SGI to university: Chill out

Hot off the presses: The University of Arizona in Tucso has purchased a mammoth 1392-core SGI Altix ICE 8200 high-performance computing platform to support its research groups across campus. Apparently, the university was just as impressed with the technology's cooling design as it was with the boost it will get for its research applications.

Hot off the presses: The University of Arizona in Tucso has purchased a mammoth 1392-core SGI Altix ICE 8200 high-performance computing platform to support its research groups across campus. Apparently, the university was just as impressed with the technology's cooling design as it was with the boost it will get for its research applications.

The ICE system is cooled with water-chilled racks and doors that absorb the heat generated by the CPU.

In a press release released by SGI, Dr. Michael Bruck, assistant director of research computing at the school's University Information Technology Services department, had this observation:

"With the Altix 4700 share memory system [which the university already owned] and the new Altix ICE, instead of having 256 processors, we're going to have 2,020 processors, and instead of 29 tons of air conditioning, we will need only 1.7 tons. We're getting 30 times the processing power and less than one-tenth of the A/C cooling requirement."

The investment will save the university about 40 percent on its energy bill and it will extend the life of its air-conditioning units by roughly 5 to 7 years, Bruck estimates. More details here.