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back to article How green is your supercomputer?

If supercomputers weren't so useful for predicting weather and climate change, the tree-huggers of the world would insist they be outlawed. But supercomputers are here to stay and - so it seems - to suck up a lot of juice. Twice a year, the Top 500 list of supercomputing sites racks and stacks the biggest, baddest machines in …

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Coat

color? Where are we - America?

Yeah I know, I know - doesn't really matter but still breaks my concentration while reading an article just like people who can't use there/their/they're.

Mines the coat with the British Dictionary in it.

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Thumb Up

Ironic

Surely I'm not the only one to spot the irony that the most efficient non IBM power machine was built by an OIL company!

Mind you, who else knows better how expensive energy is these days?

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Paris Hilton

I want the Brown 500

Most money spent per Teraflop. Now that's a list I'd like to see.

Paris, because High Performance Computing is a solved problem.

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Low Power computing

I have managed to get a mythtv box running on 20Watts when recording, does that count?

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Boffin

Re: Low Power computing

20w - pah - I have a server running that takes less than 1w while idle (about 3-5w when the disk spins up).

Unfortunately, it's an NSLU2 which has no FPU so while the MIPS is quite high (260ish), the FLOPS are quite low (they're floating point calculations)

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Boffin

@Fraser

Yep your mythtv box can count. But lets assume (probably optimistically) that your processor in your myth tv can sustain 1.5 GFLOPS at 20Watts (again 20watts is probably average rather than peak performance).

1.5GFLOPS would be a low spec'd celeron at about 1Ghz.

That gives you a rating of 75 MFLOPS/Watt. Again though I doubt you could sustain that at 20 Watts for very long. BUt that would put you around 170th on the list.

Cheers,

Chris

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Gold badge

Why are we surprised?

The fastest machines are the newer machines.

Newer components are more power efficient than older ones.

I wonder what the Megaflops per Watt (or rather Watts per Megaflop) rating of some of the early big iron would be?

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Flame

Global warming simulation

I've wondered for a while how much all the computing power spent simulating global warming scenarious is itself contributing to global warming. Interesting step towards finding out.

Next step on the green bandwagon: amount of the energy used by a supercomputer that's renewable. I can see LL getting a solar panel roof now...

Then again, if you're doing carbon footprints, the construction overhead for a supercomputer might be significant (although blades ought to be better per MIPS than a full PC cluster).

I did like the people who were using the water cooler for their servers to heat their swimming pool, though. When I can afford a few thousand cores, I must do this. :-)

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Coat

*lol*

I was wondering how many posts it would take for someone to point out the incorrect spelling of colour.

*\. Still wondering if my jacket is grey or gray! *lol*

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