GPU support for ATI cards


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danielsig727
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Message 859540 - Posted: 30 Jan 2009, 2:24:47 UTC

hi,
I have computers with ATI graphics cards.
All of them support CAL, which is similar to Nvidia's CUDA.
As now the F@H supports both CUDA and CAL and it works perfectly, why not SETI?

Is SETI going to support CAL? If not, I wonder why.
Hope this feature be added soon

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Message 859547 - Posted: 30 Jan 2009, 2:34:24 UTC - in response to Message 859540.

hi,
I have computers with ATI graphics cards.
All of them support CAL, which is similar to Nvidia's CUDA.
As now the F@H supports both CUDA and CAL and it works perfectly, why not SETI?

Is SETI going to support CAL? If not, I wonder why.
Hope this feature be added soon

There are plans to support ATI cards, but through the upcomming standard that replaces both CUDA and CAL.
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Message 859688 - Posted: 30 Jan 2009, 11:42:27 UTC - in response to Message 859547.

So does it mean that none of current cards supports that?

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Message 859696 - Posted: 30 Jan 2009, 12:08:43 UTC - in response to Message 859688.

So does it mean that none of current cards supports that?

Right now only CUDA is supported. Once the problems associated with the implementation of CUDA are cleared up, the developers will turn their attention to OpenCL. It will likely take several months before this can happens.
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Message 875276 - Posted: 13 Mar 2009, 22:05:14 UTC - in response to Message 859696.

I do hope there will be some sort of support of ATi cards about. Just so that thouse of us who currently have ATI card can use them for Seti .. much like our Nvidia card owning friends.

Does seem that OpenCL (and/or other vendor independent methods like DX11) may be the way to go. Especially as it means that the guys at Seti can develop one set of code that can be used on any vendors cards!

[I really do not envy the guys at Seti or at F@H having to write two sets of incompatable code to support ATi and Nvidia cards!]

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Message 901408 - Posted: 30 May 2009, 6:38:25 UTC - in response to Message 875276.

I hope a solution can be found to this as it will not be worth my money in buying new cards cos of this reason, just wasted my money buying a ati HD4890 cos I thought it worked with seti, silly me I should have asked b4 buy.
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Message 901472 - Posted: 30 May 2009, 9:24:40 UTC

Boinc V6.10.x is expected to support OpenCL but when the projects will be able to implement it is an open question.
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Message 901476 - Posted: 30 May 2009, 9:47:17 UTC - in response to Message 901472.
Last modified: 30 May 2009, 9:47:36 UTC

No, BOINC 6.10 will be supporting ATI GPUs.

Whether to use CAL or OpenCL is something that projects have to decide on, on the application level. It's not something BOINC has to support. (got that info directly from Rom, so he'll probably know what he's talking about. ;-))
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Message 901533 - Posted: 30 May 2009, 15:43:11 UTC - in response to Message 901408.

David206180, unless you are one who just does SETI, you might look toward other projects. I know some of my team mates are running GPUGrid on ATI cards. Not sure if there are any more out there. You might look around for a project that interests you as a backup that utilizes your ATI card.
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Message 901558 - Posted: 30 May 2009, 16:19:40 UTC - in response to Message 901533.

I know some of my team mates are running GPUGrid on ATI cards.

Sure you don't mean Milkyway? It's as far as I know the only project where a third party ATI app is available. I just checked the GPUGrid forums and can find no reference that they have ATI support.
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Message 901627 - Posted: 30 May 2009, 18:33:34 UTC - in response to Message 901558.

Sorry bout that, you're right Jord. Our team runs so many different projects it's hard to keep up with them.
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Message 909340 - Posted: 20 Jun 2009, 0:00:11 UTC

Hey, given Dx11 ATI card's are expected to be out in September/October (given the october windows 7 release), and dx11 nvidia parts arent expected till next year q1 or q2 no update on which yet, it's likely I and many others will be getting ati card's, anyone got an update on upcoming OpenCL support like an eta, twould be nice to have support in place by end the of October, so seti doesnt miss out, else i'll have to run folding on it till ya get it released?

(also all current CUDA or CAL compatible and future nvidia, ati and intel larabee when it comes out gfx cards will support OpenCL in response to DanielT's q's, both nvidia, ati and intel are supporting it)
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Message 909360 - Posted: 20 Jun 2009, 1:14:48 UTC - in response to Message 909340.

You would need to ask the OpenCL consortium as to when they plan on finalizing the standard. Then its a matter of SETI affording the programming tools (assuming they are different) and the time needed to actually write the code for the program.
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Message 909419 - Posted: 20 Jun 2009, 5:56:39 UTC - in response to Message 909340.

The biggest problem for now is that there is totally no example code available to program anything in OpenCL, so if a project wants to use it, they would have to do it from scratch. Quite a learning curve.
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Message 909497 - Posted: 20 Jun 2009, 11:18:40 UTC - in response to Message 909360.
Last modified: 20 Jun 2009, 11:23:53 UTC

You would need to ask the OpenCL consortium as to when they plan on finalizing the standard. Then its a matter of SETI affording the programming tools (assuming they are different) and the time needed to actually write the code for the program.


By all accounts the standard was finalised December 8, 2008 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCL
http://www.khronos.org/registry/cl/specs/opencl-1.0.43.pdf

I'm sure should SETI contact nvidia or ati, some example code can be arranged based on the fact any SETI client is good publicity.

Though a quick scan of the website does make mention of examples in the below url with further information available on the last url, whilst none exist now watch the space.

http://www.khronos.org/developers/resources/
http://www.khronos.org/registry/cl/

Though I cannot confirm things either way, even without any I'm sure should seti be enterprising enough in its contact with companies some will be provided.

And either way a learning curve perhaps, but by all accounts one worth going through given the potential results, a standard which will span all 3 major graphics cards makers, ati, nvida and when larabee comes out from intel.
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Message 909655 - Posted: 20 Jun 2009, 20:19:31 UTC - in response to Message 909497.

You would need to ask the OpenCL consortium as to when they plan on finalizing the standard. Then its a matter of SETI affording the programming tools (assuming they are different) and the time needed to actually write the code for the program.


By all accounts the standard was finalised December 8, 2008 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCL
http://www.khronos.org/registry/cl/specs/opencl-1.0.43.pdf

I'm sure should SETI contact nvidia or ati, some example code can be arranged based on the fact any SETI client is good publicity.

Though a quick scan of the website does make mention of examples in the below url with further information available on the last url, whilst none exist now watch the space.

http://www.khronos.org/developers/resources/
http://www.khronos.org/registry/cl/

Though I cannot confirm things either way, even without any I'm sure should seti be enterprising enough in its contact with companies some will be provided.

And either way a learning curve perhaps, but by all accounts one worth going through given the potential results, a standard which will span all 3 major graphics cards makers, ati, nvida and when larabee comes out from intel.


Actually, SETI has already contacted ATi and the only thing they received was a card to use for programming. ATi has not offered to help write code at all, unlike nVidia who wrote the entire CUDA app for SETI.
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Message 910118 - Posted: 22 Jun 2009, 12:28:30 UTC - in response to Message 909655.

well given nvidia's support of OpenCL or Intel, all I can suggest is contact Nvidia about an OpenCL client or some example code at least and also contact Intel, who may be intrested in some extra PR about their forethcoming Larabee platform in 2010.
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Message 910121 - Posted: 22 Jun 2009, 12:43:10 UTC - in response to Message 910118.

Intel has already contacted the BOINC developers, but on a whole different kettle of fish. And to be honest, that's about all I can say about that. Keep an eye on BOINC news for that. It'll be exiting.

Now then, since Seti is open source, why not contact all these hardware makers yourself and ask for help on porting the Seti source code to OpenCL? CUDA was being tested for well over a year by developers all around (not necessarily BOINC) before it was started at Seti and GPuGrid. it was started at Einstein at the same time and there you still can't use it as they can't make it completely stable. It had time to get somewhat mature, but it is nowhere near out of beta stages yet.

OpenCL isn't anywhere near being mature, else it would be quite easy to get example code. Why hurry and make mistakes? Why not wait until example code is readily available, with which applications can be built without too much trouble?

It's not as if the developers (both BOINC and here at Seti) aren't busy enough already, now you want them to do even more?
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Message 910126 - Posted: 22 Jun 2009, 13:05:12 UTC - in response to Message 910121.
Last modified: 22 Jun 2009, 13:12:00 UTC

I have neither the contacts nor the necessary time, nor the necessary technical expertise or understanding of the SETI analysis app required to make any enquiry of a technical nature or relay any such information in professional manner.

Additionally Ageless please don't give me the oh dear its open source so it ought to be lesser then proprietary software cos our poor overworked staff can't deal with it stuff.

That's exactly the kinda crud I heard when I made the post about supporting GPU processing in the first place, along with the prize tidbit of information from someone claiming comptency saying SETI would run SLOWER on gpu's then cpu's "as its the wrong kind of processing for it" and be like a old 1ghz p4 per.... I did at least have technical understanding of the functions of it to know that was bupkis, but it seems being given a fully written app by nvidia turned out to be what was necessary to dissuade that opinion.

And if by all accounts SETI project's own Dev's didn't actually make the CUDA client, then they're ought not to be as overworked as accounts have made out, open-source software should be superior to close-source not the other way around, the whole point of everyone being able to contribute, if you haven't got enough people maybe ya just not advertising the requirement for volunteer's enough, do so, given a plethora of newly work students with degree level comptency(well ok yes that means beginner with many students, but at least some have to be half-way competent) with nothing better to do I'm sure there are plenty of available, in the UK its expected 20% of the graduating class this year will be out of work, i certainly have heard no mention of recruiting, other then when requesting new features or more accurately information about them, given that creating them should be a given due to the obvious benefits... to spell it out...

Why its simple enough, the vast majority of consumer PC users of xp (and vista)(given xp's no longer mainstream support) will be upgrading to Windows 7 within 6-12 months of release many in the first 6, either with new machines or upgrades, out of these a large proportion will be tempted and a hefty number purchase the new dx11 ati card's along with it, due to the no doubt the many gloating we have dx11 you don't advertising campaigns one can expect to be released from ATI closer to release.

This means just like nvidia when it scooped ati on dx10 in early days, many will be buying ati this time around with ati nearing the next generation whilst nvidia finally produces a dx11 card in 6 months time, their dx10 and dx11 offerings will both be/are better value for money and generally superior in gaming that means ALLOT of dx11 ati card's can be expected to be in use.

And any BOINC project that can capitalize on that will get a significant boost to the available processing power that can be brought to bear on it, which frankly the whole point of BOINC in the first place, to generate the maximum amount of processing power per project possible.

Waiting until a technology is aged is not the way to go at this time, dev's should be trying to recruit as many volunteer folks as possible figure it out for themselves and get the darn thing running asap to capitalize on it in time for Windows 7 release.
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Message 910132 - Posted: 22 Jun 2009, 13:52:20 UTC - in response to Message 910126.

Additionally Ageless please don't give me the oh dear its open source so it ought to be lesser then proprietary software cos our poor overworked staff can't deal with it stuff.

And where exactly did I say that? Or was it something you wanted to read into it where it wasn't needed to read that into it at all?

And if by all accounts SETI project's own Dev's didn't actually make the CUDA client, then they're ought not to be as overworked as accounts have made out

Oh, so all the project developers do is make apps and then sit around on their tush all day reaping the fruits of their work, right? Ever heard of the whole back-end, servers, databases, Nitpicker? Does that need no attention? Have you ever read the technical news on what these guys are busy with? Nothing said about them doing that here on a low salary. Lower than they could earn in a commercial environment.

You seem to think that Seti is a big business. They aren't. Check the project personnel and count with how many they are.

I also think you misunderstood the use of the open source code here at Seti in the first place. It's primarily there so you can port it over to platforms and operating systems that not natively have a Seti application.

It's a way of relieving the project devs of needing to come up with an app for everyone. If you know your way around the (obscure) platform, you can compile your own BOINC client and own Seti app for it. Or optimize it. Or make a 64bit version of it. (The only app available from Seti is 32bit).

Waiting until a technology is aged is not the way to go at this time, dev's should be trying to recruit as many volunteer folks as possible figure it out for themselves and get the darn thing running asap to capitalize on it in time for Windows 7 release.

The Seti application as it is works on any Windows version from Windows 2000 onwards. Whether or not BOINC can do all it can do on previous versions of Windows is something for the BOINC developers to figure out (a whole different group of 3 people). Now, as I understand the available Windows 7 is still only a release client, many things can still change. They may not want to fall into the same trap they fell in when between Vista RC and Vista complete some major things had changed.

As for the rest, let's just wait until things are coming. BOINC 6.10 is nowhere near the horizon yet, it's not being tested, there is no ATI detection yet and so there's no real need for an OpenCL application at this moment.

Since it was nVidia who contacted BOINC/Seti to get their CUDA detection and app out, it may be that when they think the time is right they will contact the developers again for the new thing. I know ATI has contacted BOINC as well. I also know one of the developers has just gotten a whole new PC and he'll be adding an ATI card to that (one he has to buy himself!).

They're just busy with something else at this moment, plus their vacation is coming up. Unless you want to deny them to have a life as well, I would suggest that you hold your horses and think about what you all just demanded.
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Questions and Answers : Wish list : GPU support for ATI cards

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