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The problem with the Top500 supercomputer list

angry tapir (1463043) writes | more than 3 years ago

Supercomputing 0

angry tapir writes "Like Hollywood's Academy Awards, the Top500 list of supercomputers is dutifully watched by high-performance computing (HPC) participants and observers, even as they vocally doubt its fidelity to excellence. Many question the use of a single metric — Linpack — to rank the performance of something as mind-bogglingly complex as a supercomputer. During one panel at the SC2010 conference this week in New Orleans, one high-performance-computing vendor executive joked about stringing together 100,000 Android smartphones to get the largest Linpack number, thereby revealing the "stupidity" of Linpack. While grumbling about Linpack is nothing new, the discontent was pronounced this year as more systems, such as the Tianhe-1A, used GPUs (graphics processing units) to boost Linpack ratings, in effect gaming the Top500 list."
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