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World's Fastest PC build out of PS3s - breaks Petaflop barrier! - 1 to 8
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Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Tue 10th Jun '08 12:31PM
4678 Posts
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7th Apr '03
Now I'm glad I didn't buy the Xbox!

http://tech.slashdot.org/firehose.pl?id=711193&op=view
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/09/technology/09petaflops.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

SAN FRANCISCO ó An American military supercomputer, assembled from components originally designed for video game machines, has reached a long-sought-after computing milestone by processing more than 1.026 quadrillion calculations per second.

The new machine is more than twice as fast as the previous fastest supercomputer, the I.B.M. BlueGene/L, which is based at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

The new $133 million supercomputer, called Roadrunner in a reference to the state bird of New Mexico, was devised and built by engineers and scientists at I.B.M. and Los Alamos National Laboratory, based in Los Alamos, N.M. It will be used principally to solve classified military problems to ensure that the nationís stockpile of nuclear weapons will continue to work correctly as they age. The Roadrunner will simulate the behavior of the weapons in the first fraction of a second during an explosion.




Shame it's being used for military research - but apparently they're also looking at using it to investigate climate change.

So, anyone who's got 12,960 spare playstations lying about... can assemble a computer worth $133 million from games consoles worth $3,888,000 (about £1,944,000!). Nice markup!
  

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Tue 10th Jun '08 1:13PM
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7th Apr '03
I don't think it is made from PS3's.

It is made from IBM cell blades which use IBM cell processors as does the PS3. It is quite exciting to say it is a PS3 supercomputer, but ultimately no more true than saying a blue gene/p is made of Wii consoles or iMac G3s because they both use an 800mhz Power PC processor.

There are some distributed computing projects using PS3s running linux, but they have performed poorly because the PS3 only has 256MB RAM which isn't great for data crunching applications. If the RAM was socketed instead of soldered it would have some awesome potential.

The Cell is a natural fit for super computing because a multicore cell processor will scale to running many threads in a very linear way as compared to for example an Intel core2 quad which ends up flooding its front side bus and starving its processors of data. As an aside I would hold off buying a new PC until Intel release the Nehalem which uses a NUMA architecture like the Cell and Itanium to solve the problem.

More info if you aren't bored to death can be found here: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080430-ps3s-cell-cpu-tops-high-performance-computing-benchmark.html
    

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Wed 11th Jun '08 11:23AM
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7th Apr '03


General was bold enough to comment:

Something in Swedish I think





Well I don't know about the rest of you but I always socket my rams. How else are you going to get the SOJs in?
  

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Wed 11th Jun '08 1:33PM
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7th Apr '03


General was bold enough to comment:
The Cell is a natural fit for super computing because a multicore cell processor will scale to running many threads in a very linear way as compared to for example an Intel core2 quad which ends up flooding its front side bus and starving its processors of data. As an aside I would hold off buying a new PC until Intel release the Nehalem which uses a NUMA architecture like the Cell and Itanium to solve the problem.



Yeah I think that rates as the most intelligent post yet on the Forum

Yet it still doesn't beat the distributed computing power that SETI rack up with their SETI@home screensaver data cruncher
    

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Wed 11th Jun '08 1:44PM
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7th Apr '03


Spanners was bold enough to comment:

Yet it still doesn't beat the distributed computing power that SETI rack up with their SETI@home screensaver data cruncher



Sorry guys slipped into engineering mode for a moment then...

You can use the down time on your PS3 for Folding@Home which performs protein folding simulations to discover cures for diseases.
    

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Wed 11th Jun '08 2:29PM
4678 Posts
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7th Apr '03


General was bold enough to comment:

You can use the down time on your PS3 for Folding@Home which performs protein folding simulations to discover cures for diseases.



Ooh, I was meaning to ask about that. Do you know how much bandwidth it takes up, how much you have to download (only have a small hdd), and if it can work offline?
  

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Wed 11th Jun '08 5:30PM
4213 Posts
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7th Apr '03
I don't think it has much in the way of hard disk requirements something like 50MB.
You have to have your PS3 on to make it work (Though you can set a time limit for auto shut down) and I have no idea if it gives your broadband a battering.

Interestingly it turns out the most powerful distributed supercomputer in the world is 80% made of PS3s!

http://www.engadget.com/2007/10/31/folding-home-recognized-by-guinness-world-records/
    

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Thu 12th Jun '08 11:29PM
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7th Apr '03
That's really worthy, I love these distributed data crunching ideas - always very ingenious and for very noble causes.
    

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