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SuperMUC (Germany)

The unique cooling system on the SuperMUC is colorful, but more importantly, it makes the supercomputer 40 percent more energy efficient than an air-cooled system.

© Nicolas Armer/dpa/Corbis

The SuperMUC performs at 2.9 petaflops, thanks to about 150,000 processing cores. Despite this incredible processing power, it has been pushed from No. 4 on the June 2012 list all the way to No. 10. It's one of several IBM systems to make the list, but the SuperMUC is unique in a couple of different ways. Located in Germany's Leibniz Supercomputing Centre, the SuperMUC uses a new hot-water cooling system to keep the computer's brain from frying while it's performing billions upon billions of operations.

Efficiency is what really sets the SuperMUC apart: IBM says it's 40 percent more energy efficient than an air-cooled system would be. They claim the water removes heat 4,000 times more efficiently than air. Thanks to its cutting-edge hardware, the SuperMUC is Germany's second fastest supercomputer. In fact, it's the third fastest supercomputer in Europe, and nearly twice as fast as the previous year's No. 10.

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