How fast is a fast computer?
A "FLOP" is a floating point operation. This can be compared to "1+1=2".
Most microprocessors today can carry out 4 FLOPs per clock cycle; thus a single-core 2.5 GHz processor has a theoretical performance of 10 billion FLOPS = 10 GFLOPS. (gigaflops)
On May 25, 2008, an American supercomputer built by IBM, named 'Roadrunner', reached the computing milestone of one petaflops by processing more than 1.026 quadrillion calculations per second
In June 2008, AMD released ATI Radeon HD4800 series, which are reported to be the first GPUs to achieve one teraFLOPS scale. On August 12, 2008, AMD released the ATI Radeon HD 4870X2 graphics card with two Radeon R770 GPUs totaling 2.4 teraFLOPS. (this is a video card)
On June 10, 2013, China's Tianhe-2 was ranked the world's fastest with a record of 33.86 petaFLOPS.
A scale for reference...
kiloFLOPS kFLOPS 10^3
megaFLOPS MFLOPS 10^6
gigaFLOPS GFLOPS 10^9
teraFLOPS TFLOPS 10^12
petaFLOPS PFLOPS 10^15
1.64 “petaflops,” is a quadrillion mathematical calculations per second
33.86/1.64 = 20.64 quadrillion mathematical calculations per second
Think about that number for a minute... with power like that, more than the entirety of the brain power of the entire human race... per second.