The Mac Observer

Skip navigational links

You're viewing an article in TMO's historic archive vault. Here, we've preserved the comments and how the site looked along with the article. Use this link to view the article on our current site:
Big Mac 2.0? VA Tech To Upgrade To Xserves

Big Mac 2.0? VA Tech To Upgrade To Xserves

by , 11:00 AM EST, January 27th, 2004

Anyone who has had at least a passing interest in Apple and in supercomputing will know that the two came together at Virginia Tech late last year in a big way. The 2200 G5 processor 'Big Mac' was put together in record time for a meager sum of US$5 million. After the dust settled, Virginia Tech's new number crunching behemoth was ranked as the world's third fastest supercomputer. Old news, but still a nice feather in Apple's cap.

Not 4 months after it came online, Virginia Tech's supercomputer is going on a diet; 'Big Mac', which currently is comprised of 1100 G5 Power Macs, will be upgraded to use G5 Xserves instead. Here's the Reuters News story, Virginia Tech to Upgrade Supercomputer to Xserve:

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University will upgrade its supercomputer that uses Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile,Research) 's PowerMac G5 computers with Apple's recently introduced Xserve G5 servers that have two chips in each box, the university said on Tuesday.

The new system, which went online toward the end of last year and which Virginia Tech said was the most powerful supercomputer at any university in the world at the time, will be completed by May.

By moving to the thinner servers, the supercomputer will consume less power and generate less heat, said Srinidhi Varadarajan, assistant professor of computer science, college of engineering, at Virginia Tech.

You can find more information in the full story.

The Mac Observer Spin:

How many of you are saying, "I coulda guessed this one?"

When the G5 was first introduced, it was only available in the Mac pro desktops. At Macworld, Steve Jobs announced that the G5 was making its way to the Xserve. It seems only logical that VA Tech's Big Mac should go to version 2.0 and upgrade to the new Xserve.

There are all sorts of benefits to be had by going with the Xserve; many were mentioned in the article, but we wonder if there would be a slight speed kick too. After all, Xserves were designed to be clustered, so along with space savings, it could be that Big Mac 2.0 may clock in a tad faster.

Speaking of which, we wonder what will happen when the 3GHZ G5 become available? Big Mac 3.0.

In the meanwhile, if you are in the market for a used G5, it might be a good idea to keep your eyes on eBay.

Recent Headlines - Updated May 25th

Wed,3:10 PM
How to Deauthorize All Devices in iTunes 12
Sun,12:13 PM
MGG 554: Sleepy Macs Sometimes Go To Work
Sat,10:30 AM
How to Decide Between a Smartswitch and a Timer for Your Smarthome
Fri,6:47 PM
1987 Apple Promo Video Hints at Hubris of the 1990s
3:29 PM
Blur Premium Privacy Protection Lifetime Subscription: $49.99
2:55 PM
Apple May Finally Be Ready to Reinvigorate the iPad
2:39 PM
Google Study Finds ‘Security Questions’ Next to Useless
1:08 PM
TMO Daily Observations 2015-05-22: Fingerprints to Google and Apple Watch Heartrate Monitoring
11:16 AM
Apple Watch OS Update Reduces Background Heart Rate Monitoring Frequency
10:10 AM
Apple’s App Store Needs Cold Storage
8:30 AM
Apple Watch: Three Tips on Contacting Your Pals
Thu,5:44 PM
Promotional Apple II Video with Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Byte Shop
  • __________
  • Buy Stuff, Support TMO!
  • Podcast: Mac Geek Gab
  • Podcast: Apple Weekly Report
  • TMO on Twitter!