Thursday, August 4, 2011

3 of The Most Powerful Computers In the World

Computers, where would we be without them? I'd be willing to bet fifty bucks, that you're looking at your computer screen right now. Don't worry about it, I'll put it on your tab.

The Top500 Project ranks and details the most fastest non-commercial computers in the world. What does that mean? You probably wouldn't be able to go to your local computer store, and pick one up for seven hundred dollars. (Not in this economy!)


After the developers created the fastest computer in 2009, they decided to give it a hardcore name to scare the competition. They even went as far as putting a picture of a Jaguar on the giant computers, probably to make everyone urinate as they entered the room. What's that? Oh yeah, it fit an entire room. Not really something the developers would throw in the sedan, drive to their friends house, and play War of Warcraft.

"I can play WoW on the highest settings." *Flexes*
The supercomputer was created by Patriotic Americans at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The computer was clocked at 2.5 quadrillion calculations per second. (It'll take a lot of calculators to beat that.) The whole computer included 224,256 AMD Opteron processors.

After the computer was successfully created, the scientists put the Jaguar to ponder on the most challenging scientific problems, such as  climate modelingrenewable energymaterials scienceseismologychemistryastrophysicsfusion, and combustion. Hopefully, it doesn't conclude the solution is the eradication of mankind.

"Solution: The only practical renewable energy is human blood." - Jaguar, 2018


A year later, China took the prize with the Tianhe-1. Literally meaning, Milky Way No. 1, it became the fastest computer in the world during 2010. The Chinese achieved 2,566 PetaFLOPS. What's a PetaFLOPS? Who knows? All we know that it's a lot. (Just kidding, FLOPS actually means "Floating point operations per second".)

The beast contained 7,168 GPUs, and 14,336 CPUs. It was held in 112 computer cabinets, which held four frames, which held eight blades, which held two computer nodes, which held two Xeon X5670 6-core processors and one Nvidia M2050 GPU processor. How many cores is that? Infinite.

"Does it ever end?" "No, but you end." - Official Quote From Tianhe I

The computer's total disk space was two Petabytes, which is 1000 terabytes. Your small 250 gigabyte seems a little smaller now doesn't it? Also, the computer has the total memory of 262 terabytes. So your four gigabyte memory stick in your computer is probably burning in envy.

The total cost of the super computer was $88 million dollars to build, and about $20 million a year to maintain. (Along with the 200 workers employed to work there.) 

I guess everyone's on vacation.
The computer was activated on October, 28, 2010. Today, it's used for petroleum exploration and aircraft design calculations. The computer is considered "open-access", which doesn't mean you can walk on over and ask to borrow it for your next game of Counter-Strike, but means that it provides its service for other countries other than China.

"Solution: The only practical source aircraft design is made out of human torsos" - Tianhe I, 2016

K Computer

Today, as the fastest computer in the entire known world, the "K Computer" takes the cake. Japan was tired of the same old "Awww, I feel bad for Japan! What a horrible earthquake disaster!", and wanted more of "Awww, Japan is going to rule the world! What a great industrial nation!". Which is why they created a supercomputer, that was almost four times 'faster' than the previous "Tianhe I". That might not sound too much in such a competitive field, but it is. Not once in the entire history of the TOP500, has any nation made such a giant leap.
Skynet Stage 1 Complete. 68,543 Stages Remaining.

The K Computer, isn't much of a original name though, right? You wouldn't be very happy if your mother named you "K" The computer was named after the Japanese word "Kei", which stood for "lolWeBeatChinaUnitedStatesAndEveryDarnCountryInTheWorld" ten quadrillion.

The computer was able to compute 8.162 petaFLOPS, or 8.162 quadrillion calculations per second. The supercomputer had 864 cabinets, which is eight times more cabinets than the runner-up. (Come on China, you need more cabinets!) The entire thing uses 68,544 2.0GHz 8-core SPARC64 VIIFX processors. What that means, is that you're going to need about 68,544 more computers to even come close to this calculating beast.

"From the same makers that brought you technological excellence.."

Each cabinet contained  96 computer nodes, which contained a single processor and 16 GBs of memory. There's no doubt that it can run Crysis 2 on max settings.

"I can't even run Doom!" - You

How much could this computer possible use in electricity?! Almost 10 megawatts (That's enough power to power 10,000 households!). That's more watts than I can hold in my hand. (??!) The computer has been compared to the calculating abilities of a million linked desktop computers. New Life Goal: Purchase a million desktop computers.
Almost there.

The surprising thing is that costs less to maintain than our runner-up. It only takes $10 million dollars to maintain yearly. Pfffffffft, pocket money.

Fun Fact: According to, Skynet uses 90 teraFLOPS. All of the above computers out-preform Skynet by a extremely large multitude.