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PlayStation 3 cluster provided high-performance computing for reasonable price. One example was Condor Cluster (a US Air Force supercomputer built out of 1,760 Sony PlayStation 3s running the Linux operating system, the 33rd largest supercomputer in the world at that time).

However this declined since Sony's OS update in 2010 which disabled ability to run other operating systems such as direct installation of Linux.

Are there any alternative video game consoles which can be used for clustered computing which you can recommend? With reasonable compute power vs price ratio.

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The PS3 had 2 major advantages - it was an open system and the 'cell' architecture, which was easy to program for and fairly powerful. They were also slimline

I'd argue that the most sensible way to equal that would be a cluster of regular 'consumer' PCs. The wording of the question though means I'll need to cheat a bit and I'll suggest a steam machine.

Why?

Most modern consoles are x86 based, with laptop class video. They are locked down though there's projects to try to get xbox360 and ps4 running linux.

Many of them have nice small form factors (the 5x5 and NUC form factors would be a good starting point). They have reasonable compute power, and in most cases, nuc class machines compare favourably in price to modern consoles. If you standardise on one model, you can stack em. If you need more powerful machines or a supported OS 5 or 10 years down the road, its a common ISA likely to have support.

Unlike a traditional console, its unlikely someone will take away your ability to run your own OS on it.

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