The miniature model supercomputers that Cray salespeople carried sometimes hit eBay, and they’re getting quite pricey. This 3.75″ tall scale model of the Cray X-MP, once the world’s fastest computer, is on offer for $700. I wonder, if you put a Rasberry Pi in it, would the resulting machine be faster than a Cray X-MP? The X-MP offers four processors and 800 megaflops, according to Wikipedia; a Pi 4, with four cores, cracks 2 gigaflops in this benchmarking roundup. In this test, a Pi Zero (240 megaflops) outpaces a Cray 2 at calculating digits of Pi, but the consensus seems to be that the Cray would roast it at linear algebra, the sort of work supercomputers were made for.
This listing is for a Cray salesman’s kit model used for sales calls for potential X-MP customers. The X-MP was Cray Research’s second computer, following the Cray-1. It was the world’s fastest computer from 1983-1985.
This Cray X-MP scale model comes in four pieces. The computer floor is made from a 12.25″x7.5″x0.25″ black Lucite. The Lucite has a white “felt” fabric has squares laid out that represent 2 foot square raised computer room floor tiles. The largest part of the model is the X-MP processor. The diameter of the “C” is 5.5″. This, and the other two X-MP pieces, are all 3.75″ tall. The second piece that connects to the X-MP with two arms is the SSD (Solid-State Device). The third piece, which sits part from the X-MP/SSD complex, is the IOS (Input-Output Subsystem). All pieces are in excellent condition. These are made from wood and painted dark brown and beige. The paint has buckled in a couple of places with cracks, but it is not easy to see. The will come in its original box and packing, which is structurally sound, but is torn in many places from having tape removed.