Ars Technica writes, "The latest Top 500 supercomputers list is out, and it represents yet another step in a trend that is changing the complexion of this list from year to year. No, I'm not talking about the way that the x86 architecture has taken over the list like kudzu in the past decade, squeezing out classic, special-purpose supercomputer architectures with a combination of high performance and low costs. Intel and AMD have owned this list for some time, and at this point they can claim a presence in close to 90 percent of the systems on it.
The really new trend-the one that just recently began and that will only accelerate-is the increasing presence of game-oriented hardware on the list. At the top of the list is IBM's Roadrunner, which first rode the power of the Cell chip to the top spot in June. Roadrunner epitomizes both trends in that it combines a modified version of the processor used in the PlayStation 3 with AMD's Opteron. But the Cell isn't the only coprocessor on the list that has its roots in gaming."