U.S. Air Force Buying 2,200 PlayStation 3s

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omnimodis78

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Why not just order whatever they need as a custom device instead of buying the actual console? Seems kinda odd that the U.S.A.F. has to purchase a retail product - a gaming console at that - to get their hands on some technology they seem to want. I don't know, it just seems like something a developing nation would do....not the USA.
 

joebob2000

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This is a very clever way to score high powered CPUs at Sony's expense, it's a wonder Sony hasn't come out with some sort of "patch" that blocked clustering from taking place. Is this the reason that the new slim PS3 has no linux support? Sony finally got tired of taking a loss on all these supercomputer projects?

For those curious, the IBM Roadrunner supercomputer uses a variant of the Cell chip, 12,000 of them in fact. The extended cost per chip is $10,000 (including support hardware). If the Air Force can get their PS3 network running for $300 per chip plus a little extra (say $300 more per station) for support equipment like network, power, and cooling, they will still only be paying $600 per node compared to $10,000 per node the 'old fashioned way'.

Now that's a government spending reduction I can get behind!
 
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Thats silly, IBM sells cell based blade servers that can run whatever you want, take as much RAM as you want, and have faster processors than what comes in the PS3.
 

jerreece

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[citation][nom]omnimodis78[/nom]Why not just order whatever they need as a custom device instead of buying the actual console? Seems kinda odd that the U.S.A.F. has to purchase a retail product - a gaming console at that - to get their hands on some technology they seem to want. I don't know, it just seems like something a developing nation would do....not the USA.[/citation]

Obama said he was going to help us out of this recession you know...

Probably paying $600 each for them knowing how government contracts end up. ;)
 

hundredislandsboy

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I would have to see what they're spending for this project. I thought they could buy older quadcore CPU pulled from Dell upgrades at bottom cheap prices if they just wanted processing power.
 

joebob2000

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Let me try this again:

SONY. TAKES. A. LOSS. ON. THE. PS3.

Do you get that, at all? They are buying them because the blade server version is a TON more expensive (at least 5x, maybe close to 10x depending on loadout). The PS3 has a well understood CPU and a comparable Intel or AMD equipped server would be at least 3x more per socket.
 
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this reminds me of that urban legend from when the PS2 came out and there was a shortage... that Saddam was buying them to get around the US embargo on Iraq because they were considered games/toys and not computers, or something like that.
 

Honis

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If they're buying at market value Sony is going to lose huge amounts of $ on this.

MS and Sony run on the Gillette model. Give the handle away and we'll make it up on them buying the razors. In this case the console isn't free, but they lose $ on each sale assuming you'll go and make up the loss in game and accessory sales.

Also to those saying why not buy x CPUs, the PS3 can stomp any current x86 based processor in calculations. Also, to buy a PC then an advance GFX card that equals the PS3s processing power is more expensive in both hardware and development. The PS3 just requires minor changes to be made to programs written entirely in C and C++ to run thanks to Linux support. With 2,200 PS3s they have a massive super computer at a fraction of the cost in both hardware and development. I do hope they buy them at real cost ($500-$800) since Sony will never see a real return on it. Even at that price its a better buy then an equivalent super computer.
 

ssalim

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Hm maybe they need to make another super computer completely made up off PS3s. Problem is, what will it be called? (codename)
PSS for Play Super Station?
 

jmchien

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I don't think Sony loses much on this in terms of profit since a few thousand PS3 consoles only represents less than 0.1%...
 

everlast66

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[citation][nom]omnimodis78[/nom]Why not just order whatever they need as a custom device instead of buying the actual console? Seems kinda odd that the U.S.A.F. has to purchase a retail product - a gaming console at that - to get their hands on some technology they seem to want. I don't know, it just seems like something a developing nation would do....not the USA.[/citation]
I think you shouldn't be surprised - the us can easily be classified as developing country nowadays - after the two years of recession together with the uk have somewhat fallen behind the most develloped countries.
 

itadakimasu

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It's a sly way of stealing / utilizing japanese technology without having to buddy buddy w\ them.

Can you imagine if they were tapped into everybodies ps3 and using them like a folding @home kinda deal while you're idle?
 

Onyx2291

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I suppose it is pretty cheap for what else it could be used for? A similar PC would be more expensive I think.. Maybe..
 
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