The mystery surrounding the architecture of the future "Titan" supercomputer to be installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratories and funded by the US Department of Energy is over. Oak Ridge, which is the US nuke lab most associated with open (rather than classified and often military) science, has been working with Cray and …
So, what would the theoretical energy savings be? Come on, you can't say "Ooh! It uses 1/8 of the power" and then not actually give total savings over an alternative setup with CPUs.
It uses approximately a HF of power, so a CPU based system would use ~7.5HF of power (not all of the power is the GPUs so doesn't all scale up).
As for what the value of a Holy Fuck of power is when converted to the more traditional KW/MW form, i'll leave that to someone else to answer.
How old fashioned do we want to be? We could use the Colossus as a starting point, but it would seem that that one only used 4.5kW. And the numbers on how powerful Babbage's steam engine needed to be are rather thin on the ground.
I do remember being told at some point that ENIAC used a "fuck-load" (FL) of power, which worked out as about 170 kW. If we define a "holy fuck" (HF) to be half of one of these --- because we can, and that is a FL of power --- it would see that the CPU system uses about 637.5 kW, compared to the GPU system, using 85 kW.
Mind you, I'm not sure what the scaling factor of a "holy" is: it could well be more than the half specified here.
What a fantastic amount of power. I wonder how long it would take such a setup to break AES256? It'll probably do that casually in between the more serious work..
Don't be silly, it will never be put to such uses, this is the US government we're talking about they would never do something like widescale illegal intercepting of everyones traffic.
Oh you mean for decrypting hard drives that have been lawfully seized in raids with warrants? yes of course it can do it as fast as you can provide it with data, unfortunately the system as currently implemented will need the data to be fed to it in the form of a file transfer over a network connection that it is monitoring, this was purely down to a poor design decision and was nothing to do with it having a different primary design purpose.
About the Cray XK6's new name...
Awww, I am really disappointed to hear that Oak Ridge plans to change the name of its Cray supercomputer from the "Jaguar" to the "Titan." Calling that particular future human-enslaving silicon overlord the "Jaguar" made it sound all warm, cute, and fuzzy, like you could walk up to it and hug it! I mean who doesn't love big cats like jaguars, right? In stark contrast, the name "Titan" doesn't sound very huggable at all. In fact, all it does is remind me of that train wreck of a movie that came out last year, "Clash of the Titans," and that just leaves me cold. And if they are naming their future Cray XK6 supercomputer after the nearby Nashville NFL football team "The Titans," well, that's even worse.
If I had the ability to name a hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-costing massively parallel supercomputer system (and it is probably a good thing that I don't), I would go for the irony factor and name the future world-enslaving machine after something completely cute and non-threatening-- like a My Little Pony character. Think about it-- how funny would it be if all of those crusty lab coat-wearing boffins were forced to do their climate science, chemistry, materials science, nuclear energy, physics, bioenergy, astrophysics, etc. simulations on their all-powerful new Cray XK6 "Twilight Sparkle," or if the U.S. DoD had to run their simulated nuclear weapon detonations on a Cray XK6 "Rainbow Dash?" There would be no end to my amusement! I am all about this! Make it so!