I, like so many other nerds, am very intrigued by the number Pi. Considering how difficult I find most math to be (I know that takes away a bit of my nerd street cred) it is kind of funny that I have such an affinity for a number but, intrigue me it does. I can’t resist writing a short piece about it when I get the chance.
Back in August of 2010, Alexander Yee and Shigeru Kondo managed to calculate Pi to 5 trillion digits in the span of 90 days using some very easily sourcable (albeit beastly) hardware and a Pi benchmarking tool developed by Alex called y-cruncher. The act of computing the massive number required some 22 TB of disk space and 3.8 TB to store an uncompressed ASCII text file of the number. This already makes these two men nerd gods in the eyes of many but their quest for Pi was not sated by a mere 5 trillion digit calculation. They sought to double their previous record and, double it they would.
The following are the specs and images of the machine they used:
Processor: 2 x Intel Xeon X5680 @ 3.33 GHz – (12 physical cores, 24 hyper threaded)
Memory: 96 GB DDR3 @ 1066 MHz – (12 x 8 GB – 6 channels)
Motherboard: Asus Z8PE-D12
1 TB SATA II (Boot drive)
5 x 2 TB SATA II (Store Pi Output)
24 x 2 TB SATA II (Computation) – various models
Raid Controller: 3 x LSI MegaRaid SAS 9260-8i
Operating System: Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise x64
The two men used the same hardware as before but unfortunately the method they were using to calculate Pi does not scale linearly. After about 371 days of waiting they had their 10 trillionth digit. The number of honor was 5.
Leave us a comment below to share your thoughts, or just profess your love for the number Pi.