What makes a computer super? is it the ability to fly or is it laser eyes no men this is computers were talking about they're super fast and great for a Complex Simulations, Cryptanalysis, Resource Exploration and Weather Forecasting all kinds of amazing stuff.

But first a bit of history according to the authoritative source on absolutely everything the first computers are earned the super prefix was designed by Seymour Cray and released in 1964 it was about 10 times faster than all other computers at the time and CDC the company for which Cray works before leaving to start his own sold a hundred of them at eight million dollars each.

Now early supercomputers well for about 30 years actually I guess relied on designs with just a few powerful specialized processing cores but in order to keep up with the ever increasing demand for more power the approach has shifted starting in the 90s towards many off-the-shelf processing course with modern supercomputers containing even hundreds of thousands of processing cores.

Some of them traditional CPUs and some of them actually GP used which can be very efficient for certain workloads.

Now hold on a second there is question CPUs and GPUs in these things like just like my gaming rig? yes but on a much larger scale the Titan Supercomputer has over 18,000+ 16 core Opteron processors and over 18,000+ Tesla K20X GPU’s.

Alright then two more questions how do they power and cool that sucker and can it run Crysis? Power and cooling are pretty much handled by the system designer on a case-by-case basis but the main theme is with as little waste as possible because a supercomputer can consume as much power as thousands of individual homes and cost millions of dollars a year to operate Titan uses 480 volt electrical power to allow thinner gauge cables saving about a million dollars in copper during construction.

The IBM aquas our system actually recycles the water cooling fluid that's used to cool the processors to heat building and Intel and three I'm showed up in inert fluid submerging concept that looks bananas as for crisis very funny but no.

Most supercomputers run Linux based operating systems that are heavily customised to best leverage the architecture of their own exact hardware design and to keep inter system communication as fast as possible for optimal efficiency.

This is what allows these extravagant designs to work so cohesively to complete a single task and unlock new computing paradigms that were impossible or at least impractical with previous hardware.

But high-speed light based interconnects between ginormous racks of modules isn't the only way to achieve supercomputer level performance usually measured in FLOPS or Floating-Point Operations per second with the Linpack benchmark.

If your work can be broken up into small chunks to be crunched as part of a larger project than Distributed or Grid Computing is another option where each processor might be in a laptop or even a phone belonging to an individual that calculates everything and then submits the results back to a central system this is how volunteer projects like folding at home which allows regular Joe schmo's to contribute to protein folding research for Stanford University work and all it costs for each person is a few bucks on their monthly electric bill.