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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.

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