Thursday, December 2, 2010

This Stack Of PS3s Is The 33rd Biggest Computer In The World

This Stack Of PS3s Is The 33rd Biggest Computer In The World

This Stack Of PS3s Is The 33rd Biggest Computer In The World

Remember how the US Air Force bought a ton of PlayStation 3 consoles then strung them together? Ever wonder just why the military would do a thing like that? Well, it's not for playing Killzone on.

Indeed, you couldn't play it - or any other disc-based PS3 game - if you tried, as every PS3 you see pictured above has had its Blu-ray drive functionality removed.

In all, 1760 consoles have been joined with "168 separate graphical processing units and 84 coordinating servers" to form what the Air Force is calling "the fastest interactive computer in the entire Defense Department". It's also, the military claims, the 33rd largest computer of any kind in the world.

This "rat king" of PlayStation 3s will be used for things like research into AI, fast processing of satellite pictures and the enhancement of radar.

Interestingly, despite only recently going online with this monstrosity, the Air Force Research Lab's Mark Barnell recognises that the Cell technology powering the PS3 is no longer the bees knees, and says "we're looking forward to working with the next generation of architecture".

Which is formal talk for "we're looking forward to going out and buying 2000 PlayStation 4s in a few years time".

Defense Department discusses new Sony PlayStation supercomputer [, via Gamasutra]

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The Air Force thought about stringing together XBOX 360's...but in the end they decided against purchasing 1760 subscriptions to XBOX Live.

zing pow Reply

As long as it doesn't become sentient, I approve. Reply

I'm pretty sure this Monstrosity could revive Hitler and bring him back to life. Reply

I can't wait till they create a microchip that's more powerful than all those ps3's combined Reply
NerD:blogOtaku approved this comment

Too bad that with the loss of OtherOS, this cluster can only get slower as PS3s die from it.

Too bad Sony will probably do the same thing to the PS4, making it a horrible investment because parts will be impossible to find. Reply

I cannot imagine why the military would do something like this. Why not buy a bunch of high-end computer parts instead? Reply
NerD:blogOtaku promoted this comment

I'd hope they had these ones custom made for them otherwise they're hardly tapping its potential... If they want full access to its abilities, they could get something like an IBM System X or Z, a Mercury server, or Sony's worst promoted product ever, a rackmount workstation that is basically like a PS3 with full access to the CPU and GPU - I can't find any evidence that it even existed, but for a while they had it on their American site, and an error page if you viewed it from Canada... Reply

What if I strung loads of XBOX's together? I doubt it will be as powerful.

And I hope that place is very very well air conditioned, I'd hate to see them all get the YLOD at once. Reply

Guess what xbox 360 would do if it was put like this......
ChewyChavezIII promoted this comment

I love that they are watching terminator (probably a shop), and i love how the keyboard is just kind of sitting in that rack without anywhere to place it. guess budget cuts mean you have to sit on the floor. Reply

Yeah but the sad part is they put in an order for space heaters. And you wonder why a hammer costs $10k. Reply

No one realizes but this cluster of PS3s became self-aware at 2:14am on August 29, 1997 even before the PS3 existed. Reply
Revolver Awesomelot promoted this comment

I wonder what firmware version they're running, given the recent removal of Linux support. Reply

Those racks are from Home Depot. I use one in my kitchen for plates, pots and the likes. They're pretty heavy duty.

You can have them either static, as I do, or with casters as the USAF do. I guess they have more need for mobility with todays battlefields.

They also come in matt black, although I prefer the chrome look.

I'm such a shelving whore. Reply

Revolver Awesomelot promoted this comment
zenpoet approved this comment

What happened with the Air Force's suit(?) against Sony regarding Linux functionality? Reply

Oh crap, that's Terminator 2 playing on the TV! THE PS3's ARE LEARNING!!!! Reply
Revolver Awesomelot promoted this comment

The 2nd most powerful computer in all time and space being Deep Thought. Only bested by "Earth" itself. Reply

"I don't know how long I can hold this." Reply
MacGyver1138 promoted this comment

+1 for "rat king" reference
+1 for anyone who knows what a rat king is.
MacGyver1138 promoted this comment

Since those are all the 'fat' models of PS3s, I wonder if they are having issues with them going YLOD? Reply
Azel approved this comment

So is this "The Playstation Centipede"? Reply

Am I the only one that finds it amusing that the shot in the video screen is from Terminator 2? Reply
Duuuuuuude approved this comment

very cool. they should host (war) games.

i've never been tea-bagged by a military AI. Reply

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

1 comment:

  1. Xbox is a really cool gadget, and I guess it's understandable that it is so complicated and that there would come a time when we would experience some letdowns but it doesn't erase the fact that it's annoying to have xbox errors. I hope they could create something that will never breakdown, but that might be close to impossible.It would be nice to be able to fix xbox 360 on your own.