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Author Topic: News Article: Microsoft & Cray Release $25,000 Supercomputer  (Read 6300 times)
Ehtyar
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« on: September 17, 2008, 04:04:41 AM »

Microsoft and Cray have teamed up to release the worlds most affordable supercomputer.




Quote
Impulse buyers, lock your credit cards in a drawer when you're browsing Amazon.com: You might end up purchasing a $25,000 compact supercomputer on a whim.

In an effort to make supercomputers mainstream, Microsoft and Cray teamed up to produce the Cray CX1, the "most affordable super computer Cray has ever offered." Unveiled Tuesday morning, the CX1 will run a new version of Microsoft Windows on either 32 or 64 Intel cores, and the desktop will carry 4 terabytes of storage, according to a GigaOM story. 

Full Story

Ehtyar.
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Edvard
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2008, 01:15:44 PM »

Ballmer & friends just couldn't leave well enough alone, could they?
Admit it, you knew it was going to happen...
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Deozaan
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2008, 04:28:12 PM »

Why would the "mainstream" even want a $25k supercomputer at home?
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Edvard
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2008, 05:26:03 PM »

*edvard sheepishly raises hand*
Now about the 25 grand... Grin

Actually I can see how financial institutions or research laboratories might want an in-house data crunching monster in the basement. And if private sector space exploration ever takes off (pun intended), something like this might make for a nice mini-Houston.
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Darwin
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2008, 05:42:28 PM »

Edvard - I wonder if we can get a bulk discount?

Seriously, though - isn't it amazing that 4 terabytes of storage seems downright pedestrian, and yet 5 years ago it was still a dream...
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Edvard
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2008, 06:17:35 PM »

Yeah...

Sometimes I look through the Best Buy ads or whatnot and see hardrives bigger than I can imagine and think "What the hell would I store on that thing that would justify a hard drive that large?"
Answer (sadly): Whatever the hell you want...


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40hz
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2008, 06:29:48 PM »

Yeah...

Sometimes I look through the Best Buy ads or whatnot and see hardrives bigger than I can imagine and think "What the hell would I store on that thing that would justify a hard drive that large?"
Answer (sadly): Whatever the hell you want...

Yeah. I remember getting a Comodore-64 to replace my Vic-20 and wondering what I was gonna do with all that RAM. Same thing when I got my first HD. It had a whopping 20 megabytes of storage.

Why would the "mainstream" even want a $25k supercomputer at home?

Just because. Don't ask me what I need it for.  Grin



"We wants it Deagol my love. Gives it to usss...It's my Preciousss..."

But seriously, I could think of a few independent animators I know that might consider pooling resources for something like this next time they were rendering high quality final output. It would also be a great tool for criminals who need to crack commercial encryption schemes more cheaply and efficiently...

(Of course, a Beowulf cluster would be faster and cheaper still, but what the hey... Cool)


Quote
Posted by: Edvard

Ballmer & friends just couldn't leave well enough alone, could they?
Admit it, you knew it was going to happen...

Nope they couldn't.

And yes, we did. Wink

« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 06:40:33 PM by 40hz » Logged

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f0dder
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2008, 05:20:31 AM »

"We wants it Deagol my love. Gives it to usss...It's my Preciousss..."
Shouldn't that be Smeagol? smiley

I wouldn't mind owning one of those monsters. I wouldn't really know what to do with all the computing power, and I couldn't afford leaving it running with that power consumption (heck, I dunno if if my fusebox could even handle the load!). But it looks cool, and the thought of having a 64kg heavy elite-looking supercomputer to heat up my flat during winter? Priceless.
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40hz
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2008, 05:45:01 AM »

"We wants it Deagol my love. Gives it to usss...It's my Preciousss..."
Shouldn't that be Smeagol? smiley

I don't think so. If memory serves Smeagol (who later came to be called Gollum) murdered Deagol to get The Ring. His argument with Deagol, where he demanded he be given the ring as his "birthday present," was the first time we hear it referred to as "Precious." smiley

and the thought of having a 64kg heavy elite-looking supercomputer to heat up my flat during winter? Priceless.

Absolutely! (Nice idea! Sorta semi-green too! Grin)

Also great for keeping that pizza warm during late night coding sessions! Put the beer on top of that homebrew liquid nitrogen cooling tower that's attached to our prototype superconducter chip and we're set to go.

Can the dream of World Domination be far off?   Cool
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2008, 03:01:35 PM »

Can the dream of World Domination be far off?

Hey! Can the dream of World Domination!

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Chris
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2008, 03:10:55 PM »

Quote
Hey! Can the dream of World Domination!
OK, I'm game... Here's a label to get started:




from MultiCherry.com
« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 03:13:27 PM by Edvard » Logged

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alivingspirit
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2008, 03:49:11 PM »

I want one. cheesy....ohmy Affordable my $%*.
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Shades
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2008, 10:34:38 PM »

"No, not tonight Brain. I have other engagements tonight!"

(It's Pinky....Pinky and the Brain...Brain...Brain...Brain...)
Ah thanks, now that stupid intro music is playing again in my head smiley

EDIT:
Then again...with that super thingy it should not be so hard to store each episode from that cartoon.

More EDIT:
At least we now know the (minimal?) requirements for Microsoft's Windows Home Server product..... Grin
« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 10:41:35 PM by Shades » Logged
40hz
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2008, 10:54:15 PM »

Rumor has it that it was designed as a "proof of concept" machine.

One that could run Vista with ALL the bells and whistles enabled. Grin
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2008, 11:14:48 PM »

LOL!

Ehtyar.
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Edvard
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2008, 12:02:21 PM »

Ooh, what if Cray made a video card... tellme
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f0dder
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2008, 12:08:49 PM »

It would be more like a graphics tower box requiring an insane cooling system than a graphics card, methinks smiley
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40hz
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2008, 02:56:28 PM »

Ooh, what if Cray made a video card... tellme

It would be more like a graphics tower box requiring an insane cooling system than a graphics card, methinks smiley

It would be too late. The University of Antwerp has already used the GPUs in four MSI N9800GX2-M2D1G GeForce 9800 GX2 cards to create a supercomputer.

Your next Cray could cost 4000 euros, and look something like this: http://fastra.ua.ac.be/en/index.html

Quote
Belgian researchers develop desktop supercomputer.



How much computing power can you cram into a single desktop PC?

In our research on image reconstruction we often have to perform large-scale scientific computations, which can easily take weeks on a normal PC. To tackle this problem, we have developed a special PC that is capable of performing our computations just as fast as a cluster consisting of hundreds of PCs. Using this superPC, which consists mainly of gaming hardware and costs less than 4000 euro, we can now perform our three-dimensional reconstructions within a few hours: over 100 times as fast.

The research group ASTRA, part of the Vision Lab of the University of Antwerp, focuses on the development of new computational methods for tomography. Tomography is a technique used in medical scanners to create three-dimensional images of the internal organs of patients, based on a large number of X-ray photos that are acquired over a range of angles. ASTRA develops new reconstruction techniques that lead to better reconstruction quality than classical methods.

Although our reconstruction techniques are very powerful, they have an important drawback: they are quite slow. As the 3D images that we normally deal with can be rather large (typically 1024x1024x1024 volume elements, or more), advanced reconstruction methods can sometimes take weeks of computation time on a normal PC.

Here's a look inside the case:



« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 03:03:39 PM by 40hz » Logged

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