A.R. Rahman has almost never been in the news for purchasing big cars or expensive watches. But don’t let that fool you into believing that the Maestro doesn’t indulge. Every once in a while, A.R. Rahman will splurge on something so expensive that it will outdo all other celebs and their toys. The difference, of course, is Rahman likes to keep it quiet. Turns out that the Mozart of Madras recently got himself a custom-made computer that would put the best of the machines in the market to shame. Rahman’s new toy has been made by one Shatul Durlabhji.

Shatul and his partner, Sharan, have been in the custom-made computer business for some years now and they specialize in overclocking PCs to fit client requirements. So much so that people in the music and gaming industry often turn to them for custom-made computers. Shatul, in fact, was recently in the news for collaborating with Asus to create the country’s fastest gaming computer (it can devour Witcher 3 and CoD: Advanced Warfare for breakfast and still have space for more). The music director duo Vishal-Shekhar and the gaming company, ESL are among Shatul’s clients.

Like most people in the industry, Rahman was using an imported MacPro but couldn’t shake off the feeling that it just wasn’t enough. So he approached Shatul and co and asked them to make a machine that would fit his requirements. “Rahman uses some really high-end audio processing softwares that demand faster processors and performance that a regular off-the-shelf machine wouldn’t deliver,” Shatul told GQ. And so they built him this:

Here’s what AR Rahman’s ridiculously expensive supercomputer boasts of:

Speed: The PC runs at a mind-boggling 4.3 GHz – faster than most top of the shelf market PCs which run at 3 GHz. It boasts of a total eight cores – ridiculously overclocked. As for RAM, it’s got a total of 120 GB (Yes, we’re talking about RAM and not hard-disk space)

  • Memory: 6 x 1 TB SSDs = 6 TBs in total (plus additional connectivity for more)
  • Chipset: Intel Core i7 5960 (Again, overclocked to 4.3 GHz)
  • Cooling and noise control: CoolerMaster custom water-cooling, plus Custom Noise Control restraining noise at 6,000 RPM to 35 decibels.
  • Connectivity: Dedicated Thunderbolt setup with six ports (a single Thunderbolt port can support two devices, meaning this monster can simultaneously connect up to 12 devices)
  • Benchmark: Putting it to test against the top-of-the-line Mac Pro.
  • MacPro: 32,000 with 12 cores; AR Rahman’s supercomputer: 44,000 with just 10 cores (performance boost of about 30-40 per cent)

So what does this monster of a supercomputer cost?

The basic system will set you back by Rs 5 lakh. Add to that the cooling systems and noice control that will cost you a cool lakh or two more. So if you’re looking to buy a computer like AR Rahman, ensure you have Rs 6-7 lakh set aside for nothing but this.

Article published by Arun Venkatraman for GQ India