Cray launches CX1 desktop supercomputer

You'll fit up to 16 Intel Xeons into the Cray CX1
You'll fit up to 16 Intel Xeons into the Cray CX1

It's designed for high-end number crunching, data visualisation and scientific research, but just think what Cray Inc's new CX1 'affordable' supercomputer would do for your Warcraft gaming.

The Windows HPC Server 2008 (or Linux Red Hat) machine can house a cluster of up to 16 single- or dual-socket Intel Xeon processors, with up to eight Blades per chassis. High-end graphics and storage blades are also on offer.

Desktop diva

Unlike traditional supercomputers, the CX1 doesn't need additional cooling or ventilation, and can run on standard domestic power. Don't worry, though, you still get that cool all-black cubic design and the Cray badge to geek out your mates.

For the first time, you can order a supercomputer online from Cray at We priced up a (very) basic configuration to around $12,300 (£6,900) but if you want the full cluster of 16 Xeon processors and a tonne of storage, memory and graphics hardware, you can easily run that up to $75,000 (£42,000) or more.

Cray promises that the CX1 delivers the "power of a high performance cluster with the ease-of-use and seamless integration of a workstation". You might also be pleased to hear that even the cheapest CX1 comes with a cordless keyboard and mouse thrown in.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.