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Cheap New Personal Supercomputer

Posted by ebowen On January - 25 - 2009

Nvidia has come out with a new personal super computer…it’s called the Tesla.  They use 4 GPUs  (each with 240 computing cores each for a total of 960) that enable massive parallel computing in a small package.  Each core has 4GB of dedicated RAM.  The Tesla is capable of almost 4 teraflops (tera FLoating point OPerations per Second or One trillion floating point operations per second) of processing power…to put this in to context,  the average PC in 2008 can handle around fifty-one Gigaflops, which makes the Tesla 250 times faster than your desktop.  The Tesla is based on the NVIDIA® CUDA™ computing archetecture.  All for the low, low price of ~$10,000…this computer is thousands of times faster than the Cray super-computer which cost $15 million.  You can also build your own for about $8500.

Below are the tech specs of the Tesla as provided by Nvidia.  For more details on the Tesla check out the Nvidia Tesla home page.

Tesla Architecture

  • Massively-parallel many-core architecture
  • 240 scalar processor cores per GPU
  • Integer, single-precision and double-precision floating point operations
  • Hardware Thread Execution Manager enables thousands of concurrent threads per GPU
  • Parallel shared memory enables processor cores to collaborate on shared information at local cache performance
  • Ultra-fast GPU memory access with 102 GB/s peak bandwidth per GPU
  • IEEE 754 single-precision and double-precision floating point
  • Each Tesla C1060 GPU delivers 933 GFlops Single Precision and 78 GFlops Double Precision performance

Software Development Tools

  • C language compiler, debugger, profiler, and emulation mode for debugging
  • Standard numerical libraries for FFT (Fast Fourier Transform), BLAS (Basic Linear Algebra Subroutines), and CuDPP (CUDA Data Parallel Primitives)

Product Details

  • 3 or 4 Tesla C1060 Computing Processors with 4GB of dedicated memory per GPU
  • 2.33 GHz+ Quad-core AMD Phenom or Opteron, — OR — Quad-core Intel Core 2 or Xeon
  • Minimum system memory: 12 GB for 3 Tesla C1060s and 16 GB for 4 Tesla C1060s (at least 4GB per Tesla C1060)
  • 12GB+ system memory (at least 4GB per Tesla C1060)
  • 1200-1350 Watt Power supply
  • Acoustics < 45dbA

Supported Platforms

  • Microsoft® Windows® XP 64-bit and 32-bit (64-bit recommended)
  • Linux® 64-bit and 32-bit (64-bit recommended)
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5
    • SUSE 10.1, 10.2 and 10.3


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