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$3900 supercomputer, anyone?


Picolini

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user posted image

 

 

Researchers at the University of Antwerp in Belgium have created a new supercomputer with standard gaming hardware. The system uses four NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics cards.... .....it delivers roughly the same performance as a supercomputer cluster consisting of hundreds of PCs!

 

....

Another interesting note is that this system doesn't need SLI, their application uses the NVIDIA CUDA programming model which makes all eight GPUs work in parallel.

....

 

The medical researchers ran some benchmarks and found that in some cases their 4000EUR desktop superPC outperforms CalcUA, a 256-node supercomputer with dual AMD Opteron 250 2.4GHz chips that cost the University of Antwerp 3.5 million euro in March 2005

 

....

 

 

 

So a supercomputer for 4000 Euros/$3900 USD (PC parts are cheaper in the US). Sounds too good to be true huh?

From what I've read it seems like it is. First of all, I believe you need to write a special code to force the GPU's to act as a processor, which sucks. After that, I'm not sure if it'd work for regular computing, or just specific programs/operations. Also, it seems to get about the same gaming score a PC with the same CPU, RAM, and a decent card would get through 3DMark06 (check the homepage for benchmarks)

 

Still, this is a promising method of computing and backs up NVidia's claim that the standard CPU is dead. At least, with stuff like this, it doesn't reign king as the biggest determining factor of performance in a PC.

 

Hopefully Nividia will work out software/drivers/whatever it takes to get even a single card to work as/with a CPU in this manner. sh*t, I've got another PCI-e slot and another 8600GT sitting in the closet. While they're not the fastest cards, something tells me they'd increase the performance by quite a bit. I sure as hell would be down to try it out!

 

 

Source: http://www.dvhardware.net/article27538.html

 

Homepage http://fastra.ua.ac.be/en/index.html

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I'm pretty sure that's a Lian-Li case. I got a Lian-Li case. tounge.gif

 

 

Oh and ya, a 4000 euro gaming computer being better then a 3.5 million euro supercomputer is f*cking epic.

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So that's a custom motherboard right? It's like really small..looks smaller than a Micro-ATX one...and it's got 4 pci-e's obviously...Or have they released some crazy new technology since the last time i visited newegg a week ago, heh.

 

Anyways it'd be stellar to play crysis on that at like 250fps max settings. cool.gif

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Check the site guys, they list all the parts. I almost posted them in the quote.

 

For you lazy asses, I'll do it tounge.gif

And they're all for sale in most PC part retail stores.

 

# AMD Phenom 9850 processor + Scythe Infinity CPU cooler

# 4x MSI 9800GX2 graphics card

# 4x 2GB Corsair Twinx DDR2 PC6400 memory

# MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard

# Samsung Spinpoint F1 750GB HDD

# ThermalTake Toughpower 1500W Modular PSU

# Lian-Li PC-P80 Armorsuit case

# Windows XP 64-bit

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Statutory Ray

Commercial GPUs aren't made to handle certain instructions as efficiently as a CPU, and vice versa.

 

Nvidia is blowing their own horn about GPU-type chips outperforming CPUs. In certain cases, yes. In others, no. To be honest, the next real step is to build a processing unit that can handle all instructions efficiently. Until then, we'll be stuck with any certain part of a PC holding back the others.

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It's a great computer, but a little out of my price-range. However, it doesn't spark images of a supercomputer in my head. More RAM and then maybe.

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@Cursed - Don't know what applications you're running mate, but come on, 8GB of RAM, how much do you need lol?

 

 

Check the site guys, they list all the parts. I almost posted them in the quote.

 

For you lazy asses, I'll do it

And they're all for sale in most PC part retail stores.

 

# AMD Phenom 9850 processor + Scythe Infinity CPU cooler

# 4x MSI 9800GX2 graphics card

# 4x 2GB Corsair Twinx DDR2 PC6400 memory

# MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard

# Samsung Spinpoint F1 750GB HDD

# ThermalTake Toughpower 1500W Modular PSU

# Lian-Li PC-P80 Armorsuit case

# Windows XP 64-bit

 

Surprised it hasn't got DX10, seeming though it has the 9800GX 2 cards. That would look amazing in DX10 lol, would in DX9 for that matter.

 

tounge.gif

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Practically more than 8GB isn't needed. A true supercomputer isn't built to be practical, and it is meant to push boundaries, however you can get 8GB of RAM on a very small amount of commercial PC's. This is meant to be a more affordable supercomputer though, so I suppose it is a different breed of computer than the one I think of.

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but... let's imagine *cough* emulating with this monster. notify.gif

 

It's relatively cheap for that kind of PC. 1500W icon14.gif . My power line wouln't afford it to me.

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Wow! where have you been all my life? pcguy is in inlove.gif

Seriously this is awesome I will save these specs for future reference it wouldn't be hard to actual built this. As far as the heating solution goes, I would try to go with water cooling. The only real downside is if I were to built something like this the lack of software would make it inoperable. They might of have modified the BIOS,OS as well. confused.gif

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f*ck it, for something like this I'd build it inside a mini fridge! Why not? $100 for a regular case, $100 for a mini fridge tounge.gif

The hardest part would be getting the wires in and out, lol.

 

As I suspected, like Otter confirms, it doesn't handle normal everyday processing well, or at least maybe not as well as a regular CPU.

But wouldn't that all be in the code made to tell the GPU's how to run? Or are the GPU processors just not made for that type of computing?

 

@*gta star*, it wouldn't really utilize DX10, as the cards aren't used as GPU's really. I don't even know if they use DirectX, I saw something about them saying OpenGL is more universal and easier to use to instruct the GPU's. Could be wrong though.

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Well...

 

Its performance would be fairly average in 3D games or anything of that sort because only one of the GPUs would be used for it.

Also, they chose the processor because it has less issues with bandwith than Intels products.

 

So its not exactly the best PC for the average Joe nor is it a full-on supercomputer. But it is a good example of how far computing has evolved. We can have something that comes very close to a supercomputers performance right in our own home.

 

Sort of makes me wonder... what will the future bring?

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