nvidia-tesla-3d-cadAre you ready to elevate your heart rate a couple notches about extremely powerful computer tech? How does the word ‘Supercomputer’ make ya feel?

While the nVidia Personal SuperComputer is bound to have your models streaking across the screen, don’t shove your old workstations down the stairs just yet… Ok, go ahead, but you’re gonna need some cash and a new jacket that says, ‘Back OFF, I’m supercomputin’.”

Watercolor Memories
Do you remember when 10GB was more than enough storage? Or when a couple Gig of memory was HUGE? Technology that went perfect with a steamy cup of hot coffee and hours of 3D CAD modeling… until those CAD models became so unmanageable that we shook our cubicle walls and angered the IT department with constant request for upgrades.

That’s pretty much the standard mode of operation. Souped-up systems that ‘make everything easier’ are always gonna cost more. However, the big difference is, the systems that use to take the warehouse space of underground government facilities are now small enough to move in next to your China Cabinet. They’re calling them ‘Desktop Supercomputers’ and the ones coming out in the present are sure to be our normal ol’ laptops and workstations in the future.

That nVidia SuperComputer Thingy
While it’s not the first or only supercomputer on the market, the nVidia Personal SuperComputer is coming in strong with a configuration and price that makes it one of the most powerful, yet affordable system available.

It uses nVidia’s CUDA parallel computing architecture powered by up to 960 parallel processing cores, which allows it to achieve a performance up to 250 times faster than standard PCs. This all basically means instead of having a bunch of computer linked together for more processing power, you’ll just need this one. No more rooms dedicated to housing racks of CPUs.

The Tesla options. via <a href=

Example of Complete 4 Tesla C1060 System Configuration
Here’s a quick run-down on the standard specs. The price is approximate as different vendors will have different configurations.

4 Tesla C1060 Configuration
Motherboard Foxconn Destroyer nForce 780a
Tesla GPUs 4x Tesla C1060
CPU AMD Phenom 9850 2.5 GHz quad-core
Memory 16 GB (4x 4GB) DDR2 DIMMs from G.Skill
Power Supply Coolmax CUQ-1350B 1350W
Case Lian Li PC-P80
Hard drive 640 GB
DVD drive DVD burner
CPU fan, heat sink For the AMD Phenom
Total Retail Price ~$ 8500*

* Prices obtained from online retailers in the US

For a beefy machine the price doesn’t seem all that bad. I recall people building computers with less for the same price or more.

It’s interesting to think how fast, how small, how powerful our computers will be. On top of that, it’s interesting to think how much software and 3D apps will advance, since they always seems to stay slightly ahead of what the mainstream hardware is capable of handling. What do you think?

Interesting Fact:
As of November 2008, the most powerful supercomputer is the Cray XT Jaguar, at the U.S. Energy Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with 1.64 Petaflops and 362 Terabytes of memory, more than 50% faster than IBM’s previous record. – UPI

nVidia via DeskEng.com [BIG hat tip to Mike O’Sullivan]


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.