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You'd Need a 1 Petaflop to Score #20 Rank in Top 500 List

By - Source: Top500.org | B 39 comments

The U.S. has reclaimed dominance in the list of the 500 fastest supercomputers of the world.

However, while DOE's Sequoia now stands on top, the surprise may be that a powerful petaflop supercomputer is now merely enough to land you a spot behind the first 20.

Sequoia towers the new list with almost 1.6 million processing cores. With a peak performance of 20.1 petaflops, it has nearly twice the capability of second place K computer with 11.3 petaflops -- though it consumes significantly less power with 7.9 MWatts versus 12.7 MWatts. DOE Mira rounds out the top 3 and is a clone of Seqoia, albeit with half the processing cores, half the processing capacity and half the power consumption.

China's Tianhe-1, which shocked the supercomputing world in November 2010 with 4.7 pflops peak performance has already dropped to the number 5 spot on the list. DOE's Roadrunner was the world's first petaflop supercomputer and made its debut on the June 2008 list. In just four years, the industry was able increase the maximum performance by a factor of 15 and the sustained performance by 16. The increase on the bottom of the list climbed at a slower ratio: Back in June 2008, a supercomputer had to post a sustained performance of at least 9 teraflops to make the list. The latest edition required 60.8 TFlops.

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    vmem , July 1, 2012 8:07 PM
    TheWhiteRose000Can it play Crysis?


    would be cool for it to play a life-size 3D projection of crysis :p 
  • 20 Hide
    _TuxUser_ , July 1, 2012 7:42 PM
    Of the Top 500 Super Computers only 0.4% runs on MS-windows, around 95% runs Linux.
  • 18 Hide
    Maher90 , July 1, 2012 7:58 PM
    TheWhiteRose000Can it play Crysis?


    mother of god o_o
Other Comments
    Display all 39 comments.
  • -7 Hide
    Kami3k , July 1, 2012 7:37 PM
    Soon the Star Child will be real....
  • 20 Hide
    _TuxUser_ , July 1, 2012 7:42 PM
    Of the Top 500 Super Computers only 0.4% runs on MS-windows, around 95% runs Linux.
  • 18 Hide
    Maher90 , July 1, 2012 7:58 PM
    TheWhiteRose000Can it play Crysis?


    mother of god o_o
  • 27 Hide
    vmem , July 1, 2012 8:07 PM
    TheWhiteRose000Can it play Crysis?


    would be cool for it to play a life-size 3D projection of crysis :p 
  • 7 Hide
    bawchicawawa , July 1, 2012 8:13 PM
    what hardware is in the seqoia?
  • 2 Hide
    K2N hater , July 1, 2012 8:52 PM
    What the article doesn't spot is that building a supercomputer is rather cheap nowadays through GPU processing.
  • 7 Hide
    sa1nt , July 1, 2012 9:08 PM
    Rendering 3d graphics on one of those machines would be very sexual experience for me.
  • -9 Hide
    alidan , July 1, 2012 9:15 PM
    9tflop?

    what are we at right now with single gpu alone (can have multi gpus, but just 1 card) is it 5 or 6tflop?
    a single high end computer to day has the power of a super computer level computer just 4 years ago.

    with that being said, these are the fastest computers that we know about, key word, KNOW ABOUT.

    i have no doubt that we don't have faster computers that are just not talked about.
  • 13 Hide
    stevo777 , July 1, 2012 9:20 PM
    "China's Tianhe-1, which shocked the supercomputing world in November 2010 with 4.7 pflops peak performance has already dropped to the number 5 spot on the list."

    I don't see what's so shocking since they have tons of money and are just buying US chip tech and slapping it into a giant machine. It would be shocking if it were their technology.
  • 1 Hide
    anort3 , July 1, 2012 9:54 PM
    Only a matter of time until technological singularity is reached. I welcome our new robot overlords!
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , July 1, 2012 10:10 PM
    @ alidan

    That's only true if you are talking about single precision computing, which is useless in terms of crunching numbers and such. Instead you need double precision and that is much much more expensive, a single ati 7970 with only get you a bit over 700 gigaflops of double precision and a 680 will only net you about 500 gigaflops
  • 5 Hide
    danielravennest , July 1, 2012 10:16 PM
    alidan9tflop?what are we at right now with single gpu alone (can have multi gpus, but just 1 card) is it 5 or 6tflop?


    My GTX-260 can crank 500 Gflops. The Radeon 7970 is supposed to be 3.5 Tflops. Those are *single precision* floating point math (32 bit). Scientific calculations are measured in *double precision* (64 bit) operations. On that basis the upcoming Nvidia Kepler card optimized for math instead of graphics does 1 Tflop DP. Still, pump 4 of those babies into a dual processor server board, and you are halfway to being on the 2008 leaderboard.

    If you really want your mind blown, that 4 Tflop system beats all of mission control from the Apollo moon landing by *one million times*.

  • 4 Hide
    master_chen , July 1, 2012 11:35 PM
    1.21 GIGAWATTS! {'Д'}
  • 14 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 2, 2012 12:13 AM
    danielravennestMy GTX-260 can crank 500 Gflops. The Radeon 7970 is supposed to be 3.5 Tflops. Those are *single precision* floating point math (32 bit). Scientific calculations are measured in *double precision* (64 bit) operations. On that basis the upcoming Nvidia Kepler card optimized for math instead of graphics does 1 Tflop DP. Still, pump 4 of those babies into a dual processor server board, and you are halfway to being on the 2008 leaderboard.If you really want your mind blown, that 4 Tflop system beats all of mission control from the Apollo moon landing by *one million times*.


    Actually, an iPhone has more processing power than the computers used to manage the Apollo rockets. That gives you an idea of how efficient NASA was at with using limited computing resources for such complex task...

    And how inefficient some software developers are. There is one 2D Flash game that lags on a 3.0 GHz IB processor.
  • 1 Hide
    Fokissed , July 2, 2012 12:52 AM
    alidan9tflop?what are we at right now with single gpu alone (can have multi gpus, but just 1 card) is it 5 or 6tflop? a single high end computer to day has the power of a super computer level computer just 4 years ago. with that being said, these are the fastest computers that we know about, key word, KNOW ABOUT. i have no doubt that we don't have faster computers that are just not talked about.

    The article talks about petaflops, not teraflops. Also GPU's cannot (quickly) calculate with the precision needed at these speeds. (double and quad-precision and more)
  • 1 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , July 2, 2012 1:38 AM
    TheWhiteRose000Can it play Crysis?

    Oh dear, God I hope so!
  • 7 Hide
    razor512 , July 2, 2012 2:51 AM
    Cool, it must run note pad awesomely :) 

  • 13 Hide
    xa3d , July 2, 2012 2:56 AM
    _TuxUser_Of the Top 500 Super Computers only 0.4% runs on MS-windows, around 95% runs Linux.


    None run Mac OS
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