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Want to know what a supercomputer feels like? Then try this 224-core monster server

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Timofeev Vladimir)

European public cloud Scaleway has unleashed what it claims to be the most powerful bare metal server on the market right now. Its Bare Metal Ultimate Performance XL (UP-BM2-XL) server is a statement of intent as much as it is a halo product.

It's powered by eight Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 processors, each with 28 cores/56 threads clocked at up to 2.7GHz. Intel's recommended customer price for each is $10,009 - a significant premium due to the fact that it supports eight sockets.

There’s also 7.68TB memory (6.1TB of DCPMM Optane and 1.5GB TruDDR4), 20.6TB storage (six 3.2TB NVMe enterprise grade SSDs) and up to 25Gbit/s of available bandwidth.

The solution, Scaleway says, is “designed for on-demand intensive computing, In-Memory or transactional databases, and all workloads incompatible with horizontal scaling”, making it ideal for SAP and VMware. Given that ThinkSystem is mentioned in the technical specification list, we suspect the server used is a Lenovo ThinkSystem SR950.

Users are billed per hour rather than per month; at €29.99/h (£26.80/$35.60), it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. But then again, one of these Cascade Lake-SP Xeon CPUs (remember there’s eight of them) can reach 2TFlops/sec (theoretical peak performance on AVX-512 instructions).

20 years ago, the world’s most powerful computer was the Intel-powered ASCI Red. It had nearly 10,000 cores, a peak performance of 3.21TFlops and had a cool price tag of $55 million.

Scaleway operates six datacenters across Europe and focuses on web hosting, dedicated servers and colocation.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology in a career spanning four decades. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.