Name That Supercomputer

If you’ve read our blog before, you’ll know that I like quizzes and lists.

I present here another quiz for all of you HPC hardware nerds out there. Stay tuned for the cash and prizes – it’s an on your honor system, so if you approach me at Supercomputing 2013 in Denver, I suppose I’ll take your word for it. Adaptive Computing should have some awesome SC’13 goodies to give out, and I’ll be sure to give all of our blog readers special preference.

Have fun and feel free to post your answers in the comments below. Enjoy!

Hint: If you’ve read “5 HPC Buzzwords Defined,” you should get at least one or two of these questions right!


1. What Supercomputer platform is this, located at Argonne National Laboratory?

A. Cray XT5
2. IBM Blue Gene/P
D. IBM System X
5. IBM Blue Gene/Q

Reveal Answer

Answer: 2. The IBM Blue Gene/P, which Argonne was the first US location to receive one, earning it the #3 spot on the Top 500 in June of 2008.


2. Now located in a museum, what make is this historic supercomputer?

A. CDC 6600
2. Cray X1
D. Cray-1
5. Cray-2

Reveal Answer

Answer: D. The Cray-1, considered one of the most successful supercomputers in history.


3. Widely considered the first successful supercomputer, what is this supercomputer, designed by Seymour Cray?

A. CDC 6600
2. Cray XT6
D. Cray-1
5. Cray-2

Reveal Answer

Answer: A. The CDC 6600. This comes from Seymour Cray’s days at Control Data Corporation (CDC). Trick question: acknowledged.

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4. What is the name of this system, which was the first 1+ petaflop supercomputer on the top 500?

A. Beacon
2. Roadrunner
D. Sequoia
5. Jaguar

Reveal Answer

Answer: 2. Roadrunner, deployed by IBM in 2008, was decommissioned on March 31, 2013 and a smaller, more efficient supercomputer took its place.


5. What is the name of this supercomputer, named primarily for its function, that was the world’s fastest from 2002-2004?

A. Beacon
2. Red Storm
D. Earth Simulator
5. Numerical Wind Tunnel

Reveal Answer

Answer: D. Earth Simulator, which resided in Japan, cracking the top 5 in the inaugural top 500 list in June 2005.

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6. This supercomputer was upgraded in late 2012 to become the world’s fastest – what is the name of the new system?

A. Jaguar
2. Roadrunner
D. Tianhe-2
5. Titan

Reveal Answer

Answer: 5. Titan, which held the top spot on the Top 500 from November 2012 to June 2013.


7. Recently retired, this system at Sandia National Laboratories was the world’s fastest up until the turn of the millennium.

2. ASCI Red Storm
D. Z-Machine
5. Thor’s Hammer

Reveal Answer

Answer: A. ASCI Red, which was the first supercomputer to break the teraflops barrier.


If you’ve been in the industry a while, I’m sure you did fantastic! Make sure to click the share button and pass this post along to your friends.

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