By Evan Ackerman
Do you ever suffer from computer-related performance anxiety? If so, you’re definitely not alone, and Calvin College student Tim Brom has the cure: a built-from-scratch 26.25 gigaflops supercomputer that runs off one standard wall outlet, will fit on your desk, and cost less than $2500 to build in 2006 (building a copy today would cost only $1256). The supercomputer, called Microwulf, consists of four microATX motherboards, each with a dual core CPU and 2 gigs of ram, all connected with an 8-port Gigabit Ethernet switch. The whole shebang also includes a CD/DVD drive and a 250 gb HD, and runs Ubuntu Linux. Microwulf’s price to performance ratio, as well as its performance to power ratio, is thought to be among the best on the planet, and it’s certainly more portable than any other supercomputer out there.
Microwulf isn’t for sale, but if you want to try to build your own, there’s a complete hardware manifest on the Microwulf website, and ClusterMonkey has a fairly comprehensive article on the design and construction process. Good luck; if you can make it work I’ll buy one from you.