Anybody knows where to get some nice mainframe that would run WinME? and games? (joke)
What CPUs do mainframes use? like 100Ghz? anyone knows where to get a cheap good mainframe? any link to get some info about mainframes?
Mainframes no longer exist- in the sense your thinking. Since the invention of the microprocessor- mainframes have become antiquated and have outlived their usefulness. Cray is considered the king of mainframes. DEC was quite popular too. SGI (Silicon Graphics) also make superclusters for graphics.
What essentially replaced mainframes were superclusters of microprocessors (hundreds of processors linked together to perform massive tasks). That's probably the closest thing to a mainframe- in terms of computing power. You'll notice companies like NASA, Boeing, and other engineering companies now just buy superclusters of Athlon CPU's, Sun SPARCs, Alpha's, and Pentium 2/3's, MIPs, and IBM's RS/6000 based CPU's. I've read that some really old Cray's are still in use at the IRS, FBI, and other govt. agencies. But, probably only because of the software they run.
Mainframs in the true sense nowadays are not massively powerful cpu based systems.
A mainframe is constructed of a series of highly optimised peripherals and core processing architecture all designed to be self sustaining.
So where we think of a cpu running disk io, printing, gui, application etc, the core of a mainframe just runs basic application calculation and OS. All the peripherals, disk, comms, i/o, etc. are relatively self sustaining components. This means that your disk drive itself is a pretty intelligent device that requires little control or maintanance by the central processor - it is all handled through local subroutines. This leaves the central cpu essentially free to do what it needs to - process data. It also means that uptime and stability are paramount, since the amount of central code running is so much drastically lower.
Mainframes are not good at complex 3D mappings, theoretical nuclear blast simulations etc. what they do very well is finance and banking. Stupendous levels of reliability and uptime, very good basic financial calculating ability and the capability to scale out to very large systems. They have phenominal running costs and incredible levels of QA and change control assosiated with them. Think of any component in a mainframe and you are usually talking 6 figures. An IBM FEP (Front Edge Processor - or user IO module to you and I) can be anything from $1,000,000+.
What is more glamourous - as is mentioned above - are the MPP (Massively Parallel Processing) machines and clusters, where 64+ cpus get together in 1 or more chassis and have a good old think about the world. These are the guys that simulate the big bang, nuclear explosions and such.
Hope this helps a little.
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July 1, 2001 4:25:28 PM
yeah, thank everybody for the info. I decided to get a SUPER PC, you know, the ones that are underground for military stuff, NASA may use those. They are cheap and good, maybe 300 times more expensive than the most expensive mainframe, but to me it is like a peny (oh I wish it was not a joke, I'd be SO happy) I mean what is 10,000,000,000,000 nowadays? nada..
July 1, 2001 7:26:11 PM
One terrabyte of memory... not bad
512 processors... not too shabby
In my opinion, the Itanium is behind the power curve. 64bit CPU's have been out for a long time now and Intel is just now getting to it. Blah. I'll bet a Sun SPARC cluster can do just as well as a Itanium cluster. =)
If everything goes according to theory, in a
few years you should see some seriously powerful
computers from <A HREF="http://www.starbridgesystems.com/index.html" target="_new">These Guys</A> using <A HREF="http://www.xilinx.com/xlnx/xil_prodcat_landingpage.jsp?..." target="_new">These Processors</A>.
Imagine your computer being optimized for
running each and every app on the fly.
Since SETI@Home is just number-crunching
taken to extremes, the FPGA could turn itself
into a hundred (nano?)processors capable
of executing the integer/floating point
instructions and not wasting silicon real estate
on graphics or word processing.
~I'll bet a Sun SPARC cluster can do just as well as a Itanium cluster~
Sun has done 64 bit for 6 years, Intel are just beginning. Based purely on the following Intel tests the Itanium must be pretty bad. They only compared it to the UltraSPARCIII on a couple of tests, it changed to UltraSPARCII on others so they didn't keep underperforming.