Is Supercomputing’s Future the CPU or GPU?

As anyone who keeps up with the latest tech knows, supercomputing is one of the hardest things to predict. Some years, it focuses primarily, and almost entirely, on GPUs, and we see leaps and bounds in graphics; other years it takes a dive into CPUs, and computers come out faster, and more able, than ever. When making predictions of the future of technology, there is only one safe bet, and that is to say that things will change. But other than that, trying to guess can be about as hard as catching a single grain of sand that fell into the ocean.

GPU Supercomputing Computers

First off, for those of you who do not know, a GPU is a graphics processing unit, or a graphics card. This is what makes all your games and movies happen on your laptop or personal computer. Lower end graphics cards, such as integrated graphics cards that come stock with your CPU, usually have trouble handling much of the highly intensive graphical programs available today. Intel has made some huge leaps with their integrated GPUs, with the HD3000 lines having great benchmarks, but that is the exception more than the rule. GPU supercomputing was big the past couple years, and though we did see some great CPUs make their ways to the market, such as the Intel i3, i5 and i7, and the AMD hex core line up, graphics definitely swept the market, with a new card being released almost every six months, outdating the previous model by a ridiculous margin.

What About CPUs Then?

So what about CPUs? Well, most think that it is time that the CPU supercomputing took the market. And while the latest Intel and AMD lines are very impressive, many doubt that they are the end all be all. In fact, technology is due to focus on CPUs more than it has been. Graphics are being pushed constantly, without end, and soon enough we may find that the current high end CPUs are no longer going to be able to cut it. Even now, hex cores are hitting the market, nearly doubling the amount of cores found in CPUs designed less than three years ago! So when are we to expect seeing an octo core, or an even crazier design for CPUs? We’re definitely thinking within the next year or two.

So What is the Future?

The question still remains whether supercomputing’s future will focus on the CPU or the GPU. However, as mentioned earlier, answering is almost like taking a shot in the dark; you can expect to hit something, but you sure as heck can’t expect to hit what you had hoped you would. As far as the big question, we’d love to see CPUs get more focus, as many of us are tired of having our systems bottle neck due to lack of power, or simply too much power without enough direction in which to aim it all.


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