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# To allow a supercomputer to function as efficiently as possible, the

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Retired Moderator
Joined: 29 Apr 2015
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To allow a supercomputer to function as efficiently as possible, the  [#permalink]

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13 Aug 2015, 11:55
1
19
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Difficulty:

85% (hard)

Question Stats:

51% (02:26) correct 49% (02:21) wrong based on 824 sessions

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To allow a supercomputer to function as efficiently as possible, the positioning of the internal components has to be planned so that any combination of departure point and arrival point is connected through the shortest possible route, allowing the data to travel through the system as quickly as possible. Supercomputers are designed with a primary information route which transports the bulk of the information through the system. Because this primary route is prone to data congestion, while designing a new supercomputer circuit, a computer manufacturing company has developed a plan to improve efficiency by introducing two additional primary information routes, instead of the standard single primary route, allowing the communication load to be shared.

Which of the following would be most useful to establish in order to evaluate the plan developed by the computer manufacturer?

A. Whether the addition of another two primary information routes will lead to a dramatic rise in the retail price of supercomputers produced by the manufacturer

B. Whether the time it takes data to travel through a system with three primary information routes is three times faster than the time it takes the same amount of data to travel the same distance in a system with only one primary information route

C. Whether producing the improved circuit will take significantly longer than producing a circuit with only one primary information route

D. Whether the time needed for a single data message to be transferred using a system with a single primary information route is shorter than the time needed for the same data message to be transferred using a system with a triple primary information route

E. Whether the process of the assignment of data to the appropriate primary information route will constitute a significant added delay

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Re: To allow a supercomputer to function as efficiently as possible, the  [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2015, 11:05
1
reto wrote:
To allow a supercomputer to function as efficiently as possible, the positioning of the internal components has to be planned so that any combination of departure point and arrival point is connected through the shortest possible route, allowing the data to travel through the system as quickly as possible. Supercomputers are designed with a primary information route which transports the bulk of the information through the system. Because this primary route is prone to data congestion, while designing a new supercomputer circuit, a computer manufacturing company has developed a plan to improve efficiency by introducing two additional primary information routes, instead of the standard single primary route, allowing the communication load to be shared.

Which of the following would be most useful to establish in order to evaluate the plan developed by the computer manufacturer?

A. Whether the addition of another two primary information routes will lead to a dramatic rise in the retail price of supercomputers produced by the manufacturer

B. Whether the time it takes data to travel through a system with three primary information routes is three times faster than the time it takes the same amount of data to travel the same distance in a system with only one primary information route

C. Whether producing the improved circuit will take significantly longer than producing a circuit with only one primary information route

D. Whether the time needed for a single data message to be transferred using a system with a single primary information route is shorter than the time needed for the same data message to be transferred using a system with a triple primary information route

E. Whether the process of the assignment of data to the appropriate primary information route will constitute a significant added delay

Dear reto,
I'm happy to respond. Frankly, I think this is a very poor question. The prompt is not well written: the final sentence of the prompt is grammatically a disaster. That sentence would never fly on the GMAT SC. This adds to the difficulty of the prompt, which is already about a subject a bit more technical that the GMAT tends to treat.

Now, having waded through this prompt, which answer is more pertinent to evaluate the argument? Well, (A) & (C) are clearly out. Choice (A) is very easy to eliminate. I like choice (C), conflating computing time with production time: this might be my favorite part of this question.

In my reading (B) & (D) & (E) are all highly pertinent. Perhaps there is some technical reason why (E) is most pertinent, but there is nothing about (B) or (D) that would make it definitely wrong except maybe by comparison with (E).

This question is not at all in the spirit of the GMAT CR. It has, in (A), a pathetically easy choice to eliminate, and in (B) & (D) it has "incorrect" choices that could be substantially correct on their own. This is NOT what the GMAT does. The GMAT will have four incorrect answers, each of which is different, each of which gets eliminated for a different reason on its own. A wrong answer on the GMAT is wrong on its own terms.

If you found this question challenging, it's not because of your lack of understanding; instead, it is entirely because the question is poorly conceived and written.

Here is a high quality practice GMAT CR question:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/3799

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: To allow a supercomputer to function as efficiently as possible, the  [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2015, 12:42
reto wrote:
To allow a supercomputer to function as efficiently as possible, the positioning of the internal components has to be planned so that any combination of departure point and arrival point is connected through the shortest possible route, allowing the data to travel through the system as quickly as possible. Supercomputers are designed with a primary information route which transports the bulk of the information through the system. Because this primary route is prone to data congestion, while designing a new supercomputer circuit, a computer manufacturing company has developed a plan to improve efficiency by introducing two additional primary information routes, instead of the standard single primary route, allowing the communication load to be shared.

Which of the following would be most useful to establish in order to evaluate the plan developed by the computer manufacturer?

A. Whether the addition of another two primary information routes will lead to a dramatic rise in the retail price of supercomputers produced by the manufacturer

B. Whether the time it takes data to travel through a system with three primary information routes is three times faster than the time it takes the same amount of data to travel the same distance in a system with only one primary information route

C. Whether producing the improved circuit will take significantly longer than producing a circuit with only one primary information route

D. Whether the time needed for a single data message to be transferred using a system with a single primary information route is shorter than the time needed for the same data message to be transferred using a system with a triple primary information route

E. Whether the process of the assignment of data to the appropriate primary information route will constitute a significant added delay

I think B and D can be eliminated on the basis that, the statement already says ''the two additional routes allows the communication load to be shared", hence it implies that the new design is going to be faster than the single route design. (This is kind of given in the statement)

But if E can be established, then we can find if the new design is efficient.

Hence Option E
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Re: To allow a supercomputer to function as efficiently as possible, the  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2015, 14:48
Can someone help me with B and D ,though E looks the best.What exactly is wrong with B and D?
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Re: To allow a supercomputer to function as efficiently as possible, the  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2015, 18:08
samichange wrote:
Can someone help me with B and D ,though E looks the best.What exactly is wrong with B and D?

Dear samichange,
As I noted in my response above, I think this is a poor question. You can read my argument above. My friend, I would recommend not wasting mental energy on poor questions.
Mike
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Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)
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To allow a supercomputer to function as efficiently as possible, the p  [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2016, 22:23
2
The plan is to add two additional primary information routes. The goal is to improve efficiency. So the assumption is that three primary information routes will reduce data congestion by load sharing, improving the efficiency. "D" talks about a single data message while the argument already states that a bulk of information leads to data congestion. Hence whatever is applicable for a single data message may not be applicable for bulk. If the process of assigning data to a primary information route causes significant delay then there is no point in constructing additional routes. If there is no delay then it makes sense to have additional routes which would eventually enhance efficiency.Hence "E" is the answer.
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To allow a supercomputer to function as efficiently as possible, the  [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2018, 06:13
samusa wrote:
Can someone help me with B and D ,though E looks the best.What exactly is wrong with B and D?

Let me try.

As of now, there is a single route, lets call it A and assume it takes t1= 10 sec for a piece of data to travel the route.
Questions asks: in case there are two additional routes B&C, and we can split the data to travel by all three routes , and new time that the data travels via new 3 routes = t2 (we don't know its value), is t2<t1?
So, in order to evaluate the plan, we just need to know whether t2< t1. If t2<t1, then the plan will lead to efficiency increase. In any other case (t2>=t1), plan will not lead to efficiency increase.

Option B
It asks, if the only condition, under which there is an increase of efficiency, is for t1 to be equal to t2*3? No, any value of t1 greater than t2 (t1 = t2*1.1, for example) means there is increase in efficiency. Incorrect

Option D
It asks, if we know answer to equation if t1<t2 (answer means 'yes' or 'no') can we tell whether there is increase in efficiency? No, even if we know the answer, we cannot tell anything about change in efficiency. For example, we say "No" that is t1 is not < t2. Will it mean that t1>t2? No! Because it is possbile that t1=t2. Incorrect

(you need know some knowledge of IT to fully understand how adding routes might increase efficiency. Basically, at any given point of time, via a single route only 1 bit of data can be transfered. So, if you have 9 bits of data, you will need 9 pieces of time (secs, mins, hours, etc) to transfer the data via the route. When you are add two additional routes, you can split 9 bits by three, therefore, increase speed by 3. However, the system will need more time to split and then merge back the 9 bits, therefore, it is not always the case that adding the routes will increase total efficiency, which is why is E is best among given options.)
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Re: To allow a supercomputer to function as efficiently as possible, the  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2018, 05:50

Goal: to improve efficiency of transporting data across. I felt D addressed that.
Re: To allow a supercomputer to function as efficiently as possible, the   [#permalink] 18 Nov 2018, 05:50
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