“Virginia Tech’s recently rebuilt Mac supercomputer has squeezed out a few more teraflops, but it probably won’t be able to keep its top-five world ranking. Released Tuesday, the 12.25-teraflops benchmark would put System X in fourth place in the world ratings, but it will probably be surpassed by new supercomputers from NASA, IBM and others,” Leander Kahney reports for Wired News. “The new top 500 list will be released in November at the SuperComputing 2004 conference in Pittsburgh. The Mac-based System X was rated the third-fastest machine on the planet last November.”
“Jack Dongarra, a computer science professor at University of Tennessee and one of the compilers of the top 500 list, said System X may fall even further. ‘It’s not clear it will be in the top 10 for the next list,’ he said,” Kahney reports. “System X is still the fastest academic supercomputer, but will likely get bumped into sixth or seventh position by bigger — and much more expensive — machines, Varadarajan said. ‘We expect to be in the top 10,’ said Varadarajan. ‘Where, we don’t know. Top five is not possible, probably. We really don’t know where we’ll show up. There’s always an October surprise. Last year, we were the October surprise. This year, it will probably be someone else. Every year, someone pops up.'”
Kahney reports, “Varadarajan said System X is still the cheapest supercomputer by a very large margin. Varadarajan said competing systems cost $20 million and up, compared to System X’s approximately $5.8 million price tag ($5.2 million for the initial machines, and $600,000 for the Xserve upgrade).”
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