Apple Posts In-Dept Look At VA Tech’s ‘Big Mac’ Supercomputer

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Perhaps if you where born yesterday, or have lived your life has a Luddite-hermit who recently fell off the wagon and is catching up on this "Web" thing, you may not know about Virginia Techis new pride and joy; a 2200 processor super-computer comprised of G5 Macs. Even if you do know about Virginia Techis iBig Maci, you may not know all of the interesting details about how it was put together, or by whom, or why. If such intimate technical details make your heart skip a beat, then youid best have a defibrillator standing by; Apple has posted an in-depth review of Virginia Techis super-Mac; itis a techno-geekis must-read. Hereis an excerpt from the article, Cost-Conscious Supercomputing:

Dr. Srinidhi Varadarajan knew that he wanted to build a world-class supercomputer. Also, he wanted to solidify the position of Virginia Techis world-class computer science program. But with only a fraction of most supercomputing budgets to spend, it seemed like a hopeless dream. He crunched numbers, solicited every likely vendor, examined and ultimately discarded all possible options using other platforms and chips. Then in June of 2003, news of Appleis Power Mac G5 hit the airwaves. At last, Varadarajan realized, heid have as much 64-bit processing as he needed to power his dream, without overtaxing his budget.

Soon after the announcement, Varadarajan took delivery of his very first PowerBook laptop running Mac OS X. Within days, he placed an order for the 1100 dual processor, 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5 computers that now drive Virginia Techis new supercomputer. Smart choice: In November of 2003 the giant system -- named System X -- became the third fastest supercomputer in the world.

System X is radically different from traditional, high-performance supercomputers. Unlike most, it is based on a "supercluster" of Power Mac G5 computers, each of which has 4GB of main memory, and 160GB of serial ATA storage. Not only is System X the worldis fastest, most powerful "home-built" supercomputer, it quite possibly has the cheapest price/performance of any supercomputer on the TOP500 list.

Even the non-geek will find this article interesting. Stop by Appleis Web site for more information.

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