Virginia Tech told MacMinute this week that its new supercomputer cluster, which uses 1,100 Power Mac G5s, is a relative bargain compared to alternatives (such as Linux machines) and one-tenth the cost of an average supercomputer. Lynn Nystrom of Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering said that the total cost of the cluster is US$5.2 million, financed over five years. “At $1 million a year, and knowing that the College of Engineering brought in over $100 million in research money last year, we consider this an investment that will attract big science research money and increase our overall research expenditures significantly,” she told MacMinute.