China reclaims world's fastest supercomputer title

By Shawn Knight · 29 replies
Jun 18, 2013
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  1. The United States no longer plays home to the world’s fastest supercomputer. That title is now owned by China’s Tianhe-2 (also known as the Milky Way-2) supercomputer which recently produced 33.86 petaflops per second in Linpack according to the Top...

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  2. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    But can it play Crysis on Max settings.
  3. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    Do they play Crysis in China?
  4. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,377   +286

    The computational power required in order to fully simulate Minesweeper and Battleships is through the roof. Or they are going to run a huge multi-boxing WoW accounts to sell them golds to the western world! :D
    BlueDrake likes this.
  5. domyz

    domyz TS Booster Posts: 28   +31

    Barely I think
  6. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    Yeah, it'll be a great cover while they hack into US govt and corporate servers.
    H3llion likes this.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    If we'd stop shopping at Walmart, they wouldn't have the funding to scoff at us like this.

    I mean really, "my petaflopper is bigger than your petaflopper", how childish is that?
    H3llion, GhostRyder and Jad Chaar like this.
  8. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

  9. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,136   +131

    I bet that thing can farm a lot of WoW gold.
    Jad Chaar and H3llion like this.
  10. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    Why would you need a PC to do that when there are plenty of lazy human scumbag low-lives willing to do it for next to nothing? :p
  11. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    What else can the Chinese use it for apart from running Linpack... Calculate their electricity expenditure? Of which that thing guzzles half of what the rest of the nation uses.
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,726   +3,700

    When you find out why anyone would need one, you will have your answer. Just because its within their borders, does not mean all uses will be localized. Globally used servers have to be placed somewhere.
  13. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,377   +286

    Specially in them Chinese/Korean prisons where your compulsory day to day routines are just that, play games and farm then pixel golds!!! :D
  14. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Yeah you're right. Now I have my answer.
  15. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 115   +11

    Why don't we just combine all the supercomputing power we have into one great big giant super computing power house, surely this would solve many conundrums of the universe, imagine how many petaflops that would be!

    Oh wait that would be working together and thats not possible because the US and China constantly love showing off how big their e penises are to each other.
  16. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    (On a more serious note) Unfortunately, it will also mean, they will not have funds to finance US debt, since they'll see no value in holding trillions $$$$$$ in reserves, hence, it will lead to a huge crash in $ value, which will in turn mean, other nations will not see much value in holding their reserves in $$$ ....... so I guess its a no go from the start.

    However, I whole heartedly agree with your second assertion ;)
  17. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    That really isn't willy waving at the US.

    It took the Chinese to build a supercomputer with roughly 6-times more CPU's running at the same clock speed (3,120,000 cores 2.20GHz Xeon E5-2692 vs Titan's 560,640 cores of AMD Operton 6274's @ 2.20GHz), consuming over twice the power envelope (17,808KW vs Titan's 8,209KW) to produce a score using Linpack that's basically providing an increase of 16.27 petaflops-per-second over the Titan's impressive 17.59 petaflops score. So it costs an absolute bomb (since when are Xeon E5's cheap?) and consumes the electricity of an entire developing nation to function.

    Two things are very clear: First, we give China far too much bloody money and secondly, jesus that's 260,000 Xeon E5-2692's!! Guess it'll make for a nice password crunching machine to grab more secret US technologies though. ;)
  18. Those core numbers are not even remotely accurate. The number for Tianhe-2 includes both the Xeons and the Xeon Phi coprosessors.
    The number for Titan includes Opteron cores and Nvidia SMXs in the Teslas(had they counted Cuda 'cores' you would get 50 million 'cores' just there). Core count for these systems are meaningless anyway due to the radically different architectures of the coprosessors and inconsistent way of counting cores(SMX/CU versus cuda/shader cores).
    The computational power mainly comes from the coprosessors, the CPUs handle communication.

    Had it actually been av case where you pitted 3 million Ivy Bridge cores against 0.5 million Piledriver cores, you would need to be the worlds worst system architect to only get twice the performance and similar perf/watt...
  19. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,726   +3,700

    Thats the subject for a different topic I was referring to. It's not completely irrelevant but we might as well start talking about all the server specs while we add RAM.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    All this in lieu of the simple, "I don't know", that would more than suffice?

    "How the **** should I know"? Works every time...;)
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,726   +3,700

    • Whats their storage capacity?
    • Are they using SSD's or HDD's?
    • How often do they service drive failures?
    • Whats the size of the building?
    • Are they using special cooling methods?
    • How large is personnel for maintenance?
    • It would be nice to know if they completed construction in record time.
    • What was the total cost of the project from ground up?
    Since we are adding RAM to the list of questions, here is my short list of questions. All these questions are off-topic from total computational power. As much as I would like to know, they are subjects for a different topic.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    Well, no they aren't questions for a different day or topic. It could be argued that since we weren't provided with at least some specs of our best supercomputer, and also the same specs from the Chinese computer that beat it, the article was incomplete.

    Really, if it raises more questions than it answers, draw your own conclusion..

    I simply don't care. But then I'm 65, so I spend much of the day preoccupied with dreadful thoughts about my own mortality, and how stupid and unnecessary it is to own a "smart phone". I care even less about how much RAM or CPU speed is in those abominations.
    Leeky likes this.
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,726   +3,700

    You see thats where you are wrong, the topic is not about the super-computer itself. The topic is a specific aspect of the super computer.

    Thats fine and dandy though, because I'm not fueling your desires for this off-topic discussion any further.
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,005   +2,532

    It's your ball and you're taking it home now. I know the drill. Your petulance is only cute to a point, and you're the one that believes it is the most.

    "I'm going to stop now, because I'm right and you're wrong". That's how that songs goes isn't it?
  25. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 576   +185

    I don't get the point of caring who has the fastest single computer system, but just quickly counting through the top 50 on the 500 site China has 4 super computers, while the united states has 16. Who do you think is getting more done the country with 4 high end computers systems or the country with 16. Also just within the top ten the united states have 5 systems listed, half of the worlds 10 fastest computer systems are in the united states. Another interesting little number crunch is there computer uses 17 megawatts, our top 3 use 18.5 mega watts, talk about efficiency. Also those 3 systems using only 1 mega watt more have a combined processing power of 45 petaflops, so 1mw more of power usage but 12 more Petaflops. Also looking at some of the systems the USA have in planning this title prob won't stay with the Chinese for long.

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