back to article Monolithic supers nab power efficiency crown

Old-school monolithic, massively parallel supercomputers based on Power and Sparc processors hold their own in flops-per-watt comparisons against the new hotness: hybrid machines that combine x64 processors and GPU coprocessors. So say two researchers at Virginia Tech who, in the wake of the recent June rankings of the Top 500 …

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contradictory

"But power efficiency is not a top priority for everyone. Sometimes, the goal is just to get the numbers crunched in the cheapest manner possible."

Surely using one of these machines, the power costs must be considerable so energy efficiency should be included in the costs.

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Anonymous Coward

Have you never pretended the day wa passing.

I love your exageration l,,,,,

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Accountants

Depends on how the accounts that plague these projects set up the budgets. If the electricity is paid out of a different bucket to the one you have available to buy hardware, why 'waste' that one on efficient hardware?

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Flame

Oh noes...

you mentioned that Cell based systems are dead end ,machine....You will really upset the PS fanbouys now, how will they (pointlessly) mention them every time the list is produced?

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Not a PS3 fanboi...

...because I don't own one, but I will apologise a little bit for rising to your bait. But I do like the Cell's internal architecture a lot. Much more elegant and responsive than the sledge hammer that is a GPU. Hard to programme properly, a huge amount of grunt available if you can programme it, probably extremely satisfying once mastered.

To my eternal regret I've not had to make use of one at all.

But being a SPARC fan, I am cheering on the K machine at Riken. Just goes to show how much performance is as much bound up in good inter-processor comms as it is in CPU speed. All those GPU based machines seem to be terrible from the point of view of mean/peak performance ratios; sounds like their GPUs are being starved of work. Now if someone bolted the K machine's interconnect right in to the middle of a GPU, think about what sort of awesome machine could be built! Though I'd still prefer a network of Cells...

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