How do supercomputers compare to normal computers?

11 September 2011

Question

What's the difference between supercomputers and normal computers?

Answer

Paul - Well firstly, I would say it's a matter of scale So a normal computer would have one processor, a supercomputer would have the same processor but maybe 100,000 of them. So the processors are the same but scale is different and then the interconnect is completely different in a supercomputer so that you can pass lots of data quickly. Dave - So, just getting lots of normal computers and connecting them together with network cables wouldn't necessarily make it a supercomputer. Paul - Not unless you had a specialist network and then of course, there are many software layers on top of that which it will require and then the applications from where the real magic comes in.

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