SGI performed quite well in the semi-annual ranking of the world's TOP500 Supercomputer sites this past June. They had the #4 supercomputer -- the Pleiades - Altix ICE 8200EX at the NASA/Ames Research Center. Although not an official award, they also were heralded as the industry's "greenest" supercomputer, as measured by performance efficiency.
Performance efficiency, or “LINPACK efficiency,” measures the ratio between maximum performance (RMax) and peak performance (RPeak). SGI dominated this new category with 12 of the 20 most performance-efficient supercomputers in the world."
Additionally the SGI Altix ICE cluster is the first time that an x86 scalar-based system outperformed vector-based systems.
Last week SGI/Rackable announced their x86 scale-out servers to support both on-board Quad Data Rate 40Gb InfiniBand and 10Gb Ethernet connections.
"The features of the expanded Rackable x86 server lines include dual QSFP InfiniBand/Ethernet ports at up to 40 Gb/s (gigabits-per-second), Intel Xeon 5500 series "Nehalem" processors, including the top-bin W5580 running at 3.2 GHz, and large memory capability with up to 96 GB (gigabytes) of ECC registered DDR3 DIMMs. It is also power optimized with over 90 percent voltage regulator module efficiency on the server board, which perfectly complements SGI’s up-to-96.5 percent-efficient power supplies."
96GB of memory! One of the things that made me such a fan of SGI was a computer I saw in 1994; a SGI with 4GB of memory (which was a TON back then). It ran a flight simulator that looked Amazing.....