What could be better than making a supercomputer out of standard computer parts? Making one out of Xboxes! That’s just what the wizards at ClusterX.org have done! Last year The National Center for Supercomputing Applications created a super computer using the popular Playstation 2 console; ClusterX has responded by using Microsoft‘s console in their computer cluster.
Why make a cluster out of video game consoles? Because the consoles themselves are relatively inexpensive compared to purchasing conventional computer parts. Console makers sell systems at a loss (sometimes of up to $150 or $200 per unit) and count on game sales to make up the difference. Another driving force behind building the cluster according to ClusterX: ” Well to be honest just to see if we could build it.”
While ClusterX uses Microsoft‘s gaming hardware, don’t expect to see any of their software running on this super computer. The ClusterX cluster runs a modified version of Linux, called “Xebian” Linux, specifically designed for use with the Xbox.
It’s just a matter of time before some eggheads build a super computer out of Nintendo GameCubes. Won’t that be an interesting representation of Nintendo‘s proclivity for getting into the game too late?