Researchers at the University of Antwerp in Belgium have created a new supercomputer with standard gaming hardware. The system uses four NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics cards, it costs less than 4000EUR to build and thanks to NVIDIA’s CUDA technology it delivers roughly the same performance as a supercomputer cluster consisting of hundreds of PCs!
This new system is used by the ASTRA research group, part of the Vision Lab of the University of Antwerp, to develop new computational methods for tomography. The guys explain the eight NVIDIA GPUs deliver the same performance as more than 300 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz processors. On a normal desktop PC their tomography tasks would take several weeks but on this NVIDIA-based supercomputer it only takes a couple of hours. The NVIDIA graphics cards do the job very efficiently and consume a lot less power than a supercomputer cluster.