http://www.crunchgear.com/2011/03/25/condor-supercomputer-made-of-1716-ps3s-now-online/

The department of defense put together nearly 2000 PS3s in a cluster to form one of the world's fastest super computers. I'd say that means Sony has won the console war. That said, doesn't this violate Sony's Terms of Use at least 2000 times? I mean they sued a guy for modding his PS3, but our military can string them together to spy on us no questions asked?
How has Sony wont he console war because of this?

Also, notice how they are all PS3 fats? Those are definitely running an old enough version of the PS3 firmware that they still have the OtherOS option. They aren't being hacked, and they don't have PSN access - no terms of use violation.
I was under the impression they had actually done some significant hardware modding to run all the cell processors together in a cluster, but I could be wrong or misled. I say it wins the console war because they're the first and only one so far to be rated for military-grade usage.
That's also pretty old. The DoD did this years ago and you can find articles dating back to 2009 on this.

As to why there's an article in 2011 about this again, I have no idea. There's really no new information in that. Other than maybe the image processing bit is new information.
DShiznit wrote:
I was under the impression they had actually done some significant hardware modding to run all the cell processors together in a cluster, but I could be wrong or misled. I say it wins the console war because they're the first and only one so far to be rated for military-grade usage.


Uh, no. Running it in a cluster just means it has a network connection. Install Linux on them, hook them up to a network, and bam - you have a cluster. Hardware wasn't tinkered with at all.

Also, the less than 2,000 PS3's the military bought doesn't make up for the ~3 million more XBox360s MS has sold over Sony, and it certainly doesn't come anywhere close to the Wii - which is still sitting at 36 million more units than the PS3: http://www.vgchartz.com/

The Wii long ago won this generation's console war - 360 and PS3 tards just like to pretend the Wii doesn't exist as it puts them to shame.

@ComicIDIOT: I assume there is another series of articles is because the cluster is now up and running, maybe? I'm not sure either, though.
Quality over quantity. Neither the Wii nor the Xbox(both of which I own) has been used for military application. That's a whole new level of win. That's just my metric though, there are a number of other ways of looking at it but I don't think any can really be unequivocally categorized as "the best". Besides, in terms of sheer numbers, the PS2 has out-sold every other console in history. Games are still made for it today. Either way, Sony wins.
DShiznit wrote:
Quality over quantity. Neither the Wii nor the Xbox(both of which I own) has been used for military application. That's a whole new level of win.


It was also premature. Had the military waited just a few short months, they would have had things like Nvidia's Tesla that absolutely *destroys* the PS3 at floating point number crunching (which is the only thing the PS3 is even partially decent at), with both far superior hardware *AND* far superior software (dev tools, remote debugging, APIs, 1st party cluster management, etc...). Heck, Nvidia even has real cluster support including Tesla models in a 1U server rackmount configuration, which, btw, is about 18x the performance of the PS3's Cell CPU in single precision FP, and 20x faster in double precision.

Besides, it isn't the PS3's hardware that gave it the win, but the OtherOS option that Sony has since taken away. In other words, you can *no longer* do what the military did. The current PS3 (fat and slim) isn't half the machine the original 60gb fat model was. Neither the 360 nor the Wii has gotten worse and worse as time has gone by like the PS3 has (both in hardware and in software). That more than cancels out the "win" from the military's usage, and is just more fail by Sony.

Quote:
Either way, Sony wins.


Sorry, but no. Sony is in a permanent state of fail after the PSN debacle.
Good points, but I still think it's interesting they used these for this purpose. If I understand correctly, it wasn't how good the hardware was that made this a great investment, but how inexpensive it was to procure($2 million vs. $20-30 million for an equivalent super computer). But yeah, you're right about them removing features and dumbing-down the console. That is huge fail, and I wish they'd fix that.
DShiznit wrote:
If I understand correctly, it wasn't how good the hardware was that made this a great investment, but how inexpensive it was to procure($2 million vs. $20-30 million for an equivalent super computer).


That's because CPUs are really bad at floating point so you need a *lot* of them if that is what you are after. But, GPUs are really, really good at floating point. You will get far more perf/$ with desktop video cards than you will with PS3s if you are after floating point performance.

Interesting use of PS3s, sure, but it will also probably never happen again. Even if OtherOS is an option on the PS4, it'll lose to GPUs out the gate. The PS3 is slower than the GTX8800 that came out around the same time (to clarify, the *entire* PS3, Cell + RSX, is slower than just the 8800GTX), but GPGPU hadn't really gotten off the ground then (CUDA was brand new, with little-to-no tool support).
Kllrnohj wrote:
The Wii long ago won this generation's console war - 360 and PS3 tards just like to pretend the Wii doesn't exist as it puts them to shame.
Not to mention that it's the weakest of the consoles and not really considered a "real" console by the fanboys of the other two.
KermMartian wrote:
not really considered a "real" console by the fanboys of the other two.

SSB moar.

Quote:
That's because CPUs are really bad at floating point so you need a *lot* of them if that is what you are after. But, GPUs are really, really good at floating point. You will get far more perf/$ with desktop video cards than you will with PS3s if you are after floating point performance.

I, for one, am glad that lots of people are fixated on CPU based compute clusters, because without them, I wouldn't have had a job learning to administer them right out of high school.
Well, there are still tons of things that GPUs don't do well. For example, if you start using global memory instead of texture memory because you need to share between shaders, then suddenly your throughput goes way down. Smile CPUs don't really have a similar effect.
KermMartian wrote:
Kllrnohj wrote:
The Wii long ago won this generation's console war - 360 and PS3 tards just like to pretend the Wii doesn't exist as it puts them to shame.
Not to mention that it's the weakest of the consoles and not really considered a "real" console by the fanboys of the other two.


If the Wii is a real current-gen console, then so is the PS2, which has more or less the same Hardware and has many of the same games ported to it today. Either way, Sony won the console war, as abysmal as I think their practices are.
DShiznit wrote:
If the Wii is a real current-gen console, then so is the PS2, which has more or less the same Hardware and has many of the same games ported to it today. Either way, Sony won the console war, as abysmal as I think their practices are.

I know 0 people with a PS3.
I know a handful of people with a 360.
MY GRANDPARENTS have a Wii. Also, everyone and their cat does too.
Kerm has a PS3.

I have one, rcfreak0 has one, Sonlen has one. But you don't know us last three in person.
DShiznit wrote:
If the Wii is a real current-gen console, then so is the PS2, which has more or less the same Hardware and has many of the same games ported to it today.


Uh, no. The Wii is ~2x the performance of the Gamecube, and the Gamecube is on par (arguably faster) than the PS2. The PS2 definitely does not have "more or less the same hardware" as the Wii.

Quote:
Either way, Sony won the console war, as abysmal as I think their practices are.


Sony *LOST* this console war. They are dead last in every metric you can come up with, except perhaps hardware reliability where they come in a distant second. You are so desperate for the military's use of the PS3 to matter, but it doesn't. It has no impact whatsoever on the console war.

Why are you such a PS3 fanboy anyway? You don't even have one of the useless hunks of crap, do you? Seriously, the PS3 is a crap console - decent blue-ray player, though.

KermMartian wrote:
Well, there are still tons of things that GPUs don't do well. For example, if you start using global memory instead of texture memory because you need to share between shaders, then suddenly your throughput goes way down. Smile CPUs don't really have a similar effect.


Yes, absolutely, but in terms of GPU vs. PS3 based super computers, GPUs are superior in every way.

But CPUs absolutely have a similar effect, in fact they have the exact same effect. Assuming you actually meant shared or local memory instead of texture memory (more on that below), then that is the equivalent of a cache miss when working with a CPU. If you don't design your algorithms to work with the CPU cache, then you will frequently have to hit system RAM and your throughput tanks. Same thing with the GPU, only a GPU has ~150GB/s of bandwidth compared to a CPU's ~25GB/s. GPGPU also makes it more explicit/obvious when your algorithm sucks.

You should brush up on your GPGPU, by the way. You don't need to code in shaders, and you seem to have confused your memories. Texture memory does *not* necessarily have a higher throughput than global memory. Texture memory is global memory, only in read-only mode and potentially cached. Shared or local memory is probably what you meant instead (unless you haven't actually worked with GPGPU languages like OpenCL or CUDA - in which case you might not even know those exist)
Gotta hand it to Microsoft with the Kinect though. I had one myself and they are amazing. They do exactly what they were made to do. Play games without controllers entirely. Only one problem which is why I should it... they waste their time making garbage games that get 4/10 stars and 3.5/10 stars in game review mag's such as OXM and Game Informer. Incorporate Kinect with fast paced games such as Call of Duty, Forza Motorsport, Grand theft auto, and others, and the Kinect couldn't be beat. I do have to hand it to the Wii, even though I hate the console, they do outsell everyone else.
comicIDIOT wrote:
Kerm has a PS3.

Wait, really? I don't think I saw it when I stayed in his room.
The Wii also has the fact that unless it is around heavy smokers or very high dust environments the things is basically indestructible.(The original wii has issues with the lens getting fogged or dusty in those cases, but I think they fixed that) Yes they made some poor design decisions software wise like not having any sort of mechanism to patch games but to 99% of users those mistakes don't make a difference to them.

Hardware wise give the Wii a bit more ram and remove the artificial limits they placed on the GPU and you have a very very solid console power wise when you look at what console games actually use. The PS3 has what 6 cores, but they preform abysmally when the hypervisor is enabled, which is all the time, and developers still have CPU to spare on the 360 so the Wii really isn't that much worse off with its lower specs. Hell it can run a Linux distro rather comfortably if you give it some swap and don't ask it to try and play flash videos.
Console wars are irrelevant; get one of each.
  
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