The 10 most expensive computers in the world are all prime examples of how far we have pushed the boundaries of technology and how much we advance in so little time. Computing has become an integral part of everything that concerns humanity from the most complex branches of science to the utterly pointless games we see today. Computers of various sizes and shapes have taken on the core concepts of human life and are currently transforming existence as we know it and all we see from that is the glow of our phone screens. Much like the 10 most expensive gadgets in the world, computers are used to make our lives easier and just like the mythically godsend fire and language, we find numerous ways to make our lives harder with it. However, this list is not about that. This list celebrates the glory and pure marvelousness of computer systems of unimaginable size and power which are nothing like the measly gaming rig this one of your friends spent all his savings on.
Computing right now is virtually infinitely upgradeable due to the structure of a supercomputer. These wonders of modern technology are much like thousands of smaller computers which are specifically set up and use an operating system that makes them all work together to execute a certain set of instructions. The exciting part is that to overcome the physical limits of electronics, this whole hive of individual nodes must be programmed to work so efficiently that it starts working better than it theoretically possible. Of course, the aforementioned is made impossible by what economists know as the Jevons paradox – when you use a resource extremely efficiently yet the usage of it rises due to increased demand.
The first supercomputer is considered by many to be the Atlas, the first of which was commissioned in 1962. This computer was approaching processing speeds of close to a million instructions per second – something the device you are reading this article on does while you don’t use it. Each of the three Atlas machines built cost two and a half million British pounds and operated for eight hundred pounds an hour. Nowadays for a negligible portion of your utility bill, your washing machine operates more efficiently than Atlas did.
Let’s take a look at the 10 most expensive computers in the world which carry the legacy on.