Hands On Cray CX1 Windows Supercomputer: One Day, It'll Make Crysis Cry

Cray's CX1 supercomputer looks oddly petite in its weird press shot, but we checked it out in person today, and it's actually like a small sarcophagus loaded with computer guts instead of actual guts. Unfortunately, it's still fairly early in the getting-going phase, so they don't have a lot of software running for it, much less anything that'll drill your eyeballs like Crysis at 6000FPS—though I think I convinced them that a Crysis test is absolutely critical.

The "cool stuff" will take about three weeks to get up and running, with the more visual demos coming at the tail-end of that. The one benchmark they currently have is that it hits 768 Gigaflops, which they hope to bump over 800 with some fine-tuning. Moving from Nvidia's Quadro 4600 to their newer Tesla cards should give the system a jolt as well, since they're explicitly designed for parallel computing applications, like what the CX1 is designed for.

The CX1 can hold up to eight computing blades—though the storage and visual blade each take up two slots, so the model they were showing had four computing blades, and one of each. While each blade is highly customizable, the cheapest one they had configured was about $US4,000, and a fully spec'd out CX1 goes for about $US85,000 (slightly higher than they originally announced). While it's not actually designed for gaming at all, for that much I'd want it to burn Crysis directly into my brain. [Cray]

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