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Tyan's new personal supercomputer features 40-processing cores

Tyan Computer has announced its latest TyanPSC T-650 series personal supercomputers powered by Intel’s 50-watt quad-core Xeon processors. Tyan targets the TyanPSC T-650 series towards office environments. The new TyanPSC T-650 is a 5-node cluster with 40 CPU cores per system.

Dual, quad-core Intel Xeon L5320 processors clocked at 1.86 GHz power each node. The quad-core Xeon processors consume 50-watts per processor. Tyan rates the TyanPSC T-650 as consuming a maximum of 1400-watts total, with 40 CPU cores, while producing less than 52 decibels of noise.

"Our T-600 series personal supercomputers represent a tremendous leap for our customers who require performance-on-demand to reach their efficiency goals and get results. With the TyanPSC T-600 series, you just open the box, roll it into your office and plug it in. That's what we provide our customers – hands on supercomputing,” said Eric Chang, general manager, High Performance Computing Product Group.

TyanPSC T-650 series supercomputers are available with Microsoft Windows Computer Cluster Server 2003 or Linux. Pricing starts at $20,000 USD for the supercomputer.

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By deeznuts on 3/20/2007 6:41:14 PM , Rating: 2
Just wondering. What would some practical uses for this in a small office environment be?

RE: Uses
By jpeyton on 3/20/2007 6:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
Smaller University research labs?

RE: Uses
By MrBungle123 on 3/20/2007 7:00:07 PM , Rating: 5
Or those people that like to beat off over their folding@home work unit count.

RE: Uses
By thatguy39 on 3/20/2007 7:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
hahaha, very good one

RE: Uses
By Hyperlite on 3/20/2007 7:21:56 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Uses
By ADDAvenger on 3/20/2007 8:43:29 PM , Rating: 2
That's actually the first thing I thought of, although I doubt many people will spring for this at 20K

RE: Uses
By Ringold on 3/20/2007 10:33:07 PM , Rating: 2
I know enough guys with quad-cores just for F@H, so it wouldn't shock me if somebody sprung for one of these for F@H.

Oh yes, of course, they said it was "other work", but ripping a DVD and re-encoding it to DVD5 once a week doesn't count. It was for F@H.

RE: Uses
By Goty on 3/20/2007 9:02:13 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly. I could definitely use one of these to run some galaxy collision simulations on. Running it on a 16-CPU, Opteron based system isn't bad, but this would be great.

RE: Uses
By Anonymous Freak on 3/20/2007 7:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
I have no idea.

But I still want one. :-p

Realistically, it would be great for companies or organizations that need compute clusters, like research facilities or software development houses that want dedicated compile clusters.

Yeah, a 'server' doesn't need that much processor power, bandwidth, memory and storage are the most important aspects of just about any server today. But there are uses for such power. (Damn, that computer is the size of a 'minicomputer' we had in high school that was one of the fastest computers in the state back in the day, and yet even a single core of this system is faster than the entire minicomputer we had. Hell, at 4 MB of RAM per dual-core, one chip (four cores, 8 MB,) has as much RAM as the entire system we had in high school.)

RE: Uses
By Seer on 3/21/2007 8:53:47 PM , Rating: 2
What you're trying to say:

"one chip has as much L2 cache as the entire system in highschool had RAM"

Sorry for the nitpick, but ram /= cache

RE: Uses
By Dactyl on 3/20/2007 7:06:54 PM , Rating: 3
Here is a list of Tyan's partners in their PSC intiative:

Fluent, BioTeam and Parallel Geo make software that works well with Tyan's clusters. Other useful applications would include 3D rendering (and other forms of image/video/sound processing) and Electronic Design Automation (EDA).

The AMD Socket F version (20 cores max until Barcelona) will have an SLI motherboard as its main motherboard, so it will be more useful for people working with graphics.

Obviously, these aren't for everyone, but some people will find them incredibly useful.

RE: Uses
By neokoo on 3/21/2007 1:05:56 AM , Rating: 2
Other useful applications would include 3D rendering (and other forms of image/video/sound processing) and Electronic Design Automation (EDA).

Yes, this would be a dream for musicians and studios that use a lot of software synthesis and effects (VST, RTAS etc.). This is probably the first all-in-one-box PC that would be powerful enough for working at sample rates over 96kHz without freezing or bouncing tracks at all... then again, it's not that hard to max out CPU by using computation-intensive plugins with oversampling.

RE: Uses
By TheWizardofOz on 3/20/2007 7:16:46 PM , Rating: 3
I'm a civil engineer and i did an internship in a company 2 years ago.

They were calculating truss stresses and potential live and dead loads for a highrise building. These calculations are not very complex but to get these done for a 70 story tower could take weeks for a person to calculate by hand.

They were using SAP2000 program for these calculations. And it still took them 12 hours to complete. (Dual Athlon MPs, 2 GB RAM, They left the PC running overnight)

But if they invest some money in this kind of super PC, I'm sure those calculations can be done drastically faster, let's say 2 hours?

That'll save time and time=money gentleman!

RE: Uses
By ZmaxDP on 3/20/2007 7:29:36 PM , Rating: 4
If it took them 12 hours to complete on dual Athlon MP's, it would only take them two hours on a single quad core c2d. That's the scaling we're seeing with most rendering apps at least. Assuming the scaling efficiency is close, this thing should crank out the answer in four minutes...

RE: Uses
By otispunkmeyer on 3/21/2007 5:31:55 AM , Rating: 2
i wish Abaqus CAE would work like that.

after about 4 cores you get really rubbish returns by adding more CPU's

RE: Uses
By mindless1 on 3/22/2007 7:16:15 AM , Rating: 2
Since a single quad C2D doesn't have 6X the raw processing power, it would be a limited use that saw that kind of scaling, particular apps optimized for this use. That doesn't begin to discount that it would always be faster, but generalizations about gain depend far too much on the variables involved beyond just the CPUs.

RE: Uses
By mindless1 on 3/22/2007 7:09:14 AM , Rating: 2
In that situation, supposing there was nobody trying to work overnight, what time was saved?

If whoever is responsible is waiting until 2 hours before the results were needed to proceed, the way to save money is to fire that person, not 'sink $20K into a system that does same thing the present one does, only faster.

Also, if it it takes weeks to do by hand, a dual Athlon MP should be able to do it in a minute or two - seriously, the only bottleneck there is inputting the information. A job that takes 12 hours on any remotely modern computer would be several lifetimes worth of calculations.

RE: Uses
By lukasbradley on 3/20/2007 8:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
I would use it as the main computational source for a thin-client network.

RE: Uses
By Calin on 3/21/2007 4:00:17 AM , Rating: 2
There are people that run numeric simulations that would take too long on a normal PC. As such, multiplying its power by 5 (assuming a 2-processor, quad-core workstation) would be great. There are plenty of tasks which can run on tens of processors.
Also, one could use one to test parallel algorithms.

In your typical office environment, its use would be nil - once you start reaching "number crunching" offices - video processing, fluid dynamics simulations, CAD, ... it starts to look very attractive

RE: Uses
By SiN on 3/21/2007 5:17:53 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, CAD? In todays offices? I don't know about fluid simulations or video processing since i have no experience... But CAD? This would be overkill, and without any experience with it, i also think it'd be overkill for video processing (but i have no experience so...). I don't think they intend to sell many anyhow, it's obviously a small market they're aiming for. I can't see anyone else apart from simulation engineers, F@H or research labs to name a few, utilizing this things potential. Certainly not CAD engineers (like myself) anyway.

Obviously in time 40 cores will be the norm for a home PC, though it'll probs go 1 core to 2, to 4, to 8, to 16 to 32 etc and jump 40 as the computing demand and supply is met.

RE: Uses
By josmala on 3/22/2007 5:47:25 AM , Rating: 2
Well CAD is large term.
Its exact meaning is Computer Aided Design.
And its more than just drawing stuff, for many fields the CAD software includes simulations in which even 200 times the speed up over normal PC:s would would make you ask more after the engineers get used to a machine thats 200 times as fast as desktops.
Sure there is low end CAD where the software is nothing more than fancy way of creating images and pictures.
But then there is high end CAD which includes simulation capabilities specific to industry where the CAD is being employed.
For highend CAD the per processor(or core) pricing is about how much that system costs. They will probably only buy the fastest they can get, on the processor family they are buying, so this system with its low clock processors is good for atleast some CAD vendors tools.

RE: Uses
By Webgod on 3/21/2007 11:03:41 AM , Rating: 2
This is just what I need to go with my personal super collider. And my personal fission reactor. And my holographic VR room.

RE: Uses
By bitlifter on 3/21/2007 12:13:58 PM , Rating: 2
This box is fantastic if you want to get rid of the noisy render farm in your 3D animation biz.

RE: Uses
By jacarte8 on 3/21/2007 1:35:13 PM , Rating: 3
Engineering simulations are not an extremely small market. At $20k, and with the right marketing, this thing could really take off. We were buying $8000 workstations just two years ago because that was about the best thing out there to buy, and that's not 10% of the performance of a box like this. Those $8000 workstations (2x 3.4ghz+ Xeons) would still take DAYS to run certain calculations (yes, yes P4 based = suck).

Anyway, don't underestimate the market for this type of equipment.

RE: Uses
By AstroCreep on 3/21/2007 1:53:11 PM , Rating: 2
With (effectively) 40 CPUs, you could use it with VMWare's ESX Server and virtualize a full server room worth of servers down to a handy box on wheels.

RE: Uses
By iNGEN on 3/21/2007 2:28:05 PM , Rating: 3
I own a small office building. One of the tenants is a recording studio. They do mixing, effects, joining, and all kinds of other "wizardry" with music. They use a 4-core Xeon machine to do all the processing independent of their recording machines. Their sound engineer complains constantly about having to keep a queue full of batch processes then review the results the following day. I imagine one of these might change that paradigm.

I worked in the market research department of a small advertising agency back in 1999. The whole agency had about a dozen employees. We turned to using AS/400 when doing data mining, because we couldn't get enough processing power in a PC to get the job done cost effectively. A system like TYAN's PSC might have made that job a lot easier and cheaper. I think we paid close to $50k for our AS/400. I imagine a comparable system from IBM still costs more than $20k.

1,400 Watts enough?
By tmok2007 on 3/20/2007 6:59:08 PM , Rating: 3
... requiring power from a standard wall outlet.

Not if I want to throw in a dozen of Raptors, a couple of 8800GTX, and overclock it a bit. I wonder whether it will run my Office applications any faster.

RE: 1,400 Watts enough?
By Anonymous Freak on 3/20/2007 7:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it depends. If you're running Vista, it will still be a touch slower than my Celeron 1.4 GHz with Intel Integrated graphics running Win 98.

RE: 1,400 Watts enough?
By ZmaxDP on 3/20/2007 7:30:31 PM , Rating: 3
Now THAT is FUNNY! (completely false, but funny as heck!)

RE: 1,400 Watts enough?
By matthewpapa on 3/20/2007 7:42:52 PM , Rating: 2
1.4kw is enough power to run a very large air conditioning unit

RE: 1,400 Watts enough?
By KaiserCSS on 3/20/2007 8:26:46 PM , Rating: 4
It'll never beat my flux capacitor rated at 1.21 jiggawatts!

RE: 1,400 Watts enough?
By peternelson on 3/21/2007 9:57:43 PM , Rating: 2
Dr. Emmett Brown: I'm sure in [2010] plutonium is available at every corner drugstore, but in [2007] it's a little hard to come by.


Dr. Emmett Brown: Marty, I'm sorry. But the only power source capable of generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity is a bolt of lightning.
Marty McFly: [startled] What did you say?
Dr. Emmett Brown: A bolt of lighting. Unfortunately, you never know when or where it's ever gonna strike.


Dr. Emmett Brown: Don't worry. As long as you hit that wire with the connecting hook at precisely 88mph the instant the lightning strikes the tower... everything will be fine.

By dice1111 on 3/20/2007 6:35:40 PM , Rating: 2
First the advent of the Personal Computer (PC) and now the Personal Super Computer (PSC). About time... Go Technology!!

By KernD on 3/20/2007 7:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
It's not the first personal super computer, remember the PS3 is already out... lol

Companies will say anything, a super-computer could be defined as at minimum one full rack of blades, this is only 5 dual socket boards, it's powerfull, but it's more like a mini-super computer.

By peternelson on 3/21/2007 10:00:37 PM , Rating: 2
PS3 is not quit released for us here in Europe, so the next best thing .....

the price is insane
By Visual on 3/21/2007 6:57:54 AM , Rating: 2
according to the intel price list for q3, the ten processors in this thing will cost as little as $2700. five standard dual-socket 771 boards can be $1500, but lets assume some expensive alternatives at $2300 for round-numbers sake :p

now i know tyan probably uses some custom, specialized clustering equipment and mobos instead of simply networking standard components with a switch... but still it can't be worth $15000

RE: the price is insane
By masher2 on 3/21/2007 9:19:45 AM , Rating: 2
You have to understand the difference between high-volume and low-volume pricing. When you're amortizing a few hundred thousands of sales and marketing costs across a few hundred thousand units-- it adds very little to the cost. When you're amortizing across a few HUNDRED units, it raises the price substantially.

These aren't desktop PCs and, regardless of how they're priced, will never sell like pancakes. Tyan must price them high enough to make a profit on them. A $20K starting price sounds very reasonable to me.

RE: the price is insane
By josmala on 3/22/2007 5:51:43 AM , Rating: 2
Its so much smaller than the salary of person who uses it, that the price doesn't matter that much ;)

Something to Consider...
By Dactyl on 3/21/2007 12:33:19 AM , Rating: 2
From the press release linked in the article:
nearly one quarter of a Teraflop

A dual-GPU R600 card can easily do a full teraflop. And AMD's architecture allows for many R600 GPUs to be used together.

A TYAN PSC with 1 motherboard, 2 Kentsfields (or Barcelonae) and 4 PCIe slots with enough room between them for 4 dual-width cards would be a real desktop supercomputing monster. It would be able to put out at least 4 teraflops.

It would need more than 1400kW and would need more advanced cooling than ordinary fans, but it would have better performance per watt.

External GPU setups would also be useful. Then it wouldn't be necessary to buy a fancy box from TYAN with a complete solution. Any ordinary desktop with external PCIe could become a teraflop machine for much less than $20k.

RE: Something to Consider...
By AMDfreak on 3/21/2007 12:32:24 PM , Rating: 3
What you say is true, but would the software to take advantage of the R600's be cost prohibitive? The beauty of the Tyan system is that it readily runs x86 code. To take advantage of the R600's, I would think you'll spend bucket loads to have custom code written.

By lobadobadingdong on 3/20/2007 10:56:26 PM , Rating: 2
I even like the color.

By gramboh on 3/21/2007 2:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
What's interesting here is how much hardware you can power with 1400W from a wall outlet.

So much for all these 1000-1500W PSUs coming out that are 'required' for a quad-core CPU and a few video cards (which a Corsair 620W can run easily, FX-74 AMD dual socket quad core, 2 8800GTX in SLI and with Raptors).

By peternelson on 3/21/2007 9:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
Since this is made up of 5 nodes of 8 cores each....

What is the interconnect between each of the five nodes?

Is it commodity gigabit ethernet? If so, pci or pcie connected?

Or is it some more exotic i/c like infiniband, HTX or 10 Gigabit ethernet?

If it's only 1Gb ether, can you retrofit a Myrinet 10G card into a pcie slot in each node, or is that not possible.

The reason to ask is many apps for this kind of horsepower are limited not so much by raw processing power but interconnect as things scale. Although it probably ships with GE, I'd be interested in any upgrade options.

By Roy2001 on 3/22/2007 1:07:08 AM , Rating: 2
CAD/silulation need CPUs. I am CAD engineer worked on mechanical engineering (before) and work on electrical engineering now. More CPU's is always welcome for simulation with multi-threading and multi-task capability. Multi-CPU server/workstation tends to be extremely expensive. I would say 20k is a bargain if it can be used as a workstation with Linux installed.

virtual server
By jaybuffet on 3/20/2007 8:21:44 PM , Rating: 2
Is it possible to run multiple virtual servers on this? Does the cluster server see 40 processors? If I could run 10+ servers on this, it might be useful

RE: virtual server
By RaistlinZ on 3/20/07, Rating: -1
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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