Silicon Graphics is taking a big gamble this week introducing what they call its first "personal supercomputer", the Octane III.

Is it me or does this sound like an oxymoron?

When I think of supercomputers, I think of Cray supercomputers from back in the day that took up entire rooms and were used to back-up NORAD.

Actually, even Cray is selling these so-called personal supercomputers. They introduced theirs over the summer (Cray CX1).

To give you an idea of how much power is under the hood on these puppies, the Octane III sports up to 20 Intel processors and one terabyte of memory. All this for $8000, which is a lot of processing bang for the buck.

For certain niches businesses, Cray or Silicon Graphics offerings will put supercomputing within reach of a lot of smaller businesses.

For any company working with HD, it would takes this kind of power to render video or graphics, for example.

It would also help certain R&D companies that need to do some serious data crunching.