Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer - SGI

This is a discussion on Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer - SGI ; On Tue, 10 Feb 2004, xTenn wrote: > "kevin getting" wrote in message > news:Pine.A41.4.44.0402101212130.154536-100000@accsp2.wuacc.edu... > > On Tue, 10 Feb 2004, xTenn wrote: > > > > > > > You took everything I said and just restated it ...

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Thread: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

  1. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    On Tue, 10 Feb 2004, xTenn wrote:

    > "kevin getting" wrote in message
    > news:Pine.A41.4.44.0402101212130.154536-100000@accsp2.wuacc.edu...
    > > On Tue, 10 Feb 2004, xTenn wrote:
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    > You took everything I said and just restated it - are you a consultant?


    That will be $20 please.

    I agree with your point but I got there along a different train of
    thought.


  2. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer


    "kevin getting" wrote in message
    news:Pine.A41.4.44.0402110747160.297268-100000@accsp2.wuacc.edu...
    > On Tue, 10 Feb 2004, xTenn wrote:
    >
    > > "kevin getting" wrote in message
    > > news:Pine.A41.4.44.0402101212130.154536-100000@accsp2.wuacc.edu...
    > > > On Tue, 10 Feb 2004, xTenn wrote:
    > > >
    > > >

    > >
    > >
    > > You took everything I said and just restated it - are you a consultant?


    >
    > That will be $20 please.
    >
    > I agree with your point but I got there along a different train of
    > thought.
    >


    Well, you did state that:

    "The vector units in the PS2 are fully programable, though lack in
    performance compared to modern video cards. However, modern video cards
    are not as programable as the vector units on a PS2. This puts the vector
    units on the PS2 as a general purpose CPU side, thus falling under
    regulations of the time."

    The difference you seem to be stating is that the greater programmablity,
    even though it is weaker than modern video cards (as you state), gives it
    some status as a possible (though not plausible) SuperComputer participant
    for year 2000. On this point we do differ, since I would like to put forth
    that even in year 2000 video cards were supporting microcode that controlled
    the functionality and characteristics of the GPU. After all, how many times
    did you have to change a video driver?




  3. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 11:23:02 +0000, Andrew wrote:
    >On 10 Feb 2004 03:00:40 -0800, ps2isnumber1@hotmail.com (Phil) wrote:
    >
    >>NO technically it was a super computer then as far as the law was
    >>concerned and that could've caused problems for Sony had said
    >>regulations not been updated.

    >
    >What is the definition of supercomputer then?


    The definition of a "supercomputer" is, and always has been, a moving
    target. What's more, the definition depends a lot on who you ask,
    even within the community of people that actually work on such things
    there is significant disagreement between just what it takes to be
    called a "supercomputer".

    Legally speaking though, the US has export controls based on "Millions
    of Theoretical Operations per second, or MTOPS". This is, of course,
    a totally meaningless measure of a computer's performance (possibly
    even a tiny bit worse than MIPS) and it dates back to the 1970's (or
    perhaps even earlier?). The US also defines a few different levels of
    countries, each level having a maximum number of MTOPS for computers
    being sold to them.

    In the late 1990's the regulations had become TOTALLY out of whack.
    Common, every-day desktop PCs and game consoles had indeed started to
    surpass the MTOPS figure for the most high-risk countries (which
    included places like India, Russia, China, Vietnam, etc. When Apple
    brought out their PowerMac G4, they used this totally ridiculous
    regulation as an advertising claim that they were selling a
    "supercomputer", which was of course total bull****. Fortunately the
    MTOPS maximum has been increased once or twice, though they are still
    using that pointless measure of performance from what I can tell.

    Of course, since most supercomputers being build these days are now
    superclusters, the regulations have become even more meaningless than
    before. Now a company can freely ship thousands computers to a
    distributer in some other country who will then assemble these
    together to form a cluster-style supercomputer. Through in an extra
    level or two in the distribution chain and this sort of thing becomes
    more or less impossible to enforce.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla 20 yahoo ca

  4. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    On Tue, 10 Feb 2004 06:57:59 -0500, "xTenn"
    wrote:
    >"Phil" wrote in message
    >> NO technically it was a super computer then as far as the law was
    >> concerned and that could've caused problems for Sony had said
    >> regulations not been updated.

    >
    >Get Real. If that was the case then every NVidia and ATI graphics card
    >available at the time (2000) would have been a supercomputer. You are
    >propagating more of the Sony propaganda machine bs. There are SOOOOO many
    >reasons why a single PS2 game console would not be considered one, common
    >sense not the least thereof.


    Before the regulations were changed in 1999, the PS2 would have been
    pushing the limits of what was legally called a "supercomputer". You
    are quite correct in saying that this defies common sense, you have
    that pillar of defying common sense, the US government, to thank for
    that one!

    As you guess, desktop PCs were also starting to meet or exceed the
    regulations as well. Apple made a big advertising campaign about this
    when they released their Powermac G4 systems.

    The low water mark for what gets the "supercomputer" label has been
    pushed up a few times now, though they're still using the same
    measuring stick and are still defying common sense.

    >There has been an attempt (at NCSA at that) to create what would qualify a
    >supercomputer from PS2 shells, but it takes 70 (yes, 70) consoles to
    >qualify. For the record, it takes less PCs to reach the same threshold.
    >The major reason the PS2 was used is because of the Linux kit (which
    >thankfully allows access to the vector units) and cheap hardware, NOT
    >because of extremely powerful hardware.


    Actually it's really rather useless hardware for the majority of
    supercomputing tasks.

    >There are quite a few good resources on the web about super computing, not
    >the worse of which is from the projects here at the University of Tennessee
    >and Oak Ridge National Laboratories - but then you are probably not familar
    >with BLAS or LAPACK, are you? At least check out the LINPACK tests on
    >common computing hardware to become familiar with how things really rank
    >from a simplistic linear equation standpoint. Check out this PDF if the
    >topic of performance interests you WITHOUT the hype:
    >
    >http://www.netlib.org/benchmark/performance.pdf


    To the best of my knowledge, the PS2 is just not capable of doing
    double-percision floating point calculations. That, combined with
    extremely limited memory, lack of ECC on memory, no local storage,
    terrible I/O capabilities and the total lack of any meaningful
    high-speed interconnect for the system makes the PS2 more than a bit
    useless as a real supercomputer. If anyone was trying to make a
    "supercomputer" out of PS2s they were doing it as 1-part joke, 1-part
    neat little toy experiment. Even if the boxes were free it wouldn't
    be at all worthwhile wasting ones time on such a design, regardless of
    what any US export regulations said at a time.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla 20 yahoo ca

  5. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    > > "The Xbox has 80 Gigaflops of computing power. That's equivalent to the
    > > power found in a Cray C94 supercomputer."

    >
    > It's bull****, the C94 had a peak of 4GFLOPS (double precision, which
    > the Xbox certainly can't match). The C94 does 35GB/s on STREAM TRIAD,
    > I'd be surprised if the Xbox can do 3GB/s. And the C94 is from
    > 1991...


    -So you think that nVidia has just been lying on it's PUBLIC WEB-PAGE for
    nearly 3 years without anyone but you noticing and figuring that they're
    lying?

    Right...



  6. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    On 11 Feb 2004 13:22:11 +0100, Per Ekman wrote:
    >"MS" writes:
    >
    >> > Good joke! What was the GFLOPS/s rate of game consoles like PS2, Xbox and
    >> > Xbox2?

    >>
    >> Well, you should learn how to read:
    >>
    >> "The Xbox has 80 Gigaflops of computing power. That's equivalent to the
    >> power found in a Cray C94 supercomputer."

    >
    >It's bull****, the C94 had a peak of 4GFLOPS (double precision, which
    >the Xbox certainly can't match).


    The XBox has a peak of 733MFlops double precision, or just shy of
    3Gflops single precision in the CPU (SSE boost single precision
    performance a lot, but the chip doesn't support SSE2, so no double
    precision).

    The 80 gigaflops number is, as you mentioned, complete bull****. It's
    all from the GPU, which can't be used for general purpose programming.
    It also can't do double precision, and it definitely does not even
    have 80GFlops peak even if it could do all of those things.

    The GPU of the XBox runs at 233MHz and has 4 pipelines. Therefore, to
    get the 80GFlop number, nVidia is saying that each pipeline can do 85
    floating point instructions at a time. I have absolutely no idea how
    they managed to get such a ridiculous number, but it has absolutely no
    bearing on reality.

    At an absolute maximum you're looking at 233MHz x 4 pipelines, each
    capable of handling 4 chunks of single precision data at a time
    (128-bit wide vector) and maybe being able to do two flops at once (eg
    a multiply-add). That would give you some sort of theoretical maximum
    of 7.4 GFlops. Of course, the real number is actually zero flops
    since it's not programmable. Also there is no possibility of doing
    any double precision on this, so it gets a fat 0 GFLops there.

    In any case, end result is that the total processing umph of the XBox
    CPU+GPU is a theoretical 10 GFlops of single precision, or 0.73 GFlops
    double precision. The PS2 gets 6.4GFLops single percision and almost
    nothing double precision.

    > The C94 does 35GB/s on STREAM TRIAD,
    >I'd be surprised if the Xbox can do 3GB/s.


    XBox has 400MT/s memory (200MHz DDR) with a 128-bit interface. Max
    theoretical bandwidth is 6.4GB/s. But most of that bandwidth goes to
    the graphics processor (makes sense, that's where the bandwidth is
    needed). Max theoretical bandwidth to the CPU is 133MT/s and 64-bit,
    or 1.06GB/s. If you could run some sort of STREAM TRIAD on the GPU,
    it could probably get well over 3GB/s, but on the CPU you aren't even
    going to hit 1GB/s.

    > And the C94 is from 1991...


    Err, wasn't it from 1994? Hence the 'C94' name? Still hardly a
    current product.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla 20 yahoo ca

  7. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    Mikael Sillman wrote:
    > -So you think that nVidia has just been lying on it's PUBLIC WEB-PAGE for
    > nearly 3 years without anyone but you noticing and figuring that they're
    > lying?


    So you think that whatever the marketing department says, is the truth?


    > Right...


    Right again .

    greetings,
    Michiel



  8. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    "Mikael Sillman" writes:

    > > > "The Xbox has 80 Gigaflops of computing power. That's equivalent to the
    > > > power found in a Cray C94 supercomputer."

    > >
    > > It's bull****, the C94 had a peak of 4GFLOPS (double precision, which
    > > the Xbox certainly can't match). The C94 does 35GB/s on STREAM TRIAD,
    > > I'd be surprised if the Xbox can do 3GB/s. And the C94 is from
    > > 1991...

    >
    > -So you think that nVidia has just been lying on it's PUBLIC WEB-PAGE for
    > nearly 3 years without anyone but you noticing and figuring that they're
    > lying?


    I _know_ that the statement is misleading and I know that I'm not the
    only one who knows it. I also know that marketing and reality seldom
    connect so this is hardly something particular to nVidia.

    > Right...


    Do your research and prove me wrong then.

    *p


  9. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    "mosys" wrote in message news:...

    > my take on this is:
    >
    > In terms of floating point performance and graphics muscle, the Xbox 2
    > should outdo a 16-pipe SGI InfiniteReality2 or IR3 machine from the late
    > 1990s.
    >
    > Even Silicon Graphics themselves have turned to ATI for the highend
    > Onyx4 UltimateVision systems, which will employ upto -32- ATI R3XX VPU
    > cores.
    >
    > I am guessing Xbox 2 should have at least 5-10 times the graphics muscle
    > of a R300 / Radeon 9700. or perhaps 3-4 times that of the upcoming R420.



    reality is that any machine which run the linux is already
    supercomputer. linux makes supercomputers for everyone.

    also fact that linux on playstation with BEOWULF outperform every sun,
    sgi, and hp machine shows proof this.

    so with linux on xbox this is very true about supercomputer.

  10. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    On 11 Feb 2004 08:51:10 -0800, sgi_tux@yahoo.com (Linux on SGI User)
    wrote:

    >reality is that any machine which run the linux is already
    >supercomputer. linux makes supercomputers for everyone.


    So a POS Pentium 60 PC is a supercomputer if it has Linux installed on
    it? Mmmmkay.

    >also fact that linux on playstation with BEOWULF outperform every sun,
    >sgi, and hp machine shows proof this.


    You mean a cluster of machines outperforms one single machine?

    >so with linux on xbox this is very true about supercomputer.


    ROFL, please tell me you are trolling and you really aren't that
    stupid.
    --
    Andrew. To email unscramble nrc@gurjevgrzrboivbhf.pbz & remove spamtrap.
    Help make Usenet a better place: English is read downwards,
    please don't top post. Trim messages to quote only relevent text.
    Check groups.google.com before asking a question.

  11. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    Tony Hill writes:

    > > And the C94 is from 1991...

    >
    > Err, wasn't it from 1994? Hence the 'C94' name? Still hardly a
    > current product.


    The models in the T90, C90 and J90 series are named according to the
    number of CPUs in the system, so a C94 is a 4-CPU C90, a J916 is a
    16-CPU J90 and so on.

    *p


  12. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    Per Ekman wrote:

    > The PS2 does 6.2GFLOPS (single precision)


    Yes, single precision, and AFAIR it's just an theoretical value as the GLOPS
    number comes mostly from the gfx hardware which isn't freely programmable
    like a CPU..

    And the double performance numbers are even under 1GFLOPS/s, with the same
    limitations.

    > which was quite impressive
    > at the time (and still is if you ask me). And IIRC the export
    > restrictions specified systems with more than 1GFLOPS as a
    > supercomputer.


    Wasn't the 1GFLOPS/s limitation not a double precision number?

    Besides this, I can't see how US export restrictions should apply to
    asian-made game consoles.

    Benjamin


  13. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    MS wrote:

    > Well, you should learn how to read:
    >
    > "The Xbox has 80 Gigaflops of computing power. That's equivalent to
    > the power found in a Cray C94 supercomputer."
    >
    > http://www.nvidia.com/page/console.html


    Maybe You should start to think first?

    Lets forget the fact that Nvidia even didn't specify if it's single or
    double precision, it should be quite obvious that the 733MHz Extended
    Celeron used in the XBox in no way can do 80GFLOPS/s. This number certainly
    comes from the gfx hardware which certainly even can't do this (like almost
    all gfx chips on current gfx cards which are even faster than the XBox)
    (saying the XBox does 80GFLOPS/s has the same quality like the "120W PMPO"
    stickers on little PC speakers that use a weak 5V/150mA Power Supply). Also
    one little problem here is that the use for this "computing power" is
    somewhat limited as the gpus aren't as flexible programmable as CPUs. This
    btw is one of the reason that the scientific institutions all over the world
    didn't run to get a bunch of PS2s or XBoxes when they came out but still
    settle on Supercomputers or Clusters made of real computers. Of course GPUs
    can be used for computing tasks but they are very very limited.

    It's typical for Nvidia just publishing a plain number on the webiste
    without explaining the relations. Saying the XBox does 80GFLOPS/s so it must
    be a supercomputer is like saying a 2GHz CPU is faster than a 1GHz CPU -
    both expressions shows a lack of background knowledge.

    Benjamin


  14. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    "Benjamin Gawert" writes:

    > Per Ekman wrote:
    >
    > > The PS2 does 6.2GFLOPS (single precision)

    >
    > Yes, single precision, and AFAIR it's just an theoretical value as the GLOPS
    > number comes mostly from the gfx hardware which isn't freely programmable
    > like a CPU..


    No, it's programmable alright. The Emotion Engine in the PS2 has two
    vector co-processors that does 9 FMACs and 3 FDIVs per cycle in
    addition to the 1 FMAC and 1 FDIV of the regular FPU for a total of 24
    FLOP/cycle@294MHz (which comes out as 7.35GFLOPS so there's presumably
    some issue restrictions somewhere).

    *p

  15. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    "Rolf" wrote in message news:<%i8Wb.2992$cb7.21915@newsfep4-glfd.server.ntli.net>...
    > But Like I asked...
    >
    > Can it make you a cup of coffee on those long nights when playing
    > Midtown Madness 3 Live against the best and the worst.
    >
    > I don't think so
    >
    > Jud


    You haven't heard of the Microsoft Coffee Mate? I hear most
    businesses have them these days.

  16. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    On Wed, 11 Feb 2004 16:21:28 GMT, "Mikael Sillman"
    wrote:
    >> It's bull****, the C94 had a peak of 4GFLOPS (double precision, which
    >> the Xbox certainly can't match). The C94 does 35GB/s on STREAM TRIAD,
    >> I'd be surprised if the Xbox can do 3GB/s. And the C94 is from
    >> 1991...

    >
    >-So you think that nVidia has just been lying on it's PUBLIC WEB-PAGE for
    >nearly 3 years without anyone but you noticing and figuring that they're
    >lying?


    No, plenty of people have noticed that they are lying. Most people
    just don't care because they know that all companies lie about this
    sort of stuff. Per is right though, the number is total bull****.


  17. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    > >so with linux on xbox this is very true about supercomputer.

    Potentially.

    > ROFL, please tell me you are trolling and you really aren't that
    > stupid.


    Actually it was more perceptive and open-minded than your attitude, but also
    naive, 100 Mbit ethernet is high-latency / low-bandwith 'interconnection' so
    the kind of applications that this "cluster" is most able to run are
    distributed-computing kind of packetized workload, which reduces the ability
    for such system to work with efficient random access to a large dataset
    which may reduce the number of applications such system is capable of
    performing.

    It would make a good SETI@HOME 'supercomputer' fer' instance. But I don't
    think the OP was stupid, but you definitely are arrogant mofo.



  18. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    On Thu, 12 Feb 2004 19:59:50 +0200, "joe smith"
    wrote:

    >Actually it was more perceptive and open-minded than your attitude, but also
    >naive, 100 Mbit ethernet is high-latency / low-bandwith 'interconnection' so
    >the kind of applications that this "cluster" is most able to run are
    >distributed-computing kind of packetized workload, which reduces the ability
    >for such system to work with efficient random access to a large dataset
    >which may reduce the number of applications such system is capable of
    >performing.


    I am not saying that a cluster of consoles couldn't potentially be
    powerful and useful. What is BS is saying that a single console is
    equivalent to a supercomputer.
    --
    Andrew. To email unscramble nrc@gurjevgrzrboivbhf.pbz & remove spamtrap.
    Help make Usenet a better place: English is read downwards,
    please don't top post. Trim messages to quote only relevent text.
    Check groups.google.com before asking a question.

  19. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    On Mon, 09 Feb 2004 21:35:32 +0000, hg wrote:

    > Actually, every performance enhancing feature of modern processors have
    > evolved from supercomputer CPU design in one way or another. That's why I
    > laughed at that Inquirer story when I read it early this morning.
    > Besides, if I were seller of the future Xbox 2 i would be more worried about
    > the rumour that it has no backwards compatibility with the first Xbox. I
    > suppose microsoft think there aren't enough good games so why bother?


    Well, I think you'll find that the ****box2 is going to be PPC so unless
    they stick in an x86 as well, there will be no backwards compatibility
    unless they can provide some sort of software emulation which will enable
    the games to run at the same speed - not going to happen, because you're
    also running windaz.

    Luke.


  20. Re: Xbox 2 is an IBM & SGI supercomputer

    On Mon, 09 Feb 2004 20:39:00 +0100, Tommy Stenberg wrote:

    > So, we are supposed to believe Microsofts hype, but not Sonys? We heard it
    > all before. We won't fall for it again. I couldn't care less how powerful a
    > console is. Okay, I DO care, but only to a certain extent. What good is


    From a hardware perspective the PS2 is more powerful than the ****box; the
    ****box is just a peecee, whereas the PS2 is a nicely integrated set of
    custom chips that work together nicely. Once programmed properly, you'll
    have a nice cohesive whole, unlike any peecee app.

    Luke.


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