You Can Bid On A Supercomputer With 145K CPU Cores And 313TB Of RAM

you can bid on a supercomputer with 145k cpu cores and 313tb of ram
In the market for a PC upgrade and looking for the most powerful rig to mine cryptocurrency, simulate black holes, or something you can run an incredible AI model off of? If you just so happen to have $75,000, if not more, and the space and power requirements for it, the National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is selling its Cheyenne Supercomputer at auction.

At the time of writing with just over two days left, the bid is at $50,085.00, with the reserve not yet met. So, you still have time to jump in (and that price still has time to jump up). Of course, you will get some impressive performance for that price and the most expensive liquid cooling you’ve ever seen for a few reasons.

The Cheyenne Supercomputer entered service back in 2017 under the National Science Foundation’s NCAR group, touting 5.34-petaflops of power. That made it the 20th most powerful known supercomputer a few years back, aimed at understanding all facets of Earth.

Thomas Hauser, director of the NSF NCAR Computational and Information Systems Lab, explained that the system was an “extraordinary success” and that “its leading-edge computing and data handling capabilities of its time enabled scientists to gain new insights into the Earth system.” However, this system ran its course and was intended to be retired in 2022, but a pandemic led to supply chain issues and a subsequent postponement of the upgrade.

wide you can bid on a supercomputer with 145k cpu cores and 313tb of ram

Now that we are finally clear of that mess, and the NCAR group has an upgrade with the 19.87-petaflops Derecho system, what do you do with a spare supercomputer? If you are the U.S. government, you put it up for sale on GSA Auctions for the public to bid on, giving us some insights into the system.

The auction listing explains the rig has 8,064 units of Intel Xeon E5-2697v4 processors, making for a total of 145,152 cores, which pairs nicely with 313TB of DDR4-2400 ECC RAM. This system is also a fully water-cooled rig, but that is not in the best condition because of “faulty quick disconnects causing water spray.” Repairing was deemed not worthwhile given the circumstances, but it is still repairable all the same.

The other thing of note here is that all this hardware is not lightweight, clocking in the neighborhood of 26,000lbs if our napkin math is correct. However, if you have the space, power requirements, cash, repair capability, and ability to not have this beast fall through the floor, then the Cheyenne supercomputer could be yours for the low, low price of $75k+ or whatever the reserve happens to be (which is likely far above where bidding is now).