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iPhone vs. SuperComputer


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#1 Just_One_Question

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 05:52 PM

Just curious, does anyone know, the iPhone 7+ is a pretty powerful computer. In what year (give or take) was the fastest supercomputer on Earth slower than the current iPhone 7+? Circa 1995, maybe? Or is it one of those questions that does not have a definitive answer? :)

In short, how further back in time you'd have to go in order for the iPhone 7+ to be the fastest computer in existence on the planet as a whole?


Edited by Just_One_Question, 02 July 2017 - 05:53 PM.


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#2 mjd420nova

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 06:13 PM

Having seen the progress of the semi-conductor age from its beginning.  It started out as just one single junction and is now in the billions of junctions on one device.  I prefer to look at it from the memory aspect and processing power.  My first experiments with processors was the 4004 chip and simple four bit processor with an easy to understand programming process.  4 K of memory was the norm.  My next was an Ohio Scientific SuperBoard two an 8080a as its heart  and 64k of ram.  I might have stayed in that course if not for Viet Nam but I learned any new skills and keep with the semiconductor advances.  Today, chips are powerful and fast because so much more is included in the main chip.  The routines are limited to the hardware present and newer devices require new platforms to do the multitasking most users ask of their phones.  Intricate and difficult to service by users, become disposable at $300. a whack.  Connection networks limit, throttle and even stall heavy users making newer, faster units to take advantage of faster access points for their media but plan limits create bottlenecks.  UNLESS you pay the networks ransom to get unlimited whatever and they still throttle it down.  A date, probably the later 80's, around the time the co-processors (ALU) were placed inside the chip with the processor.



#3 Just_One_Question

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 06:29 PM

Nice! So if I were to show up in a magical, theoretical situation at NASA around Chernobyl-times with an iPhone 7+, they'd be better off, in theory, using it for their computations than whatever other computer they had at the time. Mind-boggling!:)


Edited by Just_One_Question, 02 July 2017 - 06:31 PM.


#4 mjd420nova

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 10:01 PM

I don't know how well those things, or any    up to date  units that will last very long in a radiation environment.  Most image and display elements degrade at a more rapid rate when exposed.  The free electrons damage semiconductor elements bit by bit until it fails,  Image elements burn out from overload and intense fields limit useful forays to 30 minutes, rendering remote and handheld devices blind.  The detectors of the day were advanced but still a bit fragile.


Edited by mjd420nova, 02 July 2017 - 10:04 PM.


#5 Just_One_Question

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 10:53 PM

Haha, no I meant Chernobyl-times as a reference to your late 80s statement in the final sentence "A date, probably the later 80's, around the time the co-processors (ALU) were placed inside the chip with the processor.". Not as the actual Chernobyl plant, my bad. :)


Edited by Just_One_Question, 02 July 2017 - 10:53 PM.


#6 GoofProg

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 04:13 PM

yea better than PDP or the VAX. probably a 1990s super computer



#7 mjd420nova

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 08:34 PM

The IBM System 36 was pretty popular for many in house merchants, before the leased lines for data started.  Used a Control Data 10 MB hard drive, one fixed 5 MB and a removable 5 MB platter.  Crude for today with terabytes the norm.



#8 Just_One_Question

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 08:54 AM

So, you were right. According to this article (Processing Power Compared) if you go back to around 1985-1990 with an iPhone 7+, you would be walking with the fastest computer in the world in your pocket, seeing how they've put the iPhone 6 above the supercomputer Cray-2, which was released in 1985, and the iPhone 7+ is much more powerful than an iPhone 6. So, theoretically iPhones are lagging behind the TOP500 by no more than ~25 years. :)

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Edited by Just_One_Question, 25 July 2017 - 08:57 AM.





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