YOU MAY HAVE heard about the Cray CX1, a 'desktop cluster' in the vein of the Tyan Typhoon. They are interesting little beasts, and with the addition of Nehalems, now have the grunt to be a deskbottom supercomputer.
The front of the beastlet
The CX1 isn't a breakthrough in technology by any means, it is just a product to fill a niche. The machine itself has eight blades that will each take two Nehalem EPs, and a claimed 32G of RAM/blade. We won't bring up that Nehalems use ram in 6G increments, if you can count to 32 evenly in sixes, you are using a different base than most people.
In addition to Nehalems, you can opt for a storage blade, normally you only get two drives per blade or a GPGPU blade. Out the back, there is Infiniband or Ethernet, take your pick. That said, the cable routing could use a little cleaning up...
Back of the beastlet
Cray probably doesn't want you to know that the blades are in fact Supermicro blades, so you could probably get away with a little less cost should you shop around. That said, the version you see above, with four Harpertown x 2 blades, a GPGPU blade and active noise cancellation is available online for about $30K.
It may be a little while to Christmas, but what tot wouldn't be delighted to see one of these under the tree? µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ