Feeds

Green supercomputer benchmarks make boffins see red, check blueprints

Top 10 use GPU brawn, but has anyone any bright ideas on better juicy tests?

Application security programs and practises

SC13 The biannual Green500 list of the most energy-efficient supercomputers has broken new ground in two important ways: for the first time an HPC system broke the 4 gigaflops per watt barrier, and also for the first time all the top 10 systems benefitted from GPU acceleration. Then there's a third bit of note: the benchmarks are rubbish.

Green500 energy-efficient supercomputer list - top 10, November 2013

Ten wins for Intel Xeon, ten wins for Nvidia Tesla (click to enlarge)

The list, measured in floating-point operations per watt when running the Linpack benchmark, was announced Wednesday at the SC13 supercomputing conference in Denver, Colorado. The top finisher, the 2,720-core TSUBAME-KFC from the GSIC Center, Tokyo Institute of Technology may have topped the Green500 energy-miser list, but it ranked at number 311 on the "performance is all we care about" Top500 list announced Monday.

TSUMABE-KFC is a purpose-built prototype created specifically at GSIC to study advanced cooling and low-power supercomputing, and its designers did their jobs well, with the system scoring a cool 4,503.17 megaflops per watt (Mflops/W).

To put that achievement in perspective, the number-one ranking in the previous Green500 list, published in June 2013, was held by the Eurora system from Italy's Cineca, which produced 3,208.83 Mflops/W to win the crown. Not too shabby, not too shabby at all – but TSUMABE-KFC bested Eurora by a full 40 per cent.

For fans of truly big iron, perhaps most the most interesting system on the list is Piz Daint from the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS), which ranked number four with a megafloppage per watt of 3,185.91 (more on that score later). Piz Daint is the highest-ranking petaflop-capable super on the Green500 list, and also scored an impressive sixth place on the Top500 list.

By way of comparison, the two systems ahead of Piz Daint in the Green500 were ranked in triple digits in the Top500: Cambridge University's Wilkes was number two in the Green 500 but 166 in the Top500, and the University of Tsukuba, Japan's Center for Computational Sciences HA-PACS TCA was number three in the Green500 and number 134 in the Top500.

Piz Daint's performance in the Top500 was notable in one other way. In the June 2013 list it ranked 42; in the November list it rocketed up to number six. The reason? The addition of Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU accelerators to its 28-rack Cray XSC30 system.

Which leads us to the second notable thing about the new Green500 list: of the top 10 performers, all ten were boosted by Nvidia Tesla GPU accelerators: seven were equipped with Tesla K20X cards, two with K20s, and one with a K20M – which is essentially a K20.

In June, by comparison, only three of the top 10 systems had GPU accelerators: two with Nvidia Tesla K20s, and one with AMD FirePro S10000s. Another had Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor cards; no Xeon Phi–equipped system made the top 10 of the most recent Green500 list.

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.