Wednesday, October 19, 2011
This is most impressive because it was run on a home PC that, though beefed up in some areas (nearly 100 gigs of ram, 44 tb of HD space) is still recognizable as a pc. I recall running pi on my computer to thousands or millions of places (one ten-millionth as far as this.) Pi is mathematically fascinating, and there are some things yet to be figured out about it, but the most exciting part for me is the hardware involved. That two guys (dedication and talent not withstanding) can make the world record pi calculation is rather shocking. I had assumed that surely some supercomputer at a government facility would have all the records at this point. Perhaps the calculations do not work well with distributed computing?
"The machine we used is mostly the same as the previous computation. The only main difference is that there are more hard drives.
2 x Intel Xeon X5680 @ 3.33 GHz - (12 physical cores, 24 hyperthreaded)
96 GB DDR3 @ 1066 MHz - (12 x 8 GB - 6 channels)
1 TB SATA II (Boot drive)
5 x 2 TB SATA II (Store Pi Output)
24 x 2 TB SATA II (Computation) - various models
3 x LSI MegaRaid SAS 9260-8i
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise x64"
I wonder if they ran Quake 3 on this beast?
If you want to test your rig, or throw your hat into the ring for the first to hit 20 trillion places, download the Y-cruncher here. 10 years from now, it should be expected that a standard desktop PC will calculate 10 trillion places of pi in a matter of hours. If these trends continue that is...
Here it took my current computer about 90 seconds to do 16 million places, on a P4 2.8 with 1 gig of ram. So even 1 billion would not take all that long. But 1 trillion would be a major commitment of time (not to mention the fact that my ram and hdd space would run out.) Can't wait to run this on my next system with at least 8 gigs of ram if not 16, and many more cores.