Steven Timm timm at
Thu Jul 6 09:32:24 PDT 2000

> ASCI White can perform a mind-boggling 12.3 trillion operations a
> second, or 12.3 teraflops. It is three times faster than the previous
> fastest machine, another IBM giant known as ASCI Blue, which runs at
> 3.8 teraflops.
> ASCI White is not one computer, but a massively parallel machine made
> from 512 of IBM's RS 6000 servers. Each server has 16 processors --
> supercharged versions of the PowerPC chips used in Apple's Macs --
> which also operate in parallel.
> Total processors: 8,192.

OK--so here's the question:

12.3 Teraflops from 8192 processors means that they are getting 
approximately 1.5 Gflops/processor.  That's a factor of 15 faster
than your typical 500 MHz Pentium III.  Yet IBM doesn't
show any SPEC marks on single-processor machines that are 
faster than a Pentium at all.

So are they using a new chip in these machines that is unavailable
to mere mortals?  Or are they playing tricks with their floating
point benchmarks?  Or both?

The $/GFlop is pretty good too, $8.9K/Gflop.  Has anyone 
beat this?  And could we order 1/512 of ASCI White for a reasonable price?

Steven C. Timm (630) 840-8525  timm at
Fermilab Computing Division/Operating Systems Support
Central Systems Support Group--Computing Farms Operations
On Wed, 5 Jul 2000, Eugene Leitl wrote:

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