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PS3 power !

OK – so it was an April Fool’s Day prank in case you hadn’t realised.  Sorry – you CAN’T run Windows Server 2008 on a PS/3.

But – it’s true that you CAN run Linux – and some folk have created a PlayStation “cluster” – essentially a supercomputer.

When the PlayStation3 was released in November 2006, Gaurav Khanna’s wife braved long queues so he could be one of the first people in the US to get his hands on the gaming console.

But the astrophysicist was not itching to burn some rubber in Gran Turismo or shoot hoops in NBA 07. Instead he wanted to build his own supercomputer.

Mr Khanna now owns 16 PS3s, which spend their days simulating the activities of very large black holes in the universe for the physics department at the University of Massachusetts.

Hooked together in a single cluster, the PS3 consoles provide his department with the same amount of computing power as a 400-node supercomputer.

Source : The Age

Sounds like it would be VERY easy to setup (even a Mac-boy can do it !):

“I am not a Linux person – I am a Mac person – but I was able to follow instructions online,” he says.

There’s even a company that now specialises in selling cluster solutions – as a turn-key setup – so that you don’t have to buy/configure yourself.

TerraSoft Solutions

This uses Yellow Dog Linux, a derivative of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Yellow Dog Linux v6.0 supports:
– Sony PS3.
– Apple PowerPC G4, G5.
– IBM System p (JS2x, 510, 520, 540).
– 802.11b Airport auto-configuration; Extreme with configuration.
– Audio on all tested machines.
– Sony PS3 Sixaxis game controller.
– Cell phone internet connections with configuration

There are a few great articles about people using PS3’s for more than just gaming – including using a PS3 as a PVR, competing in the DARPA “autonomous vehicle challenge“, and more about the Black hole researcher as mentioned above.

And – no, I’m not becoming a Sony-fan, but you can’t dismiss statements like this :

Even a single PS3 can be used to significantly accelerate some computations.

Marc Stevens, Arjen K. Lenstra, and Benne de Wegerhave demonstarted using a single PS3 to calculate perform an MD5 hash attack in a few hours.

They say: “Essentially, a single PlayStation 3 performs like a cluster of 30 PCs at the price of only one”

Source : Wikipedia

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One Response

  1. That’s awesome considering it has been out for a while now and hasn’t add anything new to the videogame scenario… to the contrary it does the same as an xbox 360 does if not quite often worse… Fine for me when I’ll need a cluster I will look into it.. meanwhile I prefer playing with an Xbox 360 for much cheaper.

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