[Beowulf] deskside Cray prices

Peter St. John peter.st.john at gmail.com
Wed Oct 22 08:59:22 PDT 2008

Just for fun, I configured the new deskside Cray as if for Christmas, at

I chose one (3 slots of 8) storage node with 8x 10K rpm drives, 5 (1 slot)
compute nodes (so 6x32 = 192 GB ram, ECC 800Mhz) with dual socket, quad core
3.0 GHz (so 6x8= 48 cores), and generally took everything (e.g. the
battery-backup RAID controller instead of the default), 12 port infiniband
kit, but no "visualization node" (which would interest you if you were using
HPC for rendering).

MS2008 installed would be about a $3500 premium over Red Hat installed; the
support price is the same though. Since I'm "splurging" I let them install
Red Hat for me.

It came out to $89K, which I emphatically don't have :-) if I did, I'd
surely call Joe for a quote first.

I remember when Bell Labs bought new Crays, they sold their old ones to
DuPont. I was in awe of the idea of a hand-me-down supercomputer (DuPont has
tremendous resources and does not need to buy second-hand stuff, in general.
They built the first commercial scale nuclear reactor, at the Savanah
River).  So I would indeed love to own a Cray, I feel the appeal.

But for 90K I could have a heck of a lot of commodity nodes. But it was fun
to look.

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