Own a piece of Virgina Tech’s ‘Big Mac’ Supercomputer for US$2799

MacMall is selling off the Dual 2GHz Power Mac G5’s that comprised the “System X” or “Big Mac” super computing cluster:

Dr. Srinidhi Varadarajan of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University had always dreamed of building a world-class supercomputer. But with only a fraction of the budget of most supercomputing programs, Dr. Varadarajan’s dream seemed hopeless. He crunched numbers, solicited every likely vendor, and ultimately discarded all options using current platforms and chips. Then history was made in June of 2003 when Apple announced the release of the Power Mac G5.

With the release of the Power Mac G5, Dr. Varadarajan realized his dream could now become a reality, without overtaxing his limited budget. Varadarajan made the call and in November of 2003 Virginia Tech


  1. Some kind of certificate and a engraved plate attached to the side of the chassis indicating the machine was part of the cluster would have been a smart move to increase the value of purchasing one of these.

  2. yup yup
    I agree.. not a real value at all.. it won’t be long before the new G5’s are here and the now dual 2.0g will be less than 2700. hardly a bargin, plaque or no plaque

  3. I second the RAM notion, if its only got stock memory, its hardly ‘part of a supercomputer’. Give me 8gb of ram and charge 3000 flat. Then its a good deal and a piece of history.

  4. It comes with an extra 512mb of RAM, so that brings the retail price to 3220 after you subtract $29 for the lack of a modem. This doesn’t even include the NIC (Network Interface Card) which I have no idea how much that runs. So it’s a 14% discount from retail.

  5. Pity it’s only available to U.S. residents. If you’re not American, MacMall won’t even let you open an account. Just guess how much of my business they’re going to get. . . .

  6. They forgot the InfiniBand interconnect. I can’t build my supercomputer of 2 Macs without it ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

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