Belgian researchers build desktop supercomputer

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Belgian researchers have built a desktop supercomputer that is powered by six NVIDIA GTX295 dual-GPU cards and one GTX275 single-GPU card.

The system - which is currently deployed at the University of Antwerp - significantly accelerates the rendering of complex, three-dimensional medical images.

"In collaboration with Tones.be and ASUS, we have now developed a [FASTRA II] PC design that incorporates 13 GPUs, resulting in a massive 12TFLOPS of computing power," ASTRA explained in a statment.

"To fit all this hardware in a single PC case, a special cage was designed for the graphics cards, which are connected to the motherboard by flexible riser cables. To satisfy all 13 GPUs, the system has four power supplies. At full speed, it can outperform a moderately sized cluster of state-of-the-art CPUs. And guess what...this system costs less than 6000 euros!"

It should be noted that the ASTRA research team had previously built a desktop supercomputer powered by four dual-GPU Nvidia graphics cards. The earlier iteration of the Fastra was reportedly capable of performing as fast as 350 modern CPU cores.

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