Linux, 3. Unix, 4. Linux, 5. Linux, 6. Unix, 7. OS X, 8. Linux, 9. Unix, 10. Linux (most powerfull x86 btw), 11. Unix, 12. Unix, 13. Linux, 14. ?, 15. Linux, 16. Linux, 17. Linux, 18. Linux, 19. Linux, 20. Unix." The real point is that the Linux machines cost more...

Re:What is with the Apple fan-boyism? (4, Funny)

MacDork (560499) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763577)

Ok, So the big Mac is still #7. That's great, but there are 6 wonderfull computers that have all sorts of great technology that your completely ignoring because Apple wets your pants.

Fine, I'm willing to talk about number 6. [apple.com] ;-)

Only on Slashdot (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763406)

Only on Slashdot would the article be about the G5 cluster instead of about the new, faster machines. In 3 years, when the VT cluster drops to #400, will you still be posting "news" about how pretty and how adorable and how appley it is...?

Can we please restrict the Apple ads to the banner? Thank you.

And yet... (-1, Offtopic)

superpixel2000 (777844) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763460)

Apple can't seem to get their email servers for .Mac to work reliably... So happy I'm paying for dot.poop [yahoo.com]

Damn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763498)

That is impressive. Earth Simulator got beat by 2! count 'em! two! supercomputers after standing supreme for a few year.

This just in... (1)

Intocabile (532593) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763502)

Supercomputers become relatively slower as faster computers are built. PowerPC based supercomputers the exception to the rule, are no exception.

Not on the list (3, Funny)

leapis (89780) | more than 9 years ago | (#10763504)

DB Error: connect failed

Apparently, the top 500 list is not actually hosted on one of the top 500 machines.

Wait for the HL2 benchmarks before buying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10763568)

Yawn...you're better of waiting until HL2 comes out before running out and buying one of these. We've all been burned once buying hardware in anticipation of HL2...
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