Schropp’s new computer looks a little like the secret nephew of Dark Vader, despite the fact that Schropp is using his home-made machine for good. Grid Computing helps solve a lot of problems for researchers around the world by combining the power of many high-tech home computer systems to solve a major equation. It could take a supercomputer in a research office weeks or months to solve one single problem, but grid computing allows people to donate their own free processing time to help speed up this timeline. Owners of powerful home machines turn over their processors to researchers when they are not personally using them.
Schropp’s LEGO system will be lifting some weight, working on problems in the health research sector — he specifically formatted his computer’s hardware for the kind of research he wanted to help with. “My main goal was Grid Computing with medical research and humanitarian projects in mind,” Schropp said in his blog post describing the building process. His new system is outfitted with three Sandy Bridge 2600k CPUs, three Thermaltake Frio Cpu Coolers, three Asus P8P67 Micro atx motherboards, eight Aerocool 140mm Case Fans and in his words one “Metric Crapload of Lego Bricks“.