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High Performance Computing (HPC)

We now have a new ACRC website on the main Bristol University system, please visit the new website for our latest news and advice.


All users have accounts on BlueCrystal Phase 3. We are currently bringing Phase 4 into service. Phase 4 is primarily intended for large parallel jobs.

BlueCrystal Phase 4 achieved a peak performance of 602.1 TFlop/s and was placed 301st in the Top500 in November, 2016.

Why use BlueCrystal?

If you are finding that it takes several days or longer to run a job on your desktop, then BlueCrystal can help you, by enabling you to run on many processors at once, either running many serial jobs or one large parallel job. We can advise you on how to maximise use of BlueCrystal to facilitate your research.

To see some examples of how run times have reduced using BlueCrystal, take a look at our Performance page.

How to Apply

All users need to complete the application form giving a brief summary (not more than 500 words) of the research they wish to undertake, what the impact of the research will be, why they need to use the HPC facilities, how many hours of computing time they anticipate they will need and over what period of time. If you are applying for more than 100,000 CPU hours, we will ask you for some additional information.

Applications from postgraduates are welcomed, but your supervisor will need to apply first and obtain a project code. Anyone wishing to be added to an existing project will need to know the project code.

A PI can check project codes by logging in to his/her login area, click on the My Projects box on the left-hand side, and then click on the project.

The application form is validated for most browsers. If you should have difficulty in applying, then please send your application details to Caroline Gardiner who will arrange for your application to be processed.

If you leave the University and wish your account to remain open for a period to finish some research or access your data, please supply us with a new email address. As soon as the email address we have for a user is no longer valid, that user's account will be locked, and not unlocked until we have a valid email address.

HPC facility charging policy

The machine currently operates under a fair share policy and no charge is made for general access. However HPC costs can be included in grants if you require guaranteed access, have a large request for resources or wish to purchase additional equipment for the facility. Details of how to do this are now included in the fEC costing tool and costs are available here.

Support Available

A new User Guide for BlueCrystal Phase 3 is available. The web page for each machine includes a list of software installed on that machine.

If you cannot resolve a problem, you wish to install new software or you need help, you can contact us by emailing . Full details are available on the Support page.

We run a programme of HPC workshops on a termly basis. Details are available here.

Gallery of Images

Visit our Gallery of Images of the machine room.


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