In 1961 cost of one GFLOP of computing power was around $1.1 trillion

The following is a list of examples of computers that demonstrates how drastically performance has increased and price has decreased. The “cost per GFLOPS” is the cost for a set of hardware that would theoretically operate at one billion floating-point operations per second. During the era when no single computing platform was able to achieve one GFLOPS, this table lists the total cost for multiple instances of a fast computing platform which speed sums to one GFLOPS. Otherwise, the least expensive computing platform able to achieve one GFLOPS is listed.

Date Approximate cost per GFLOPS Approximate cost per GFLOPS inflation adjusted to 2013 US dollars Platform providing the lowest cost per GFLOPS Comments
1961 US $1,100,000,000,000 ($1.1 trillion) US $8.3 trillion About 17 million IBM 1620 units costing $64,000 each The 1620’s multiplication operation takes 17.7 ms.
1984 $15,000,000 $33,000,000 Cray X-MP
1997 $30,000 $42,000 Two 16-processorBeowulf clusters withPentium Promicroprocessors
April 2000 $1,000 $1,300 Bunyip Beowulf cluster Bunyip was the first sub-US-$1/MFLOPS computing technology. It won the Gordon Bell Prize in 2000.
May 2000 $640 $836 KLAT2 KLAT2 was the first computing technology which scaled to large applications while staying under US-$1/MFLOPS.
August 2003 $82 $100 KASY0 KASY0 was the first sub-US-$100/GFLOPS computing technology
August 2007 $48 $52 Microwulf As of August 2007, this 26.25 GFLOPS “personal” Beowulf cluster can be built for $1256.
March 2011 $1.80 $1.80 HPU4Science This $30,000 cluster was built using only commercially available “gamer” grade hardware.
August 2012 $0.75 $0.73 Quad AMD7970 GHz System A quad AMD 7970 desktop computer reaching 16 TFlops of single-precision, 4 TFlops of single-precision computing performance. Total system cost was $3000; it was also built using only commercially available “gamer” grade hardware.
June 2013 $0.22 $0.22 Sony Playstation 4 The Sony  is listed as having a peak performance of 1.84 TFLOPS, at a price of $400
November 2013 $0.16 $0.16 AMD Sempron 145 GeForce GTX 760 System Built using commercially available parts, a system using one AMD Sempron 145 and three GeForce GTX 760 reaches a total of 6.771 TFLOPS for a total cost of $1090.66.
December 2013 $0.12 $0.12 Pentium G550 R9 290 System Built using commercially available parts. Pentium G550 & AMD R9 290 tops out at 4.848 TFLOPS grand total of $681.84 USD. 

The trend toward placing ever more transistors inexpensively on an integrated circuit follows Moore’s law. This trend explains the rising speed and falling cost of computer processing

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