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When these systems came out, they were the biggest and baddest supercomputers in the world. But the price tag that the vendor attaches to a system in a press release and the actual price paid by the customer may have little or no relationship to each other or what the system cost to develop and build.
The price also varies depending on when in the product lifecycle you purchase the system. Buying the first one doesnít mean that youíre necessarily paying the top price. If youíre the kind of customer who might buy boatloads of them, you would probably get a break. It also helps if youíre on the understanding side when it comes to performance qualification and bug fixes. Plus the right customer can validate a design, and thatís worth something to vendors.