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back to article Cray, Intel, and Microsoft birth baby supercomputer

Supercomputer maker Cray today announced a new desk-side, low-end, bladed office supercomputer in conjunction with chip partner Intel and software partner Microsoft. The new CX1 supercomputer is the first product to come to market after Cray tapped Intel as its future strategic chip supplier, dissing long-time chip partner …

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For what use?

I mean what do they try to accomplish with that?

Traditional nubmercrunching doesn't care about GUIs, all users there are perfectly able to use a shell to complile their fortran programms and run them.

CGI? Well sure, paint your pictures with MSPaint. It's not like multiple processors would help you with that.

The main problems with Windows is just that there are virtually no applications availiable for it. And those few applications usually cost quite a lot of money and rarely are of acceptable quality. Just imagine having to download software from a wiered unsecure source onto your 80kEuro box. Imagine getting a virus or worm onto your expensive device during a multi-week computing run?

Microsoft sees that it cannot grow on the PC market anymore and is therefore trying to get into any market it can get. And they want to get away from the "we are total idiots" image.

Just look at Sony. They gained quite some reputation for having professional products.

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Joke

Beancounter heaven

They will all want one to run their ridiculously complex excel spreadsheets on. That way they don't get laughed at when they ask the Geeks if they can make it better only to be told their accounts database app should do that for them (If they hadn't bought it on purchase price and give away shiny things).

Of course they could get an app written but the tied in Accounts app vendor wants a million Pound for ten minutes work and anyway they would have to specify what it the spreadsheet does and that would mean admitting to all the fudges and bodges they use to the get the bottom line to say what they want.

SO... The crap that you have written yourself in excel visual basic might be able to return an answer in less than 5 days just by spending $25,000 or so. No Geeks. No questions about the crappy accounts system you recommended. No questions about the various 'suspense account journals' around 'training weekend' expenses.

At least that's what Microsoft and Cray hope.

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Anonymous Coward

Super duper.

So, 8 slots...

Smallest storage is 2 slots, smallest graphics is 1 slot, leaving maximum 5 slots for "compute" nodes (assuming you want to see the windows), in which you can get at most 2 processors.

So max of 10 processors, I suppose multicore makes that worthwhile?

It's not much more than one of those servers aimed at SME's without the added bonus of rack mounting.

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Coat

So sad

I used to love Cray and SGI when they really did cool stuff. (They used to be siamese twins for a while until some surgery. )

I mean, they used to make computers with octagonal bench setas around the outside. They looked like something off Space 1999 and that's what you wanted if you'd spent a bundle on kit.

This sort of stuff is OK if you want to crunch some numbers/render some graphics *relatively* quickly and without requiring proper expertise, but Win HPC and a fairly small number of cores means it's pretty limited. And to get some grunt you have to put 3 chassis together. You're going to stick that behind your desk??

I yearn for the days when the engineering in these things was first rate and you got what you paid for. Even after my SGI Challenge boxes were overtaken in speed by laptops, you could turn it into a cool-arse fridge. http://home.planet.nl/~mourits/koelkast/

For a bit of grunt in a box, I'd rather go for the IBM blade chassis S. Then I can choose what to do by way of OS. It's got wheels too.

Fetch me coat, I'm orf.

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@Scott Re: The CX1 Office Toaster

"The specs say each CX1 box has up to two (or four for redundancy) 1.6kW PSUs. Yes that's going to be one toasty office!"

Not for long, the average US office outlet is on a 15A, 120V circuit, which can only be loaded to 80% -- 1440W.

It'll be way cheaper to stack a few short rackmount dual quadcore servers and stick a "Vista Ready" logo on it, then place a script on a cheap desktop to copy the job parameters to the "HPC cluster". The user will never know/care what OS the cluster is using.

Oh--if it's not on a raised floor and occupying an entire wing of a building, like a 1108 3x2, it's not "big iron".

netgeek

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@240 volts By A J Stiles

believe you have uprate the diodes or bypass them.

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@Adrian

And after 10 days computing ....

Please back away from the computer, it is a big shiney device that is to technical for you. Learn to use a toaster first.

Hint: Turn off automatic updates!

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Doomed to fail

This product is too noisy, and produces too much heat for anything but a machine room. Note the suspicious lack of environmental specifications. It is more expensive and less capable than similarly configured Nexxus boxes.

It will go the way of Rocketcalc (doing this kind of thing almost a decade ago), Orion Multisystems, and SciCortex. (OK, I guess SciCortex's little machine is still around.)

Stick with two-socket SMP for desktop use. Bigger machines belong in the machine room.

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Stop

Monte Carlo

This kind of box is great for monte-carlo simulation of derivative financial instruments.. used by Traders and Quantitative analysts who are more likely to run Excel on their grid than BLAST.

They can run Mathamatica or MATLAB or event Excel Services all out-of-the-box without a geek in sight.. but the big benefit is that you don’t need an army of IT support costing $100,000+ to support it.

Face facts winServ’08 is as good a kernel as Linux and MSMPI is an efficient implementation

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Coat

What really matters...

Is what does COD4 run like on it and can you do quad SLI?

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Gates Horns

An interesting idea, maybe...

...but does it come with a inbuilt couch?

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