US Army’s ‘MACH 5’ Apple supercomputer opens eyes

“With the announcement that it is providing 1,566 servers to an Army supercomputer project, Apple Computer Inc. is making a move into the high-performance computing market that may open new doors for the company,” Michael Hardy writes for Federal Computer Week.

“Historically strong in the consumer and business markets, Apple has not previously had much of a presence in the server market, especially not in high-performance clusters, according to analysts. But that may be changing with a new operating system based on Unix, and the horsepower of the PowerPC chipset that Apple machines use,” Hardy writes. “Colsa Corp. recently chose Apple’s Xserve G5 processors for the Army project. The supercomputer that Colsa officials will build should have a peak performance of 25 teraflops, or 25 trillion operations/ sec. The system, to be built in Huntsville, Ala., will model the complex aerothermodynamics of hypersonic flight for the Army. The system is called Multiple Advanced Computers for Hypersonic research, or MACH 5.”

“The Xserve is a superior server, said Anthony DiRenzo, executive vice president of Colsa. He chose Apple’s product based on its performance, power requirements and cost, he said, adding that one key element in his decision was the system’s low power consumption,” Hardy writes. “‘We put these clusters into production for a user who uses it all day and all night,’ DiRenzo said. ‘This thing needs to be up, it needs to be stable, it needs to be online.'”

Full article here.


  1. Yikes…..I’m wondering, now that all these clusters are popping up, will we see a list where 1/2 of the top 10 supercomputers in the world are based on OSX? When will someone fork over the money and shoot for #1 on that list?

  2. Did they completely overlook the original G5 cluster at Va.Tech? Aparently so, since all they said was that VaTech was in the PROCESS of building one, rather than ANOTHER one, which vaulted into third place the first time it was a viable competitor.

  3. Built for “a user who uses it all day and all night”. Well, now I know why they didn’t choose a Windows server. Glad to see my tax dollars going for efficiency.

  4. of course, thurrott just had a quote a week ago saying that AMD servers trounce Xserves in almost every single way…

    and somehow , they’re too expensive !!!

    ugh.. what BS

  5. Cool! From personal experinece, I know OS X Server and XServes are awesome. Too bad it’s going to see how fast we can kill people, or get them to the other side of the planet.

  6. “Too bad it’s going to see how fast we can kill people,”

    Such is life. get a grip and deal with it. Frick’en cell phones kill people . . .
    (with those one handed dialer drivers)


  7. Vtech is passing a lot of information around. The MACH5 one is passing smaller amounts of information around , but doing a lot with it. They don’t need the same networking oomph as the Vtech cluster.

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