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World of Warcraft and The9 make China's top ranked supercomputers list

Matt Warner

Real-life scientists recently overran World of Warcraft and wrapped their brains around trogs and intracellular signaling. One mind trip from the mad scientist James Wallis intrigued us with his experimental astronomical calculations in Azeroth. However, there is another real science underneath the brilliant theory-crafting bringing these worlds to life and players across the Globe and that is the computer infrastructure.

One entity responsible for this science is the The9, a leading MMORPG operator and developer in the Chinese market, and with over 5.5 million World of Warcraft subscribers that's going to take a lot of computer power to feed the PC baang frenzy. According to the UK edition of The Register, The9 ranked on China's Top 100 supercomputer list taking half the top ten spots with 12 machines overall in the top 100. The 1950–core clusters taking the top spots were built by HP, and when taking all 12 machines into account The9 has a least 18,032 cores of processing power dedicated to keeping MMOG players all across China fixated on: World of Warcraft, Soul Ultimate Nation, Granado Espada, and Joyful Journey West.

The9 accounts for at least 10% of the supercomputer machine power in China all dedicated to online gaming. It is amazing to see super computers that divvy out virtual worlds ranked right alongside mainstream industries such as oil and gas. It's important to note that the PRC appears to keep many government systems hidden, and despite how super these computers are they do not come without problems as many players frequently experience server crashes and lag particularly at peak play times. World of Warcraft is so popular in China that back in April, The9 boasted one million concurrent users were reached.

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