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IBM Hydro Cluster Water Cooling  (Source: IBM)
IBM Power 575 performs at 600 GFlops per node

Computer enthusiasts that overclock their CPUs have known for a long time that liquid cooling has the potential to cool the processor better than air cooling. Liquid cooling in the enthusiast space is common and has even given way in the extreme performance categories to much more exotic means of cooling processors.

In the supercomputer realm companies like IBM have traditionally relied on air cooling for the CPUs via air conditioning for the room the supercomputer is in. IBM introduced its latest supercomputer called the Power 575, which is equipped with IBM’s latest Power6 microprocessor. The Power 575 has moved from air cooling to liquid cooling and thanks to the liquid cooling useing water-chilled copper plates located above each processor, the new supercomputer requires 80% fewer air conditioning units.

The significantly reduced need for air conditioning means that the energy needed to cool the data center can be reduced by 40%. IBM researchers say water can be up to 4,000 times more efficient than air cooling for computer systems.

The Power 575 supercomputer has 448 cores per rack and provides over five times the performance of its predecessor and is three times more energy efficient per rack. Each rack features 14 2U nodes each consisting of 32 4.7GHz cores of Power6 and 3.5TB of memory. Each node is capable of 600 GFlops and is three times more efficient in GFlops per kilowatt than the Power5 air-cooled processors.



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RE: The water of life.
By masher2 (blog) on 4/9/2008 3:43:20 PM , Rating: 2
> "Maybe miniPC's like the EEE desktop (and comparable PC's) would become more full featured and remain fanless..."

In 10 years, a "mini-PC" will be several times more powerful than a full-fledged desktop of today. For most people, that's going to be more than enough power.

In 2018, I can see workstations, servers, and bleeding-edge gaming machines still needing forced-air cooling, but your average home PC? Seems doubtful.


RE: The water of life.
By DeepBlue1975 on 4/9/2008 4:20:52 PM , Rating: 2
By 2018 I think we will have operating systems that will want to take advantage of the available hardware even for average use, and succesfully implement, or at least try to, things like the following:

- natural speech recognition
- virtual, more intuitive and immersive GUIs making extensive use of 3d graphics
- more embedded AI to take on simple maintenance tasks and repetitive actions responding to usage patterns that by today require active user intervention

Your average Joe will want a speech commanded computer evne more so than your average computer geek.
Fancier, more intelligent and intuitive interfaces on OSs are not there to benefit the power users as to make the less savvy ones get more easily comfortable with machines, so your average user will want the latest and greatest OS supporting the best eye candy experience he can get because it'll probably reduce his need to interact with the computer to a bunch of simple commands (issued by voice or simply by making gestures by waving your hands in the air rather than using a keyboard).

I think browsing the net 10 years from now will not mean just using a 2d browser showing 2d content, but something much richer and immersive.

2d browsing can't get much better than what we have now. I think tabbed browsing is the first shy step to start thinking about a 3d browser, and from them on 3d content should start appearing to take full advantage of the fact that even the cheapest IGP will have ability to decently cope with real time 3d content.


RE: The water of life.
By AggressorPrime on 4/9/2008 7:01:10 PM , Rating: 2
That is like saying back in 1995 that nobody will ever use more than 256KB of RAM. (Or whatever and whenever Bill Gates made his RAM error.) Computers become more powerful because we need them to be more powerful. There will never come a time in which the home user will be able to buy a low end computer and never be frustrated with low performance.


RE: The water of life.
By masher2 (blog) on 4/9/2008 9:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
> "That is like saying back in 1995 that nobody will ever use more than 256KB of RAM"

No, not quite. Obviously user demand for computing power will continue to grow. But over the next decade, hardware will grow faster. That's just the opposite of the situation during the 1980s and 90s. That's to be expected -- the industry is maturing.

> "There will never come a time in which the home user will be able to buy a low end computer and never be frustrated with low performance. "


I agree. But in a decade, a "low end computer" will be the size of a small cell phone...and it'll still be more powerful than a power desktop is today.

Actually, I'll go even further than that. I predict that, within 10-15 years, the *average* person won't even own a "standalone" computer. They'll own some sort of convergence device...and will fill their computing needs entirely with it. It might take the shape of a combo computer/phone/mediaplayer, or a computer/console/videoplayer, or even a computer/food processor/whatever. But standalone machines that do nothing but "compute" will not be something the average person buys. Those will be relegated to power users only.


RE: The water of life.
By djc208 on 4/10/2008 7:21:12 AM , Rating: 2
Add in the increase in interconnectivity thanks to wi-fi/bluetooth/etc. and the increase in internet access and functionality and I think you're on the right track.

The collection of smaller devices that work together with either an internet-based application/storage source or a combination of that and some sort of home server will handle most peoples needs 95% of the time.

It could easily end up that the most powerful computer in your house is the game console, which like we're seeing today is becoming an extension of your entertainment center and your computer anyway.

When your cell phone has the same power as an eeE PC does today along with wireless internet and some form of Bluetooth then between that and internet apps and storage most people won't need a normal desktop or laptop PC.


RE: The water of life.
By vladio on 4/9/2008 11:14:08 PM , Rating: 2
"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - Bill Gates, 1981
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Bill_Gates
#1. No one talked about "256KB"
64KB -> 640KB -> 1MB -> 4GB limit for 32-bit systems.
#2. you say "1995" -> Win95 ring the bell?
Year 1995...
for some 'Ancient History',
for some 'like yesterday'


RE: The water of life.
By ninus3d on 4/10/2008 3:16:40 AM , Rating: 2
Not really true I think as I believe that has already happened. I have built a few "office pc's" for friend's parents and the like and by getting away with a fully working pc that they are satisfied with, for less than £200 (excluding the monitor) they still sit with all the speed
"they would ever need".
It does all the media functions they would dream of neeeding aswell, like HD and 5.1 or better output to their home cinema etc, how likely are "family fathers and mothers" to hit the wall in terms of perfomance? (Unless, they like games)


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