CRI Cray 1A

Cray Computer Corporation
Clock Speed: 
Dates Used: 
Sunday, May 1, 1983 to Thursday, May 1, 1986
Microprocessor Peak Teraflops: 
Memory (terabytes): 
Number of Processors: 
Electrical Power Consumption: 
115.00 kW

Because of growth in user demand, NCAR's Control Data Corporation (CDC) 7600 was replaced by a low-cost, used CRAY-1A in April 1983. SCD and the NCAR scientific community had engaged in a lengthy debate over whether it was appropriate to bring in a fast scalar processor (because of the heavy data processing component of the workload) or to get a second CRAY-1A.

Proponents of the scalar processor felt that a fast scalar processor with good I/O could better handle the tapes and mass store archive — i.e., it would be better suited for data processing, which was a high percentage of the workload. Opponents felt that the CRAY would provide more numerical computing, even though it might be inefficiently used for the data processing necessary to support the atmospheric sciences.

In the end, the scalar processor lost out to the second CRAY-1A because both the price and its abilities in the modeling area were superior.

NCAR's second CRAY-1A was obtained with Department of Energy funding. It was decommissioned October 1986.