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July 10, 2010

Filed under: review — Terry Wohlers @ 09:01

Tony Lockwood discussed the Cray CX1-iWS computer in his December 17, 2009 Check It Out newsletter from Desktop Engineering magazine. What I found most interesting is that this Windows 7 deskside workstation is available from Dell. Cray and Dell partnered with Intel and Microsoft to offer this incredibly powerful platform.

Cray Inc. has long been considered a premier manufacturer of supercomputers. Who would have thought that we would one day have a Cray running at our desks. The $39,000 price tag may deter the majority of us from buying one, but the point is that it’s available. A few years ago, this kind of power would have cost $390,000, and years before that, $3.9 million. In the future, we can expect to buy this kind of capability for $3,900.

The Cray CX1-iWS illustrates how far computing has come. According to Lockwood, the system is configured with 12 GB of memory (24 GB is optional), 4 TB of storage, and a high-end NVIDIA Quadro graphics. You or I may never own this particular system, but it’s likely that we may one day have a computer with this kind of capacity and power.