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Nvidia Owning Top Supercomputers List With GPUs

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 49 comments

They sure can, but they probably don't.

Nvidia's latest GPUs are great for playing Crysis, but there's some serious business behind those chips. The technology when applied to the Tesla products help power the world's fastest and energy-efficient supercomputers.

In terms of power, Nvidia's GPUs help accelerate work done by three of the top five supercomputers of the world.

The world's fastest, the Tianhe-1A in China, scores 2.507 PF in Linpack thanks to having 7,168 GPUs.

The third fastest, Nebulae also in China, scores 1.27 PF in Linpack thanks to having 4,640 GPUs. The fourth fastest, Tsubame 2.0 in Japan, isn't far behind with 1.192 PF with 4,200 GPUs.

While Tsubame 2.0 is only fourth in power, it's very impressive in efficiency, with a power consumption of 1.34 MW.

"Tsubame 2.0 is an impressive achievement, balancing performance and power to deliver the most energy efficient petaflop-class supercomputer ever built," said Bill Dally, chief scientist at Nvidia. "The path to exascale computing will be forged by groundbreaking systems like Tsubame 2.0."

Of the world's greenest supercomputers, the only two in the top 10 list that broke the petaflop barrier are ones powered by Nvidia GPUs – the Tianhe-1A and the Tsubame 2.0.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    eyefinity , November 19, 2010 2:40 PM
    More Fermi's in supercomputers than there are in personal computers lol.
  • 15 Hide
    usfs , November 19, 2010 2:59 PM
    Use all that heat to power the super computer. UNLIMITED ENERGY!
    Problems?
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    TheRockMonsi , November 19, 2010 2:34 PM
    They must have those fermi cards in an ice cave or something...
  • 15 Hide
    eyefinity , November 19, 2010 2:40 PM
    More Fermi's in supercomputers than there are in personal computers lol.
  • 0 Hide
    Burodsx , November 19, 2010 2:41 PM
    Surprised the building didn't burst into flames.
  • -4 Hide
    BeCoolBro , November 19, 2010 2:45 PM
    I want to see a cryisis benchmark with those:D rool:
  • -8 Hide
    scrumworks , November 19, 2010 2:52 PM
    Quote:
    Nvidia's latest GPUs are great for playing Crysis


    Mmm, actually HD5870 beats GTX480 in Crysis which is kind of hilarious.
  • 7 Hide
    sunflier , November 19, 2010 2:56 PM
    "having 7,168 GPUs"

    Are those in one giant daisy-chained SLI mode??
  • 15 Hide
    usfs , November 19, 2010 2:59 PM
    Use all that heat to power the super computer. UNLIMITED ENERGY!
    Problems?
  • 2 Hide
    andrewfy , November 19, 2010 3:00 PM
    There's a good analysis of this over at the daily circuit.

    http://www.dailycircuitry.com/2010/11/china-takes-top-supercomputer-spot.html
  • -5 Hide
    digiex , November 19, 2010 3:21 PM
    AMD should find a way to pair its opteron chips with its GPUs to make a super computer, plus it should open source it.
  • 4 Hide
    bill gates is your daddy , November 19, 2010 3:29 PM
    Looking at the picture it appears someone needs to do a little better job with their cable routing.
  • 5 Hide
    saint19 , November 19, 2010 3:33 PM
    :lol:  Guys!!, Do you really thing that those supercomputer works with GTX series? that's very funny.
  • 0 Hide
    MrKKBB , November 19, 2010 3:41 PM
    I think AMD really dropped the ball with this one. They have great GPU products, but they let NVIDIA's CUDA take foot hold while largely depending on OpenCL. It will take some time before OpenCL catches up to CUDA; there are a number of compilers that have CUDA optimizations (e.g. Portland). With that said, the one thing that GPUs are still lacking is error checking in their memmory. There are many HPC applications that require this. I look forward to the day that ECC comes to GPUs. My 2.5 cents.
  • 6 Hide
    LATTEH , November 19, 2010 3:42 PM
    yes, but can it play raytraced wolfenstien?
  • 1 Hide
    lukeiamyourfather , November 19, 2010 3:42 PM
    sunflier"having 7,168 GPUs"Are those in one giant daisy-chained SLI mode??


    Most (but not all) of the supercomputers on the "Top 500" are a bunch of regular computers with low latency interconnects (like Infiniband). So there might be 1792 nodes with four GPU each, not sure if that's what is actually the case here but you get the idea.
  • 0 Hide
    CoryInJapan , November 19, 2010 3:46 PM
    G'zzzz. They must have to air condition that room to hell 24/7
  • 9 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , November 19, 2010 3:46 PM
    scrumworksMmm, actually HD5870 beats GTX480 in Crysis which is kind of hilarious.

    Which drivers, running which version of Crysis? At least in Crysis Warhead, I can't recall the HD5870 outperforming the GTX480 since the initial release drivers. At gamer quality, enthusiast shaders, and 4x AA, the GTX480 consistently outperforms the HD5870 at all tested resolutions, and in terms of minimum frame rates (extremely important in any fps) the gap widens significantly.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4008/nvidias-geforce-gtx-580/6

    ...so I'm not sure what performance figures you're referring to. It's probably a good idea to cite a source, or at least double check the benchmarks, before making a claim about supposed performance.
  • -1 Hide
    Yuka , November 19, 2010 3:54 PM
    'Cause Linpack gives the best all-rounder super-computer results! /sarcasm

    Cheers!
  • -6 Hide
    Fokissed , November 19, 2010 4:05 PM
    dragonsqrrlWhich drivers, running which version of Crysis? At least in Crysis Warhead, I can't recall the HD5870 outperforming the GTX480 since the initial release drivers. At gamer quality, enthusiast shaders, and 4x AA, the GTX480 consistently outperforms the HD5870 at all tested resolutions, and in terms of minimum frame rates (extremely important in any fps) the gap widens significantly.http://www.anandtech.com/show/4008 [...] -gtx-580/6...so I'm not sure what performance figures you're referring to. It's probably a good idea to cite a source, or at least double check the benchmarks, before making a claim about supposed performance.

    It's the original Crysis where 5870 outperforms the 480.
  • 4 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , November 19, 2010 4:27 PM
    MrKKBBWith that said, the one thing that GPUs are still lacking is error checking in their memmory. There are many HPC applications that require this. I look forward to the day that ECC comes to GPUs. My 2.5 cents.

    I believe Fermi based Tesla and Quadro GPU's do enable ECC memory.
  • -2 Hide
    Fokissed , November 19, 2010 4:35 PM
    FokissedIt's the original Crysis where 5870 outperforms the 480.

    Links:
    MPC
    THG
    BT
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