Then and now: The fastest supercomputers 30 years apart

While marking GCN’s 30th year, we’re taking a look at how far computing has progressed in three decades. Here’s a look at the most powerful supercomputers of 1982 and 2012.

Stylish supercomputer vs. Sleek supercomputer


Cray X-MPCray XMP

TitanTitan supercomputer

Year of manufacture 1982 2012
Cost $15 million (with all four cores installed) ($1.5 million credit offered for trade-in of older Cray 1 system) $97 million ($60 million upgrade from Jaguar system)
Performance 800 megaflops (millions of calculations per second) 17.59 petaflops (trillions of calculations per second)
Number of CPUs  Between one and four 18,688 AMD Opteron 6274 16-core CPUs and 18,688 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPUs
Memory 16M SDRAM 710 terabytes
Storage  Up to 32 disk storage units with 1.2 gigabytes disk space each at 10MB/s transfer rates 10 petabytes at 240 GB/s transfer rate
Operating System Cray Operating System Cray Linux Environment
Supercomputer Ranking Fastest Computer in the world from 1982 to 1985 Currently the fastest computer in the world

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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