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Old 11-30-09, 10:36 PM   #1
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Default USAF orders 2200 PS3's (actually smart on budget)

They ordered them for research. Read the bold, they are SAVING money!

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=16963

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The United States Air Force plans to utilize the power of 2,200 Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles the branch is expected to network the consoles into a powerful cluster that can be used for research purposes.

Researchers at the Air Force Research Laboratory hope to have the improved cluster available sometime in May or June. The USAF already has used its current group of PS3s to help investigate Neuromorphic Computing, High Definition Video image processing, and a "Back Projection Synthetic Aperture Radar Imager."

"With respect to cell processors, a single 1U server configured with two 3.2GHz cell processors can cost up to $8K while two Sony PS3s cost approximately $600," according to the USAF requisition form. "Though a single 3.2 GHz cell processor can deliver over 200 gigaflops, whereas the Sony PS3 configuration delivers approximately 150 gigaflops, the approximately tenfold cost difference per gigaflops makes the Sony PS3 the only viable technology for [high performance computing] applications."
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Old 11-30-09, 10:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: USAF orders 2200 PS3's (actually smart on budget)

Nice...
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Old 11-30-09, 10:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: USAF orders 2200 PS3's (actually smart on budget)

Wonder how many copies of Uncharted 2 they ordered...
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Old 12-02-09, 01:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: USAF orders 2200 PS3's (actually smart on budget)

LOL

Did a law enforcement agency order a bunch to break encryption on HDDs also?
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Old 12-02-09, 05:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: USAF orders 2200 PS3's (actually smart on budget)

Should have just used GPUs.

A GTS 275 can deliver over 1000 GFlops, a 5770 is over 1300, a 5850 can do nearly 2100...
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Old 12-03-09, 01:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: USAF orders 2200 PS3's (actually smart on budget)

That's nice CaptN, but what system do you use to network them all together? The idea with the PS3s are they come ready to be linked. Software is there to control and organsise PS3 clusters in any way you wish. Maybe in the future well see a way to cluster GPUs cheaply. Until then you'll just have to keep hacking your Gibson.
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Old 12-04-09, 06:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: USAF orders 2200 PS3's (actually smart on budget)

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Originally Posted by crainger View Post
That's nice CaptN, but what system do you use to network them all together? The idea with the PS3s are they come ready to be linked. Software is there to control and organsise PS3 clusters in any way you wish. Maybe in the future well see a way to cluster GPUs cheaply. Until then you'll just have to keep hacking your Gibson.
IMO GPU usage would be cheaper and more efficient over the long run. You would simply need to hire a small programming team to write a CUDA app that distributes your work amongst various machines (like F@H GPU client or the numerous research teams that use Tesla systems). It would also be better because you could have your made-to-spec PC app have the potential to be forward compatible with bigger and better GPUs like Fermi architecture that do fast accel of double float precision while those PS3s you bought will be limited to their capabilities permanently obviously.

However, the PS3 setup would be the easiest way to do it if you had a pile of money sitting around and wanted results with least effort.
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Old 12-04-09, 06:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: USAF orders 2200 PS3's (actually smart on budget)

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Originally Posted by crainger View Post
That's nice CaptN, but what system do you use to network them all together? The idea with the PS3s are they come ready to be linked. Software is there to control and organsise PS3 clusters in any way you wish. Maybe in the future well see a way to cluster GPUs cheaply. Until then you'll just have to keep hacking your Gibson.
I would hope the Air Force could figure something like that out.

I'm sure they have their reasons for doing this. It just seems kind of funny that a crap load of consumer video game consoles was the best thing the united states air force could find to spend all that money on.
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Old 12-04-09, 06:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: USAF orders 2200 PS3's (actually smart on budget)

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Originally Posted by CaptNKILL View Post
I would hope the Air Force could figure something like that out.

I'm sure they have their reasons for doing this. It just seems kind of funny that a crap load of consumer video game consoles was the best thing the united states air force could find to spend all that money on.
It only does....everything, including launch hellfire missiles
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Old 12-04-09, 07:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: USAF orders 2200 PS3's (actually smart on budget)

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I'm sure they have their reasons for doing this.
Less effort in the short term to port a cell-based app to another cell-based device despite being less cost efficient/less capable in the longterm.

Their first mistake was buying cell-based PCs. Jack of all trades but master of none.

A multicore x64-based CPU + Tesla GPU rig would absolutely murder anything else out there in its pricerange in performance.
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Old 12-04-09, 07:27 PM   #11
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Default Re: USAF orders 2200 PS3's (actually smart on budget)

Yeah, we are all experts on super computing here.
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Old 12-04-09, 09:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: USAF orders 2200 PS3's (actually smart on budget)

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Originally Posted by CaptNKILL View Post
I would hope the Air Force could figure something like that out.

I'm sure they have their reasons for doing this. It just seems kind of funny that a crap load of consumer video game consoles was the best thing the united states air force could buy $500 left handed hammers to spend all that money they saved.
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