Technology

The Cheyenne Supercomputer is going for a fraction of its list price at auction right now

If you’ve been considering a new supercomputer but have been waiting for a good price, now might be a good time to make your offer. Currently, the U.S. government, through GSA Auctions, is auctioning off the Cheyenne supercomputer to the highest bidder with three days remaining. Although we haven’t tested this one ourselves, we assume its 145,152 CPU cores will easily outperform our current top pick for a laptop. You won’t need to upgrade the memory anytime soon either, as 313,344 GB of RAM are currently installed and the storage capacity reaches around 36 petabytes. No need to delete files to make room for new games or other media downloads.

GSA Auctions

Get one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers for well below list price at the U.S. government auction.

$28,000 at GSA Auctions

The case was spotted by Ars Technica, which also points out that fiber optic and CAT5/6 cabling are not included in the sale. Although the price paid by the government for the supercomputer has not been disclosed, it can be assumed that the cost is in the millions, considering the price of other supercomputers. As of this writing, bidding has reached $28,085, although the reserve has not yet been reached. There are still three days left and no deposit is currently required to bid.

The reason for such a large discount (besides the fact that Cheyenne was taken out of service) could be faulty quick disconnects causing water spraying and the fact that about one percent of nodes “experienced an outage” and “will not remain repaired”. Another caveat to note before you start making room in your arena-sized climate-controlled garage is that shipping costs are not included. As GSA Auctions notes on the details page, “moving this system requires hiring a professional moving company” and that “the buyer assumes responsibility for transferring the racks from the facility to trucks.” .

But where else will you get such significant savings on a machine capable of performing 5.34 quadrillion calculations per second? Cheyenne is also surprisingly energy efficient, using 25% less energy by calculation than its predecessor, Yellowstone. This massive supercomputer helped researchers understand the rapid intensification of hurricanes, the impact of wildfires on air quality, and simulate years of climate functions to predict outcomes decades in advance. It should definitely provide you with enough processing power for extreme multitasking at work while still handling even the most demanding games after hours.

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