Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 27th Oct 2004 01:17 UTC
SGI and IRIX Even as Silicon Graphics trumpeted on Tuesday a new speed record with the Columbia supercomputer it built for NASA, CNET News.com has learned, it quietly submitted another, faster result: 51.9 trillion calculations per second. SGI also plans to announce a new Linux computer Nov. 1, a machine that uses Intel's newest Itanium 2 processor and packs the chips twice as compactly as current machines do.
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yet anothe nail in the Irix/mips coffin
by Chris on Wed 27th Oct 2004 01:19 UTC

But still good news for SGI ;)

Wait a minute
by Smartpatrol on Wed 27th Oct 2004 01:38 UTC

<sarcasm>I thought Itanuim was dead?</sarcasm>

Price!
by Johnny on Wed 27th Oct 2004 01:55 UTC

Yea, it's a super fast machine, but it also cost something around $50 million. For the money you 12,000 dual xserves which would blow the SGI numbers away.

@Small-pa-troll
by Eu on Wed 27th Oct 2004 01:55 UTC

Itanium is dead as a general software platform. It will survice as a niche platform for those doing mathematically intensive work and modelling.

RE: wait a minute
by Anonymous on Wed 27th Oct 2004 02:32 UTC

> <sarcasm>I thought Itanuim was dead?</sarcasm>

The really sad part is that the number of Itanium CPU's in this supercomputer alone will acount for half of all Itanium CPU's shipped this quarter -- not a very positive statistic. It doesn't look like Itanic is gaining *any* traction nowadays.

@Johnny
by SubAtomic Toad on Wed 27th Oct 2004 05:50 UTC

12,000 dual XServes will not provide this level of performance. Even using the fastest available clustering interconnect (ie Infiniband, Myrnet, etc).

It does the job better than anything out there. Price is really more of a concern for dweebs who think white boxes or clustered dual proc systems can do everything. People who do "REAL WORK"™ are willing to pay the price.

Re: Price!
by Anonymous on Wed 27th Oct 2004 05:53 UTC

Well if you can create an xserve based platform that offers a single image solution and the same amount of bandwidth, then maybe you had a case. This is a cluster of supers, not a cluster of PC's... two very different things. There are problems that are not easily mapped to a multi-image system, and vice versa.

SGI + IA64
by dude on Wed 27th Oct 2004 06:34 UTC

At least one company is really making a difference using Itanium. HP could learn a thing or two from these boys.

Finally...
by Anonymous on Wed 27th Oct 2004 06:42 UTC

Supercomputing, just a matter of money.

Kudos
by Anonymous on Wed 27th Oct 2004 06:42 UTC

Congrats to SGI for adapting their business to the 21st century. As was previously mentioned, HP as well as Sun, SCO, MSFT, and RIAA could learn a thing or two from companies like IBM, SGI, and some digital camera companies.

RE: Kudos
by opa on Wed 27th Oct 2004 07:17 UTC

"Congrats to SGI for adapting their business to the 21st century. As was previously mentioned, HP as well as Sun, SCO, MSFT, and RIAA could learn a thing or two from companies like IBM, SGI, and some digital camera companies."

Hell yes. Without rock-bottom share prices and dwindling sales, how will Microsoft ever survive?

raytracing
by stew on Wed 27th Oct 2004 08:30 UTC

In related news, SGI presents hardware raytracing in their workstations:
http://uk.biz.yahoo.com/041007/183/f440s.html

@EU
by Anonymous on Wed 27th Oct 2004 11:22 UTC

Itanium is dead as a general software platform. It will survice as a niche platform for those doing mathematically intensive work and modelling.
Niche like the kind of customers SGI traditionally gets? They weren't exactly "mainstream" with Irix/MIPS.


@Stew
In related news, SGI presents hardware raytracing in their workstations:
http://uk.biz.yahoo.com/041007/183/f440s.html


I wouldn't call that news. That's just bundling someone else's product along with theirs. It's like saying "Corel bundles Wacom tablets with their Painter software" or more relevant "Boxx Tech ships 3D workstations with 3DLabs Wildcat video cards."

SGI
by Garrett on Wed 27th Oct 2004 13:54 UTC

Two of our SGI guys helped put this project together and took lots of pictures. All i can say is that its a really sweet set up. At my facility we house the altex machines as well as the origin machines. We have over 3000 cpus to calculate our data. And will be replacing and expanding our origins with altex machines. Also NASA will be turning some of there altex machine into a 2048 cpu node.


Garrett

v Off Topic!
by foljs on Wed 27th Oct 2004 14:32 UTC
v RE: Off Topic!
by helf on Wed 27th Oct 2004 15:05 UTC
RE: raytracing & SGI
by Nice on Wed 27th Oct 2004 15:16 UTC

"That's just bundling someone else's product along with theirs"

Do other workstations and commodity renderfarm kit from other vendors have hardware-accelerated raytracing already? I am truely curious.

Garrett, any chance we can see those pictures? I'd love to read a commentary from those guys putting those kind of systems together, preferrably on osnews? Would be a very interesting article.

looks like fun
by hmmm on Wed 27th Oct 2004 15:47 UTC

I miss the time when I was working at SGI. I had fun helping a team build a 64P Onyx 2 system. I can only imagine how much fun it was setting up a 512P Altix 3000+, or 20 of 'em. Never got my hands on a Cray Metarouter or anything that cool (T3E), dunno if they're needed with those Altix systems. But from what I've seen, all of SGI's architecture it truely fascinating and fun to work with. They actually make computing fun.

But its not yet perfect, you can't run a single thread across all 512 processors simultaneously. I want to see them doing that before I'll buy one. ;) er, well, I'll never be able to afford one, but its a nice thought.

I hope it is becoming obvious to everyone as Linux and Windows both are becoming more and more processor neutral, AMD64 will eventually die out. Itanium is definately not dead. It has design problems, but these design problems are being fixed. Overall, it is a great chip. It just came out before it's time. As it takes more and more market share in the high end, and it becomes cheaper and cheaper to produce, it will move to the low end as well and push the x86 64 bit extension out. Computers are moving in a whole new direction, a direction where the x86 chipset is not able to go. In the next 4-5 years, you will see similarily priced PCs with either Itanium, Power 5, and x86 64 chipsets. On these PC's, you will be able to run either Windows or Linux. Which will you choose? I know I will be going for either Itanium or Power 5.

IA-64 isn't intrinsically better than AMD64; the only reason Itanium is faster than Opteron is because it's bigger: it has more FPUs, more cache, etc. If Intel makes Itanium cheaper, it will also have to be slower. But if the cheap Itanium ends up offering similar performance to Opteron/Xeon, then there is no reason to buy a non-backwards-compatible Itanium.

alpha
by newbert on Wed 27th Oct 2004 19:00 UTC

"In the next 4-5 years, you will see similarily priced PCs with either Itanium, Power 5, and x86 64 chipsets."

i'm sure they thought that about the Alpha too. there was Windows for Alpha and IBM PPC at one time.

@slash
by dizz on Wed 27th Oct 2004 23:27 UTC

wath you wrote reminds me of this qoute
" I don't have figures, but my guess is that the fraction of the 60 million existing PCs that are 386/486 machines as opposed to 8088/286/680x0 etc is small. Among students it is even smaller. Making software free, but only for folks with enough money to buy first class hardware is an interesting concept. Of course 5 years from now that will be different, but 5 years from now everyone will be running free GNU on their 200 MIPS, 64M SPARCstation-5."

i dont think the x86 line will die for the itaium that fast it has been said in the past but it still hasnt happend of course
sooner or later there will probobly be something else but i dont belive that it will be 5years from now

Related news from SGI
by dpi on Thu 28th Oct 2004 06:07 UTC

New visualisation workstation, the Prism http://www.sgi.com/products/visualization/prism/