Friday, 20 November 2009

Green supercomputer rankings

The latest Green500 list is out and reveals that IBM is the source for 90% of the top 20 most energy-efficient supercomputers. The list is published by Green500.org at the same time as Top500.org announces its ranking of the TOP500 supercomputers worldwide.

IBM’s dominance at the top is no great surprise, given its strength in the market. It held the same proportion of the top 20 green supercomputers the last time rankings were released, which we reported on back in July. The assessment is based on FLOPS-per-Watt, and the top ranking machine achieved 723 MFlops/Watt.

However, for the Green500 as a whole, HP has more machines in the list than IBM (209 vs 185). But whilst the average ranking for the IBM machines is 151, the HP machines, which average only a third of the computer power of the IBM supercomputers in the top 500, languish at an average ranking of 366. It’s because the larger the machines the more efficient they tend to be (and the trend is towards ever larger machines).

The fastest supercomputer out there is the Cray XT5-HE Opteron Six Core 2.6 GHz (Jaguar XT5 for short) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US. It’s only 44th in the Green supercomputer ranking, but as we surmised in our last report on these lists, its actually being used to create models to predict climate change! Ironic, but it makes the point that we need to manage the emissions from computers, because we clearly can’t do without them.

© The Green IT Review

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