Monster Machines: How Europe Chills Its Fastest Supercomputer

Monster Machines: How Europe Chills Its Fastest Supercomputer
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Extreme PC gamers often use highly efficient water cooling systems to eek every last drop of performance out of their PCs. But Europe’s most powerful supercomputer, the SuperMUC, will be one of the first facilities to use a water-cooling system on a far grander scale.

Networks of fans, ventilation systems and air conditioning are usually used to cool giant data centres. But that approach is incredibly expensive, often costing just as much to run the computers as it does to cool them. So IBM developed a giant water cooling system for the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre Campus which houses the SuperMUC. Even though it uses warm water, up to 45C, the compact system is claimed to be about 4000 times more efficient than an air cooling approach, and is promised to save the facility up to $US1.25 million in operating expenses every year.

But the savings aren’t only from more efficiently cooling the SuperMUC. All of that heated water is then pumped throughout the data centre, heating the facility’s offices and its occupants in the winter months. It’s win-win, and if you’ve been looking for a more efficient way to heat your home when it’s cold, you might also want to consider installing your own 18,000 processor supercomputer.

[IBM via Gizmag]