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Old August 17th, 2018, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
[ . . . ]
run a nuclear fusion reactor (ever seen the size of the server rooms at CERN?)
The big server farms at CERN are for crunching sensor data and running simulations and other applications. Anything involved in controlling the accelerators are large running RTOS platforms.

The rest is computationally trivial up to
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
[ . . . ]
run or plot an n-body hyperdimensional transit
Getting warm - this is more fun. Perhaps you need a cryogenically cooled quantum device to do this, although canonically you can buy tapes with a particular route on them.
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
[ . . . ]
Now harden the thing so exposure to radiation in space isn't going to cause it to go belly up...

I see this argument a lot - mostly from people who think a desktop can do all this stuff. They can't. Our desktops also have one other advantage, the interwebs which is actually several millions tons of computer equipment (a local network can be smaller ).
I think folks underestimate just how powerful today's commodity hardware really is. A Really powerful™ computers don't have to be very large at all. A modern GPU has throughput measured in trillions of calculations per second.

However, for a CT level ship, a computer is a complete avionics package. It has to be quad redundant, hardened, radiation shielded, fitted with auxiliary power supplies, shielded conduits for cabling. It's not just a computer as well, it's sensor systems, antennae, comms and many other things. You don't have to say how powerful it needs to be. It's got all sorts of other hardware other than just the CPU.
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