AMD scored a win against its rival Intel in this year's TOP500 list of the most powerful supercomputers in the world - but in doing so demonstrated its bit-player status in the CPU marketplace.

As reported by PC Magazine, the number one supercomputer in the TOP500 list is the Jaguar-Cray XT5-HE, which is built around AMD's Opteron platform and features an impressive 224,162 logical processing cores for a total performance of 1.759 petaflops.

AMD dominated the top three, with IBM's dual-technology Cell/Opteron Roadrunner system and Cray's Kraken XT5 98,982-core making the top spots.

However, despite AMD having taken the high-performance computing crown for now, rival Intel still proves a popular choice: of the 500 systems listed, 402 - over 80 percent - used Intel processors rather than AMD.

Intel is hoping that this preference will continue, and already has plans for an AMD-beating HPC-specific version of its Nehalem processors - dropping down from an eight-core model to a six-core while increasing clock speed in order to directly compete with systems built around AMD's six-core Opterons.

Interestingly, Cray is looking to bring its supercomputing prowess to the masses: a deal with box-shifter Dell - reported over on The Register - will see the entry-level CX1 blade-based system resold under Dell's branding. The Nehalem-based system uses Nvidia graphics in order to offer GPGPU offload, and offers supercomputing performance at a surprisingly low price point. Interestingly, however, the Dell version of the CX1 will be offered only with Microsoft Windows - something likely to alienate the high-performance crowd, who typically prefer Linux- or BSD-based operating systems as available directly from Cray itself.

Are you pleased to see AMD making a good showing in the high-performance computing sector, or does the overwhelming majority of Intel processors highlight the struggles its smaller competitor will face? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

QUICK COMMENT

View this in the forums

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

WEEK IN REVIEW

TOP STORIES

SUGGESTED FOR YOU