Virginia Tech to upgrade ‘Big Mac’ supercomputer to Xserve G5

“Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University will upgrade its supercomputer that uses Apple Computer Inc.’s PowerMac G5 computers with Apple’s recently introduced Xserve G5 servers that have two chips in each box, the university said on Tuesday,” Reuters reports.

“The new system, which went online toward the end of last year and which Virginia Tech said was the most powerful supercomputer at any university in the world at the time, will be completed by May,” Reuters reports. “By moving to the thinner servers, the supercomputer will consume less power and generate less heat, said Srinidhi Varadarajan, assistant professor of computer science, college of engineering, at Virginia Tech.”

“‘It cuts the system’s size down by a factor of three,’ Varadarajan said. ‘The new system will take much less power and generate less heat and free up space.’ The current supercomputer that uses 1,100 PowerMac G5 desktop computers occupies 3,000 square feet (280 sq metres). After the upgrade to 1,100 Xserve G5s, which Cupertino, California-based Apple announced earlier this month at its Macworld trade show, the system will occupy 1,000 square feet(93 sq metres),” Reuters reports.

Full article here.


  1. Uhmm,

    soon on the market G5s with a brass engraved “1100th part of the fastest supercluster in the world – 3rd overall. Virginia Tech – 2003, a piece of IT history” plate!

  2. The article said they were working on getting very good homes for the 1100 G5s they are currently using. I have a very good home and am sure it would be very happy here. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  3. question, The cluster uses infiniband products for high speed data communication. What will the cluster use when VT migrates to the Xserve?

    Is dual gigabit ethernet and IP over firewire good enough?

  4. It would be nice if they would try to beat the earth simulator ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />
    They get now extra space. Ooohh.. That is so sweat wet dream =)
    Fastest Super Computer In The World.

  5. Ten years from now, we’ll look back on all this excitement and say “my toaster could outperform that thing now.” Or perhaps “I use one of those to make toast.” Or maybe “Can you remember when you had to punch buttons to get on the internet, instead of just saying “Hail Gates” into the mic and authorizing a credit card transaction?”

  6. He mean’s ‘sweet’ wet dream. I believe that a “sweaty wet dream” might not be too bad if it was with a woman otherwise you might get fried being all wet next to an electronic device.

  7. Yeah, and Apple in it’s infinite wisdom, back ordered my dual G5 this summer so they could fill VT’s order, now they aren’t even going to use those G5’s. I bet VT has the first 1100 XServe’s on order too, so that people who actually want to use them for something productive have to wait for theirs on backorder. I suppose Apple prefers the headlines and the kudos of a record breaking computer with their logo on it, rather than sending these out to companies who have an actual need for them.

  8. Apple should offer these as refurbished G5’s online at a discount to the first 1100 who what one, and deliver them via free shipping.

    They would if they had any balls.

  9. no sweaty wet dreams next to me please. if your too lazy to stay awake then go get electrcouted like mjg says!

    i think oneguy meant “sweet” tho not sweaty. i got news 4 ya, its more salty, like chicken broth. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    hey crunge if virgin tech ordered before u then they got their mac before u. that’s the way it works. sux 2 b u ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    if u want a used g5 u will now be happy ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  10. “Apple should offer these as refurbished G5’s online at a discount to the first 1100 who what one, and deliver them via free shipping.

    They would if they had any balls.”

    Had any balls? Why do some people always act as if the world OWES them a living? Your idea is just plain stupid considering these machines shared a moment in history and are not just a bunch of used G5s.

    What they should do is put a little numbered plate on each machine to commemorate the machine’s involvement in producing the 3rd fastest super computer on the planet in 2003. They can sell them at auction so the University can take the likely HUGE profit and put it towards further research.

  11. to answer the guy who asked about the networking equipment…

    This stuff is really expensive because it offers supremely low latency and very high throughput. When VT put it in 4 months ago, it was the best on the market. It probably still is. I highly doubt they’d change equipment. I expect them to use it with the xserves.

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