updated 01:45 pm EDT, Tue September 22, 2009
Company's first 'personal' supercomputer
Hardware builder SGI has begun selling the Octane III, a computer it is claiming to be its first personal supercomputer. Unlike most supercomputers, the system is designed to operate as a workstation, sitting in a regular office environment connected to standard power outlets. Owners can configure an O3 to use as many as 80 cores, and as much as 1TB of RAM.
Four base configurations exist, based on the type and number of processors involved. These include two based on Intel's Xeon 5500 series: one with 10 dual-socket nodes, and another with a single dual-socket processor, but equipped with an NVIDIA video card and/or GPGPU (general-purpose computing on graphics processing units) support. The third configuration uses 19 single-socket Xeon 3400-series nodes, while a fourth swaps out the 3400s for Atom chips.
Because of its target market, buyers must contact SGI for prices.