Though the Xserve G5 shows a lot of promise, the fact that the Virginia Tech system has been down for several months raises questions about Apple's ability to migrate customers to new HPC systems, said Jeff Nichols, a director with the computer science and math division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "They really made a mistake by not having the machine there throughout the procurement of the follow-up system," he said. "When a machine disappears for three or four months, then that's a bad thing."
Colsa, however, is convinced that the Xserve G5 will be appropriate for its thermodynamic modeling application. The company also evaluated systems based on Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s and Intel Corp.'s processors, but "the G5 came across as running our code better," DiRienzo said.
Apple will have at least a "small number" of systems on November's list, predicted Erich Strohmaier, one of the computer scientists who maintains the Top500 list. "There's still a lot of interest in the community," he said. "A lot of people are ready to order (Xserve G5's) if they could get them delivered," he said.