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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Apple sells 25 TFlop supercomputer to US Army!

Apple sells 25 TFlop supercomputer to US Army!
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stickmedia
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Jun 21, 2004, 07:25 PM
 
Apple sells 1566 Xserves for U.S. Army research

"The supercomputer, named MACH 5, is expected to deliver peak performance capability of more than 25 TFlops/second. In comparison, the Virginia Tech supercomputer announced last year attained sustained performance of approximately 10 TFlops/second, according to Apple director of product management, server hardware Alex Grossman.

With those numbers, the MACH 5 would rank second only to Japan's $350 million Earth Simulator computer.

"We evaluated PC-based proposals from other vendors but none came close to delivering either the price, performance or manageability of the AppleXserve G5," said DiRienzo."



http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...usarmyresearch
     
Scotttheking
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Jun 21, 2004, 07:36 PM
 
Nice manipulation of numbers!
They quote estimated peak performance of one, and compare it to sustained of another. Makes it sound like one is 2.5 times faster then the other.
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Rev-O
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Jun 21, 2004, 08:27 PM
 
Nice to see Apple getting some more positive pub out of the G5 line!

But why'd they name it after Speed Racer's car? Chim Chim and Spritle in charge of the cluster?
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Link
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Jun 21, 2004, 08:52 PM
 
Originally posted by Scotttheking:
Nice manipulation of numbers!
They quote estimated peak performance of one, and compare it to sustained of another. Makes it sound like one is 2.5 times faster then the other.
The sustained will probably be 15tflops since there's 500 more servers, right?

They should have hired Hillbilly Technologies with overclocked athlon XP™® processors. That way if there was a problem it'd be a national disaster and not a simple problem.
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Scotttheking
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Jun 21, 2004, 09:13 PM
 
Originally posted by Link:
The sustained will probably be 15tflops since there's 500 more servers, right?
No... I'd venture a guess of 11-12 unless they've gotten some better interconnects, which I wouldn't expect.
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stickmedia  (op)
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Jun 21, 2004, 09:30 PM
 
They are using GigE since their computations are more processor intensive than bandwidth intensive. this looks to be a totally different type of machine and the results probably cannot be linearly extrapolated from the BigMac results. Also, I wouldn't be too shocked if the Army took the first batch of dual 2.5Gig xServes...


----------

A U.S. Army contractor has purchased a $5.8 million, 1,566-server supercomputer from Apple Computer, a real-world cousin to an academic system that briefly appeared high on a list of the most powerful machines.

In November, a machine called System X with 1,100 dual-processor Power Mac G5 workstations climbed to third place on the Top500 list of the most powerful supercomputers. On Monday, Huntsville, Ala.-based Colsa announced it's buying a larger system called MACH 5 to run Army simulations of the aerodynamics of flight much faster than the speed of sound.

System X, which vanished from the most recent list for upgrades, had sustained performance of 10.3 trillion calculations per second, or "teraflops." The Colsa system, made of dual-processor Xserve G5 machines, is expected to reach about 15 teraflops when it's up and running this fall, said project manager Mike Whitlock.

By comparison, the fastest system on a new version of the Top500 list, NEC's Earth Simulator, runs at a speed of 35.8 teraflops, and only one other system exceeded 15 teraflops.

Hewlett-Packard and IBM dominate the market for high-performance technical computing, with sales of $1.79 billion and $1.62 billion, respectively, in 2003, according to researcher IDC. But Apple is angling for its own share. It has released management software to control large groups of servers, and it sells models geared for supercomputing cluster use with unneeded components stripped out.

Much of the credit to Apple's successes thus far is due to the processor it uses--IBM's PowerPC 970--Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff said.

"The Macintosh software and the nice management features of OS X are factors here, but certainly performance of the processor is an enormous factor," Haff said. "PowerPC is a fast processor."

Indeed, the chip's abilities to perform a type of mathematical calculation called "floating-point operations" were compelling. "The floating-point units in that processor were particularly attractive," Whitlock said.

Colsa will use Mac OS X as the primary operating system, though it will evaluate other options including Red Hat Linux and Yellow Dog Linux, Whitlock added.

MACH 5, which stands for Multiple Advanced Computers for Hypersonic, G5, will occupy 42 racks and 600 square feet of floor space, said Anthony DiRienzo, a Colsa executive vice president. Apple was the winning bidder among six companies, DiRienzo said, declining to name the competitors.

One difference between MACH 5 and System X is the networking system that connects the individual servers. Where System X used the high-speed InfiniBand technology, MACH 5 will use the more conventional 1 gigabit-per-second Ethernet, DiRienzo said.

The fluid dynamics simulations Colsa will run require more processor power than top networking speed, he said.

System X's successor at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is expected to be running in time to produce a score for the coming November version of the Top500 list, said Alex Grossman, director of server and storage hardware at Apple. The upgraded Virginia Tech system is being built using Xserve G5 machines.

http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1103_2-5242487.html
     
RooneyX
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Jun 21, 2004, 10:11 PM
 
What are they going to do with all that (taxpayer's money)? Capture a CG animated Osama?
     
Lateralus
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Jun 21, 2004, 10:27 PM
 
Originally posted by RooneyX:
What are they going to do with all that (taxpayer's money)? Capture a CG animated Osama?
"The US$5.8 million cluster will be used to model the complex aero-thermodynamics of hypersonic flight for the U.S. Army."
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mmurray
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Jun 22, 2004, 09:47 AM
 
Someone over at maccentral asked `Why 1566' ? Is there some significance
to that number other than it being the integer part of (size of budget)/(cost of 1 x server)

Thanks

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jcadam
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Jun 22, 2004, 03:14 PM
 
Originally posted by PowerMacMan:
"The US$5.8 million cluster will be used to model the complex aero-thermodynamics of hypersonic flight for the U.S. Army."
What does the Army need to study hypersonic flight for? It has a long-standing fetish with rotary wing aircraft. Seems this would be the realm of the Air Force.

Maybe, missles/rockets???
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bartman00
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Jun 22, 2004, 06:37 PM
 
Oh I don't know.. maybe artillery, tank rounds and stuff...
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jcadam
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Jun 23, 2004, 02:56 AM
 
Originally posted by bartman00:
Oh I don't know.. maybe artillery, tank rounds and stuff...
duh, yeah that makes sense.
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wulf
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Jun 23, 2004, 05:46 AM
 
Originally posted by mmurray:
Someone over at maccentral asked `Why 1566' ? Is there some significance
to that number other than it being the integer part of (size of budget)/(cost of 1 x server)
I don't know, but seems odd it's 1566 rather than 1536, since that's 1024+512.
     
mmurray
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Jun 23, 2004, 05:59 AM
 
Originally posted by wulf:
I don't know, but seems odd it's 1566 rather than 1536, since that's 1024+512.
Maybe its that plus spares ?? Although 30 spares seems like quite a few.

Michael
     
wings_rfs
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Jun 23, 2004, 06:03 AM
 
Nothing yet, but when they get their new rail gun operational you can bet it won't be firing standard issue artillery shells. At Mach 5+ those rounds are gonna need a special shape to have a range of 100+ miles. (The Navy is planning on having a rail gun by 2011 with a range of 250 miles.)
     
Scubee
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Jun 23, 2004, 08:38 AM
 
Originally posted by jcadam:
What does the Army need to study hypersonic flight for? It has a long-standing fetish with rotary wing aircraft. Seems this would be the realm of the Air Force.

Maybe, missles/rockets???
The U.S. Army deals heavily in missile defense.

Press release

Edited to add COLSA's press release.
( Last edited by Scubee; Jun 23, 2004 at 08:45 AM. )
     
djohnson
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Jun 23, 2004, 09:50 AM
 
Pretty cool. I remember some of the military switching to OS X due to security features at one point. I wont if this has anything to do with that?
     
macjockey
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Jun 23, 2004, 10:37 AM
 
From what I hear, intially, COLSA was only testing Intel and AMD processors and wasn't even considering G4 or G5 processors until the local Apple reseller convinced them into looking at the Apple product. They then purchased and built a small G4 cluster that blew the competion away.
     
freakboy2
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Jun 23, 2004, 03:55 PM
 
Originally posted by mmurray:
Maybe its that plus spares ?? Although 30 spares seems like quite a few.

Michael
its the army, they bought 50 machines and 1450+ spares.
     
olePigeon
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Jun 23, 2004, 06:09 PM
 
Originally posted by Link:
The sustained will probably be 15tflops since there's 500 more servers, right?

They should have hired Hillbilly Technologies with overclocked athlon XP™® processors. That way if there was a problem it'd be a national disaster and not a simple problem.
I don't think there're enough copper pipes left on the entire world for that.
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stian
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Jun 23, 2004, 11:21 PM
 
Well. There you go. Some of the best supercomputers of the world is to be used to expand the empire of the "president" of the USA. For all of us who enjoy the great technology of the Apple computer it is sort of a compliment, But really, I think my image of Apple™ will be somehow altered when this great machine will be used to kill iraqies, or whoever stands in the way of Mr. Bush and his friends.

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Jun 24, 2004, 01:08 AM
 
it's better than sitting on your ass and letting somebody else risk their lives.

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Link
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Jun 24, 2004, 01:12 AM
 
Originally posted by stian:
Well. There you go. Some of the best supercomputers of the world is to be used to expand the empire of the "president" of the USA. For all of us who enjoy the great technology of the Apple computer it is sort of a compliment, But really, I think my image of Apple™ will be somehow altered when this great machine will be used to kill iraqies, or whoever stands in the way of Mr. Bush and his friends.

Peace
Take your political opinion somewhere else. This isn't the lounge.

Edit: I actually feel offended enough by your vague and blatent comment to point out a few more things:

1. The US does NOT consist of a bunch of fat, white, idiots who sit there praising Bush's every move (contrary to popular belief)

2. Not that many "Americans" are supportive of the Iraq battles...

3. Bush sucks ass.. he really does.

4. Hopefully he won't be elected again

5. I'd like to kick him in the balls

It's sad that you went ahead and made a comment that's pretty hypocritical, since in a nutshell you are being even more ignorant than the 'ignorant americans'. I might as well go on a ledge here and say that if you're so high on your horse about how much you hate supporting an "empire", perhaps you should buy another computer.. something that doesn't have intel or amd chips, doesn't run windows, and CERTAINLY is not a mac. You'd be supporting that evil "empire" because these companies all pay hefty taxes in the US... oh dear!

I shall now procede to choke you with mcdonalds food and budweiser... then I'll run you over with my hummer.
( Last edited by Link; Jun 24, 2004 at 01:17 AM. )
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Colonel Panic
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Jun 26, 2004, 08:59 PM
 
Originally posted by stian:
Well. There you go. Some of the best supercomputers of the world is to be used to expand the empire of the "president" of the USA. For all of us who enjoy the great technology of the Apple computer it is sort of a compliment, But really, I think my image of Apple™ will be somehow altered when this great machine will be used to kill iraqies, or whoever stands in the way of Mr. Bush and his friends.

Peace
you are astonishingly immature and naive, regardless of whether or not your political judgments are accurate.

dialogue vs ideologue: care to wager which camp you belong to?
( Last edited by Colonel Panic; Jun 26, 2004 at 09:07 PM. )
     
Lateralus
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Jun 26, 2004, 09:39 PM
 
Simma down people. Try to keep the thread on track.
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