High Performance Computing (HPC) – Computerphile

High Performance Computing (HPC) – Computerphile

The High Performance Computing Installation at the University of Nottingham. Data Centre Operations Manager Chris Tadman shows us round.

‘Quiet’ chat: https://youtu.be/YabC87Qjf20

nb. ironically the interviewer’s mic recorded better sound than the interviewee – I think this is because I was shouting so I could be heard above the fans and through the earplugs that Chris wore – therefore my voice was louder in relation to the fans… Hard to tell all of this at the time -Sean


This video was filmed and edited by Sean Riley.

Computer Science at the University of Nottingham: https://bit.ly/nottscomputer

Computerphile is a sister project to Brady Haran’s Numberphile. More at http://www.bradyharan.com


  1. Cieron Powell on January 2, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    go check out a mainframe, they’re wayyyyyy cooler

  2. T on January 2, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    It’s bit of performance getting into the room isn’t it?

  3. Alex Cipriani on January 2, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    Nahhh they are mining bitcoin at night

  4. Andrew Yang's Hologram on January 2, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    If computers ever become dominant and enslave humans it’s because we slaved them to mine Bitcoin etc.

  5. r00tb3 on January 2, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    I’m looking for dr steve bagley’s playlist for cpu essentials if anyone has it please post it. Links to all the videos related to the cpu will also work. Thanks.

  6. Gost on January 2, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    Harrison ford

  7. Aung Thu Hein on January 2, 2022 at 1:19 pm

    The most fun video on Computerphile here

  8. Aerosoap Breeze on January 2, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    When you ask how much it costs and they start laughing its gotta be cheap right…Right?

  9. Sean Macfoy on January 2, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    0:22 I am astonished, upset and mostly disappointed that ma boi didn’t mention the electronic structure calculations that probably occupy most of their HPC center’s processor time

  10. unknown error on January 2, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    Thank you for the video! I like seeing different data center architectures

  11. SALEH ALARFAJI on January 2, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    I have done a lot of my PhD calculations on this Minerva (HPC). Thanks to the University of Nottingham and my sponsor.

  12. Crystal Soulslayer on January 2, 2022 at 1:27 pm

    A great, big, threatening button, which must never, ever, _ever_ be pressed.

  13. zeppelin20 on January 2, 2022 at 1:27 pm

    The laugh ahhhahahaha, crazy cost

  14. Eidetic Ex on January 2, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    The computing power in that room is truly remarkable. Several years ago I wrote a program to produce a look up texture that is the falloff of sunlight through an atmosphere, handles causing colors to fall off at just the right amounts depending on view angle, sun intensity and a few parameters fast enough to provide photo realistic sky coloration without actually doing the heavy math that a AAA game would use. I based it upon a guy’s work whom ran it through something similar to this but with computing technology of that period. He bragged hard about how it only took a couple minutes to calculate in their data center. I had a better understanding of Direct3D9 HLSL 3.0 performance, further optimized his approach and ran it on a computer that was roughly on par with an Xbox360. It took a couple months to finish producing that lookup texture despite better optimization to hardware that was technically better suited to that form of math. I can only imagine what that system in the video is capable of considering some of our greatest computing enhancements have come in the last several years.

  15. Alpha Delta on January 2, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    If you want to specialize in high performance computing, know Linux, Assembler, C and C++, and naturally have knowledge of computing systems microarchitecture

  16. ifell3 on January 2, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    That scrambler pad is a great idea, the amount of times the uv paint wears off from the 4 digit keys!!

  17. Silverback on January 2, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    so how much of the overall power is taken by NSA ? 😀

  18. Al Brough on January 2, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    Ha. Dell servers in HP racks

  19. saultube44 on January 2, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    You should use 3-phase electricity, cheaper and more abundant, also the fans should not go 100% all the time but have temperature regulated profiles, so you can efficiently save some power, increase the equipment lifespan and the noise will go down

  20. Flutesrock8900 on January 2, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    It’s very interesting. But after 4 minutes, I couldn’t watch it anymore and just started skipping through to see if the noise would get any better.
    In my opinion, a short introduction to show the hardware would be perfectly fine. But most of the interview should have been conducted in an area where shouting over fans wasn’t necessary. In editing you could have superimposed images from the parts of the hardware that were being discussed.

  21. Sion on January 2, 2022 at 1:37 pm


  22. riskinhos on January 2, 2022 at 1:38 pm

    but can it play crysis?

  23. Axel Werner on January 2, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    Linux rules the world. suck it kids!!!

  24. Isaac Boates on January 2, 2022 at 1:41 pm

    do universities like nottingham use idle time to mine cryptocurrencies to help pay for the overhead costs? if not, why not?

  25. Banshee Island on January 2, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    You wanna talk High Performance Computing!? Mate, I’ve got a Ryzen 7 – I can run Shadow Of War, on max graphics! Don’t think this stupid block of flashing lights can do that…

  26. Hexanitrobenzene on January 2, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    Why don’t supercomputers use liquid cooling ? Is it because of posibility of short-circuit ? I suspect it would significantly lower the power drawn by cooling equipment.

  27. Horth SMS on January 2, 2022 at 1:45 pm

    General Request: Could you do a video on Perlin Noise?

  28. Konrad D on January 2, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    Mortal person (not a Computerphile viewer) will never appreciate how much planing, setting up, configuration and maintenance goes into tiny HPC center like this. Let alone huge datacenters with hundreds of racks

  29. A Nother on January 2, 2022 at 1:51 pm

    Wow Chris, you look very different to when I worked in your team! Good stuff. But they let you loose near the HPC? Are they mad? All that money spent when we obviously know the answer is 42. 😉

  30. Aerosoap Breeze on January 2, 2022 at 1:51 pm

    Do you know if it Is possible to achieve a cluster setup that ultimately has a normal Windows 10 User Experience for one node, But incorporating the processing power of multiple Computers.
    Say I have 4 Computers that are all relatively similar in performance networked on 1GB LAN and one of those is my computer that I run applications like Adobe – Blender – Fusion360 – AutoCAD Normal workstation applications in an ordinary Windows 10 environment, Is it possible to combine these other unused computers to increase productivity of my workstation?

    Currently having to move files around , have multiple installs of applications on multiple PC’s and using VNC to interface with them, it really is incredibly cumbersome for 2021!
    I would much prefer a regular desktop experience with added benefit of the combined power instead of wasting all this compute power by having it used inefficiently or not at all.
    If so could you produce a tutorial, I would think it would become popular video in any case 🙂

    Thanks in advance and cheers.

  31. Gregory on January 2, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    Can I use it to mine bitcoin? 🙂

  32. Christian on January 2, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    It would be awesome to see a video about the software side of HPC

  33. Ilja Sara on January 2, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    Yay. InfiniBand!
    I have second hand 20Gbit InfiniBand hardware. The connection is between my home server and my desktop. Grabbing videos from RDMA (avoids CPU bottlenecking the speed) capable NFS share from server is like I had the file on my desktop PC. This is important to me since my home server keeps the backups and has the storage, while my desktop has the power but not so much storage. At the moment the link is working close to 10Gbit/s since the InfiniBand card on my desktop is on too slow PCIe slot. Still it’s already enough fast for my use since the transfers don’t strain CPUs.

  34. Scott Brownlie on January 2, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    Lucky that blue door opens outwards

  35. Sina Madani on January 2, 2022 at 1:57 pm

    The problem I have with HPC clusters like those based on Sun Grid Engine is that they’re inconvenient for evaluating the performance of multi-threaded applications.

  36. hoseja on January 2, 2022 at 1:58 pm

    give him a throat mic or something, jeez!

  37. protonjinx on January 2, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    brilliant. comment on how noisy the place is and talk about going outside to ask the questions, then proceed to conduct the whole interview screaming on the inside.

  38. Casper042 on January 2, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    @3:45 70 KW? That’s A Lot? HPC Installs with recent nodes can easily pull upwards of 25 KW per RACK, so this Cluster must be pretty tame.

  39. flagpoleeip on January 2, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    I’m surprised it’s air conditioned. the air conditioning seems to be using 3.5x the power of the actual compute.
    Rather than chiling the air why not just use more normal air?

  40. Roland M. Dill on January 2, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    big red buttons are getting more and more popular these days

  41. cakesir on January 2, 2022 at 2:01 pm

    A Bitcoin mining machine…

  42. Salamihawk on January 2, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    “This is the high Performance Computing facility for the University of Nottingham”
    “What do you use it for”
    “… high performance computing…”

  43. Aditya Ghangrekar on January 2, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    How many cores, how much RAM does this HPC have?

  44. ITServerTech on January 2, 2022 at 2:04 pm

    Hope someone doesn’t swing the door open at the end lol!

  45. Ba Wi on January 2, 2022 at 2:04 pm

    are the specks of the computer somewhere online to see? couldn’t find them

  46. Gothika_47 on January 2, 2022 at 2:05 pm

    0:27 We all know they are farming shitcoins.

  47. Jenna Sloan on January 2, 2022 at 2:06 pm

    I thought HPC meant Hydraulic Press Channel

  48. Value on January 2, 2022 at 2:06 pm

    Start: "Its noisy, lets go outside after a quick show around."
    End of the video, still inside.
    Of course, everything is interesting and important enough to discuss while you are inside.

  49. Huw Messie on January 2, 2022 at 2:07 pm

    I wonder how it will take for this to fit in a microcontroller

  50. Daniel Krajnik on January 2, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    2:46 why PBS instead of slurm? is there really a difference

Leave a Comment