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Check it Out: Cray CX1-iWS

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

A big issue years ago when I worked at BYTE magazine was info glut – so much data that you maxed out your drives and gagged your processor. Today, the issue is :power poverty: You have massive datasets to model, complex multiphysics simulations, and huge models – oh, and a boss or client needing your work last week — that meeting your deadlines becomes nearly impossible because your workstation takes forever to get to a solution or you have to elbow your way onto some shared system that will efficiently solve your problem … when it’s your turn. The Cray CX1-iWS is the cure for your power poverty blues.

Check it Out: Cray CX1-iWS

The Cray CX1-iWS is a fully featured, deskside Windows 7 workstation blade computer combined with a 24-core, 2.26 GHz Intel Xeon processor 5500 series cluster running Windows HPC Server 2008. This thing plugs into a normal wall socket, so you don’t have to do any extra like build a data center. When you use the Cray CX1-iWS as a workstation, its high-end NVIDIA Quadro graphics card lets you run dual high-definition monitors for big-time visualizations at your desktop.

As a workgroup hub, the Cray CX1-iWS comes with all the interconnectivity you need, such as an integrated 16-port gigabit Ethernet switch for more workstations or iSCSI storage devices. As a cluster computer, the Cray CX1-iWS enables individual users to work with parallel CAE applications without leaving the Windows desktop. Transitioning the Cray CX1-iWS from a workstation to cluster hub is virtually painless and seamless. You can even manage HPC Server 2008 right from your Windows 7 desktop.

You can choose from three versions of the Cray CX1-iWS, the “least” of which is a Windows 7 workstation blade with a 2.26GHz Xeon processor and Quadro graphics as well as a compute cluster with 12 GB memory and 4TB of storage. It goes for $38,999, which is pretty good for a any HPC system, never mind one that’s also a top-end engineering workstation. The other versions offer up to 24GB of memory and increasingly more powerful NVIDIA graphics.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the Cray CX1-iWS is available from Dell. That’s right. Cray and Dell have teamed up with Intel and Microsoft on the Cray CX1-iWS. It’s their “show-me” system.

You can learn all about the power poverty busting Cray CX1-iWS by hitting the link over there. Definitely worth your checking it out.

Thanks, pal. — Lockwood

Anthony . Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.
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