The Super PC Rig That Found The 5 Trillionth Digit Of Pi

Written by Andrew Moynihan on Fri, Apr 12, 2013 9:47 AM

Pi is one of the first interesting numbers a scientific society will come by, due to it being a Universal Constant, and the number just keeps going.

So if you want to calculate an infinitely long number, it will take an infinite amount of time. The 5 Trillionth digit is however manageable; if you have this rig that is...

Shigeru Kondo broke the recent world record for calculation of Pi, after 90 days of dedicated work on his machine. The custom build rig cost $18,000 to make, and included some truly stunning hardware. Take a look:

Processor - 2 x Intel Xeon X5680 @ 3.33 GHz - (12 physical cores, 24 hyperthreaded)

Memory - 96 GB DDR3 @ 1066 MHz - (12 x 8 GB - 6 channels) - Samsung (M393B1K70BH1)

Motherboard - Asus Z8PE-D12

Hard Drives -
1 TB SATA II (Boot drive) - Hitachi (HDS721010CLA332)
3 x 2 TB SATA II (Store Pi Output) - Seagate (ST32000542AS)
16 x 2 TB SATA II (Computation) - Seagate (ST32000641AS)

Raid Controller - 2 x LSI MegaRaid SAS 9260-8i

Operating System - Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise x64

Well. I think the 96GB of RAM definitely beat my rig, not to mention the nearly 40 TB of hard drive space he has!

Even with all of this equipment, it still took him 90 days with custom software to get this far. Kondo said his mother and wife showed "no particular feelings" about his hard earned success; ouch.

The entirety of Pi takes up 6TB of space when it's this long. Many people aren't quite sure why it needs to be calculated to such a precision, when at most the first 50 digits are relevant in today's mathematics.

Are you impressed by that hardware? Don't you wish you could try it out with Crysis? Tell us your thoughts!

EDIT: Thanks to Grimreeper786 for his shout out earlier about this!

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06:49 Apr-14-2013

My Graphic card is 100% betterthan his.
OWNED :P

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08:44 Apr-14-2013

Mine is 47% better than yours. Owned...

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01:05 Apr-17-2013

61% better than yours ;)

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03:09 Apr-17-2013

67% percent worse owned..........

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06:30 Apr-17-2013

136% worse than yours. GD rating rocks.

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03:00 Apr-17-2013

It's not about the graphics card. It's about the digit of Pi.

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11:45 Apr-19-2013

Ahahahahhaa, indeed :D

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19:41 Apr-19-2013

As simple as that.

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23:52 Apr-13-2013

My GPU is better than his... oh wait... he doesn't have a G.... never mind :(

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10:46 Apr-14-2013

let's talk about CPU ;)

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12:56 Apr-14-2013

and RAM maybe, ohh, and HDD's ,

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06:18 Apr-15-2013

Maybe have gotten a better result if his RAM was clocked at a higher frequency

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08:17 Apr-15-2013

There is so much ram you don't need a higher clock the memory bandwidth is already so large a higher clock would have have hardly any effect for the increase in ram price and electricity cost.

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06:20 Apr-15-2013

should of OC'ed the CPUs

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15:11 Sep-21-2013

Dual overclocked 12 cores.... yeah that would be nice and chilly :D

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15:38 Apr-13-2013

I will generate a series of random numbers after 3.1415 and say that's value of pi.

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19:26 Apr-13-2013

and then someone will pay sh*tload of money to check if you're right ×Đ

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20:15 Apr-13-2013

trololollol haha

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06:39 Apr-13-2013

But the question is, CAN IT RUN CRYSIS??? XD :D

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07:49 Apr-13-2013

xD

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13:25 Apr-13-2013

Ofcourse it can, the real question is, CAN IT RUN MINECRAFT?

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13:31 Apr-13-2013

woops. i see no GPU there.. maybe an integrated GPU, sorry, no Crysis for this one :S

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14:38 Apr-13-2013

http://www.asus.com/Commericial_Servers_Workstations/Z8PED12/\#specifications
>Aspeed AST2050 with 8MB VRAM
Hell yeah it can run Crysis!

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14:46 Apr-13-2013

the question is....can it run dave/mario at 30+ fps, 800*600 res? My first game :P

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14:56 Apr-13-2013

Those CPUs could run games on software rendered graphics.

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14:54 Apr-13-2013

it's a server, so no it can't run crysis, it's purpose is not to game, but to crunch numbers

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17:57 Apr-13-2013

Bet he can't play Dark souls comfortably, no one can run Dark souls comfortably.

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04:23 Apr-13-2013

dont worry pals. you got my support for doing this!

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00:35 Apr-13-2013

Whoops forgot to click save, that would suck! =D

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00:38 Apr-13-2013

$18,000 and he didn't take gaming into account..... at least mine can play BF3!

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00:39 Apr-13-2013

He can take graphics on his CPU :D

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05:51 Apr-13-2013

How is 6950? It is available in shops for approx half the price of gtx 570. It would cost me 220 USD approx. Is it future proof for coming 3-4 years at 720p res?

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09:09 Apr-13-2013

try and find 7850 its faster and cheaper and more efficent

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20:00 Apr-18-2013

HD6950 is great for gaming at that reso but I would go with the HS7850 as it will probably last you longer ;)

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19:40 Apr-12-2013

Holy sh*t! That is amazing!! That is the best workstation ever created (or seen by me)

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20:20 Apr-12-2013

ahaha :D

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17:33 Apr-12-2013

even if I could buy it, I wouldn't =Đ

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17:35 Apr-12-2013

basic gadget is recommended ;)

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18:18 Apr-12-2013

well, Win7 is fine for that ×Đ

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14:01 Apr-12-2013

Instead of wasting shtloads of money on 2x Xeon X5680 he could have used GPGPU technology and attach 3x GTX Titan to achieve approx. 10 times better performance.
2x Xeon gives 141
2 GFLOPS of performance but 3x Titan can give 5*3 TFlops.

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14:01 Apr-12-2013

Please correct me if my point is wrong.

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16:13 Apr-12-2013

only wrong point is that 2 Xeons will always be better for non-visual computing :Đ

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05:46 Apr-13-2013

Check out Nvidia Tesla GPU which is specialized only for floating point operation and lack visual capabilities. It can make a mini super computer.

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11:20 Apr-13-2013

Yeah but tesla requires advanced knowledge of computing language.

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11:45 Apr-13-2013

Still he could pay a programmer ;)

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14:48 Apr-13-2013

I am a programmer and happily accept a few bucks and save him damn loads of criticism for such a wastage of time, power and money. I srsly wonder will anything like this make any difference to mathematics? How about solving 64 peg tower of hanoi problem?

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08:07 Apr-15-2013

Or Graham's Number...

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13:57 Apr-12-2013

and I wouldn't want to try this out with Crysis since it doesn't seem like a gaming rig, more of a server PC, I see no GPU listed and the OS is windows server.

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13:56 Apr-12-2013

my mother would say you wasted your money! what's wrong with you!

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16:38 Apr-12-2013

same here

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17:09 Apr-12-2013

My mother wouldn't even let me try that. Rather she would say that I have become a psycho!

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17:12 Apr-12-2013

She'll kil me

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17:27 Apr-12-2013

Well, to be honest, I don't even have that kind of money to do such a thing. So neither of the possibilities for me! :D

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17:29 Apr-12-2013

my parent would say "what do you need so much money for?! forget it and do your home work". -_-

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17:38 Apr-12-2013

@Chyper
That's the main problem with parents. Homework instead of calculating digits of Pi!!! Pathetic! :(

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17:40 Apr-12-2013

yep.....what is the homework is calculating the square meters of a rounded field with good accuracy..? :P

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13:23 Apr-12-2013

Damn!!!! That's all.

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13:06 Apr-12-2013

Would a GPU accelerated machine not be more appropriate?

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12:55 Apr-12-2013

gtx titan

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12:28 Apr-12-2013

Long live GD for providing us these kind of interesting articles

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12:12 Apr-12-2013

i thing u need a GFX for count i use my gfx for brute force a password i thing u need that to to count pi :D

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12:06 Apr-12-2013

school only need 3.14, no need more since the student can be confused if using 5 digit or more...

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12:04 Apr-12-2013

Yeah that is impressive! PC's are mostly used in other stuff than gaming. I am not impressed with hardware, there are much faster though. I wouldn't try it with Crysis -No graphics card (not needed for calculations). However I wonder if he could use CUDA or OpenCL based applications for calculations.

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11:59 Apr-12-2013

Wait. The author didn't tell us that the 5 trillionth digit was a "2"

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11:54 Apr-12-2013

where is the graphic card??

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11:55 Apr-12-2013

Well what are they gonna need GRAPHICS for the calculation of pie?

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12:29 Apr-12-2013

greaa reply

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100% Yes [2 votes]
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57.1429% Yes [7 votes]
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