Half the Power and Double the Performance for NCSA’s HPC

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ncsa.jpgAs one of the premier high-performance computing (HPC) research institutions in the U.S., the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) provides HPC resources for a wide range of scientific applications, including many whose performance needs require highly parallel shared-memory architectures. NCSA recently replaced its previous shared-memory system, an SGI Altix* supercomputer based on the Intel® Itanium® 2 processor, with an SGI Altix UV supercomputer powered by the Intel® Xeon® processor 7500 series. NCSA says the new system, which it calls Ember, consumes half the power while delivering double the performance and nearly triple the memory capacity.

“Our expectation was that we’d see a baseline of maybe a 20 to 50 or 70 percent increase in application performance over the previous system,” explained John Towns, director of persistent infrastructure for NCSA. “What we found is that many applications are seeing a factor of two increase in performance, and sometimes much more.”

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