John Oxlade
ThetaHealing Certificate of Science Master practitioner and teacher

I really like your blog John. It's written in a good, light, profound and understandable way.
Andrea Zellermayer

The world according to John - my Blog

Which computer is more powerful?

Summit supercomputer versus brain

If you've read my bio', you'll know that I come from an IT background. That's long gone now, but technology still interests me. "Back in the day", a company called CRAY used to make the fastest supercomputers in the world. They're still pretty powerful, but as I write this, IBM's SUMMIT supercomputer is by far the most powerful computer out there.

To show you how far things have come, an Intel Core i9 "Extreme Edition" processor (not unusual in higher-end PCs) is 6,000 times faster than a Cray-1 supercomputer from 1976; and technology marches on, so we can expect our PCs to get faster still. The Core i9 can accomplish a trillion computational operations every second (1). However, IBM's SUMMIT is 200,000 times faster! (2)

So what?

I hear you say.

It seems to be a truism, that in general, what's hard for a computer is easy for a human being (say face or voice recognition), whereas, what's hard for a human being is easy for a computer (crunching vast quantities of figures, so simulating what potential infection rates in a virus epidemic, etc.).


But wait.

Each one of the SUMMIT's 4,608 nodes has 2 IBM POWER9 CPUs and 6 Nvidia Tesla GPUs, i.e. 8 processors per node, or 36,864 individual processors. Now I don't have the full details to hand, but let's say that each of those processors has 10 times the number of cores of the Intel Core i9 Extreme, and we have 6,635,000 individual cores compared to the Intel's 18.

Still bored.

Hold on, I'm just about to make it interesting.

360,000 individual processing cores in the IBM SUMMIT, the fastest, most powerful supercomputer on earth. Granted the human brain is not designed or built in the same way as an electronic computer, but: "The human brain possesses about 100 billion neurons with roughly 1 quadrillion - 1 million billion - connections known as synapses wiring these cells together." (3)

The IBM SUMMIT's processing centres are counted in the MILLIONS, the human brain's are in the hundreds-of-BILLIONS.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Your brain is capable of almost infinitely more than the most powerful ELECTRONIC supercomputer known to man.

Now the spiritual part of all this...


Our brain is processing information from all sorts of sources: sight, sound, touch, smell, etc., and all of this information is processed by our brains using whatever information has been programmed in to it since birth.

Those programs can be changed.

The old "we only use 10% of our brain's capacity" is thought to be a myth (4), but even so, there's a lot of spare capacity in your brain, so why not fill it with beneficial programs?

Oh, and don't worry, you're not going to need a hardware upgrade for a very LONG time.


“The world according to John”, February 2020


References (in my opinion, these are all good reads, especially the last one):

(1) Intel’s new chip puts a teraflop in your desktop. Popular Science, June 2017

(2) IBM's SUMMIT supercomputer on Wikipedia

(3) Human brain may be even more powerful computer than thought. NBC News, October 2013

(4) What percentage of our brain do we use? MedicalNewsToday, February 2018