Personal computers have come a long way over the course of the last several years. Although they are still not on the level of that of a supercomputer, they are extremely powerful and able to accomplish many necessities of every day home life. In my computer at home, I have a quad core Intel I7-2700K processor running at 3.4ghz, a very modern processor capable of incredible things. My personal computer has 16 gigabytes of DDR 3 memory running at 2133mhz, and it has two hard drives each capable of storing 1.5 terabytes of data. It has a basic bluray burner and a programmable mouse and keyboard making everything come together. Finally, my computer runs 3 monitors simultaneously, so I am able to see multiple videos and/or games and/or data all at once. This sounds fantastic, but unfortunately, it doesn’t even come close to comparing with a supercomputer like the one found in Columbia (http://www.nas.nasa.gov/hecc/resources/columbia.html).
A supercomputer does everything a personal computer can do, except far more efficiently and with a significant amount more power. The Columbia has 4608 cores on all 4 nodes in comparison to my computer’s 4 cores, except it was built in 2004 and mine was built in 2012. It had 800 TB of storage capacity as well as 2 GB of RAM per core (4608 total). If they rebuilt this supercomputer today using state-of-the-art technology, it would be capable of things that can’t yet be imagined.
Although the processor in my computer was top of the line about 6 months ago, there are already processors on the market that are simply astounding in comparison. The core I7-3960X Extreme edition is the most state of the art Intel processor on the market today, and with a price point of over $1,000 USD, is also the most expensive (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116491). The RAM in my computer is certainly comparable to many top of the line products widely available on the market, but I could certainly use an...
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