We took delivery of our $7K gaming rig and the Alienware m17x today at work, both designed to run our real-time CryEngine models with glee. More news, pics and benchmarks to come on them and other hardware as we get them fired up and running.
The world is full of amazing BIG computing projects though and this one coming out of work by IBM and Stanford uni sets out to model the cerebral cortex of a cat. The nifty PopSci website reports that this computer model of the cat brain sports 144 terabytes of RAM but still runs 100 times slower than the real deal.
Then there is the Jaguar supercomputer and its ilk with speeds over one quadrillion calculations per second - try comprehending that...
[images of the Blue Gene and the Jaguar supercomputers via PopSci]