A pair of Pi lovers named Alexander J. Yee and Shigeru Kondo have calculated the mathematical constant out to 10 trillion digits. It took over a year -- 371 days -- on Kondo's desktop, not a supercomputer, to accomplish the feat, and it wasn't easy getting there. Kondo battled multiple hard drive failures, and each time an HDD would go belly up, he would have to roll back the computation to a previous checkpoint. Kondo says this added up to 180 days of lost time.
How lucky is Nicholas Sze, a researcher who works for Yahoo? The dude just calculated the 2,000,000,000,000,000th digit of Pi (and then some), and will never again have to worry about coming up with a pick-up line to land the ladies. Well, that's assuming the girl he's hitting on has a serious hankering for math.
In case you're keeping track, not only did Sze break the previous record, he utterly destroyed it by more than doubling the calculation. Using Yahoo's Hadoop cloud computing technology, it took Sze 23 days on 1,000 of Yahoo's computers to set the new record. That much computing power is equivalent to over 500 years of a single computer's capability.
Sze's calculation made use of a method called MapReduce. What this Google-developed method entails is dividing up big problems into smaller sub-problems and then combining the answer to solve intractable mathematical equations.
"Interestingly, by some algebraic manipulations, [our] formula can compute Pi with some bits skipped; in other words, it allows computing specific bits of Pi," Sze explains.
If you've never used one of G.Skill's Pi-series memory kits before, you're missing out, but not for long. The memory maker today announced it's working on five additional dual-channel Pi-series DDR3 kits ranging in frequency from 2000MHz to 2400MHz. Here's how it all breaks down:
F3-19200CL9D-4GBPIS, 2400MHz, CL 9-11-9-28
F3-18400CL8D-4GBPIS, 2300MHz, CL 8-11-8-28
F3-16000CL6D-4GBPIS, 2000MHz, CL 6-9-6-24
F3-16000CL7D-4GBPIS, 2000MHz, CL 7-9-7-24
F3-16000CL8D-4GBPIS, 2000MHz, CL 8-9-8-24
Each kit comes rated at 1.65V and is intended for Intel's Core i5 750, Core i7 860, and Core i7 870 processors, G.Skill said.
We did some digging, and from what we can tell, G.Skill's correct in claiming that it's new DDR3 kit is the fastest around, so long as we put the CAS Latency (CL) setting front and center.
The new kit, which is part of G.Skill's Pi series and "specially tuned for Intel Lynnfield Core i7 870, 860 processors," comes rated at DDR3-2200 with 7-10-10-10 timings at 1.65V. It's available in 4GB (2x2GB) form, but is it really the overall fastest?
That's a tough one to answer. A quick peek on Newegg shows one other DDR3-2200 memory kit, this one from Super Talent. It comes rated at 8-8-8-24, so we're willing to give G.Skill's kit the slight edge, at least on paper.
G.Skill says its new modules will be available through collaborated distribution partners "immediately with affordable price." As of this writing we weren't able to track down a kit online.