EmagGeek (574360) writes "In 1976, a Cray-1 supercomputer cost $36M (in 2013 dollars) and could execute floating point math at 160 MFLOP. The supercomputer had a 5.2V power supply that delivered almost 800 amps to the circuitry. The machine was the size of a small Volkswagen and required a refrigeration system to dissipate the 4000 watts of electricity it took to run.
The fastest PC video card on the market today costs $1000 and can execute floating point math at 8,200,000 MFLOP, consumes energy at a rate of just less than 400 watts, and is about the size of a paperback book.
50,000 times faster, 1/36,000 the price, 1/10th the energy, and about 1/5,000 the volume. It's interesting how they had to solve the enormous power requirements of supercomputers at the time, and how they have continued to solve them over the years as power densities have increased."
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