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Is folding more hype then result? - Page 2

post #11 of 16
Other highlights from the June 2013 TOP500 List, which can be found at www.top500.org, include:
  • There are 26 systems with performance greater than a petaflop/s, up from 23 six months ago.
  • The new No. 1 system, Tianhe-2, and the No. 6 system, Stampede, are using Intel Xeon Phi processors to speed up their computational rate. The No. 2 system, Titan, and the No. 10 system, Tianhe-1A, are using NVIDIA GPUs to accelerate computation.
  • A total of 54 systems on the list are using accelerator/co-processor technology, down from 62 in November 2012. Thirty-nine of these use NVIDIA chips, three use ATI Radeon, and eleven systems use Intel MIC technology (Xeon Phi).
  • The number of systems installed in China has now stabilized at 66, with 72 and 68 on the last two lists. As a nation, China now holds the No. 2 position as a user of HPC, ahead of Japan, UK, France, and Germany. Due to Tianhe-2, China has also taken the No. 2 position in the performance share, ahead of Japan.
  • Intel continues to provide the processors for the largest share (80.4 percent) of TOP500 systems.
  • Eighty-eight percent of the systems use processors with six or more cores, and 67 percent with eight or more cores.
  • IBM’s BlueGene/Q is still the most popular system in the TOP10 with four entries, including No. 3, 5, 7, and 8.
  • The entry level on the list moved up to the 96.6 teraflop/s mark on the Linpack benchmark, compared to 76.5 Tflop/s six months ago.
  • The last system on the newest list was listed at position 322 in the previous TOP500 just six months ago.
  • Total combined performance of all 500 systems has grown to 223 Pflop/s, compared to 162 Pflop/s six months ago and 123 Pflop/s one year ago.


Geographical observations
  • The U.S. is clearly the leading consumer of HPC systems, with 252 of the 500 systems (250 last time). The European share (112 systems – 105 last time) is still lower than the Asian share (119 systems – 123 last time).
  • Dominant countries in Asia are China with 66 systems (down from 72) and Japan with 30 systems (down from 32).
  • In Europe, UK, France, and Germany, are almost equal with 29, 23, and 19 respectively.
   
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post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hukkel View Post

Wait....so the TITAN supercomputer is actually AMD powered? Or are the GPUs Nvidia?

I fold with my pc, I am almost done building a dedicated folding and gaming pc with a lot more HP and I just started a 4P 24/7 folding only build.
I would LOVE to think I am making a tiny bit of difference.

But I do agree the OP asks a question I have asked myself. Am I just donating a lot of money in hardware and energy so people at Stanford can setup 10.000 minecraft servers? Would I have been better off donating to Stanford annually for one supercomputer? I think people deserve to ask these questions. Right?

The big booster are the Tesla K20X that have a ridiculous output. They do have over 18k 6274s in there though. The highest performing machine in China has IVB-EP 12/24 2P nodes and 31S1P Xeon Phis
Edited by TheBlademaster01 - 8/11/13 at 2:15am
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post #13 of 16
I could be wrong, but I thought up until recently the majority of F@H's projects were designed to test the core / setup itself, and not for true research, not yet atleast. Cant honestly remember though, I read it so long ago lol...
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post #14 of 16

Without investing an hour into this post, I'm just going to say that the top 4 F@H teams in the world mainly utilize enthusiast hardware and, low-mid grade server hardware to achieve their results. So, if people who contributed this research acted on your suggestion of contributing their dollars to a 'super computer', then we'd be in the hole by a TON of research. redface.gif All of the contributions add up to complete the piece of pie they have now in completed research.

 

I honestly can't think of a donation funded Super Computer crunching 24/7 that I've read about. Anyone have some examples? It's not common in my readings. I've seen a few places donate some of their super computer power, but most of us on here probably have completed more wu's than they did in that short span.

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post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by abombthecoder View Post

Some really good answers here, and I see it's not just about scientific research, there's just a lot of satisfaction with the sexy computing going on.

On some further research I found two good posts that pretty much say what it seems like, that F@H isn't very useful:

http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/r93i6/has_foldinghome_really_accomplished_anything/c43z7ji

and

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=521569 check out the poosts by m0002a

The synopsis is that the problems that F@H solves aren't the difficult ones and they aren't the bottlenecks faced by medical research community. If biomed's need some results, they cheaply and efficiently rent a small amount of time on a super computer for some serious number crunching that the F@H can't compete with. None of the 79 research papers based on F@H have any biochemists as authors, every paper has least one F@H author on it, and most of the papers are by Stanford computer scientists. The pharmaceutical industry does not find the project useful nor do medical researchers outside of standford. It looks to me like F@H is an awesome computer science project and the department that is running it is playing the funding game that is nearly ubiquitous in academia these days.

That first link may be a valid criticism, yet going to the full thread I saw multiple people who claimed to be in that field saying the project was useful. The top-rated comment was from a pharmacologist saying that he does drug design that directly uses some of F@h's results. The second link was someone with an extreme distaste for FAH using a couple of unsubstantiated sources to make sweeping claims about the field of biochemistry as a whole.

I'm not sure why every paper having at least one F@h author on it is an issue. It's F@h's distribution system and chances are pretty good that any one of the grad students or professors within the F@h network are going to get top priority on using it. Are you expecting GlaxoSmithKline to be requesting to set up projects? One, they have tons of money to build their own supercomputers, but from some of the discussion on this topic it sounds like they're not particularly motivated to do a lot of the basic research because it's not immediately profitable. Two, I'm sure there are a number of people who would be turned off by directly helping a big pharmaceutical company. Also of note is that F@h is federally funded; I'm guessing they can't legally let a private corporation use the system if that company would have sole ownership of the results, and a big pharma company isn't going to let their drug candidates be public knowledge right off the bat.

Take a look at some of the most recent papers here. In particular, I'd like to point out:

#100: A separate Stanford research team used some of F@h's research to help them in designing better AIDS and cancer treatments.
#96: New strategies for fighting Alzheimer's, to be followed up with a push towards a viable drug.
#101: Working with experimentalists to test the legitimacy of F@h's results.

If this were just the Pande lab playing the funding game, then why are there research groups in several other universities, including multiple ones outside the US, so interested in using it?
Edited by Zagen30 - 8/14/13 at 3:09pm
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagen30 View Post

it sounds like they're not particularly motivated to do a lot of the basic research because it's not immediately profitable

This. Pande's research is laying groundwork, focused on understanding the mechanisms. Big pharma targets the end result: when there's an obvious product to work towards.
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