Tianhe-2, the world's fastest supercomputer as of November 2013, is capable of performing almost 34,000 trillion floating point operations every second. Its theoretical performance is even higher.
Most of the world's fastest supercomputers use Linux, which is able to handle the 3.12 million processing cores used in Tianhe-2. This allows it to perform parallel operations at high speeds. While standard computers and servers are able to handle most computer tasks in a reasonable period of time, complex simulations often require processing power that only supercomputers can provide. Supercomputers are also used to solve complex math equations and for studying computer science principles.