Upgrading the garage cruncher. Help!


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Profile T. Moe
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Message 1267182 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 18:48:38 UTC

Hello all,
I'm pretty new to SETI@HOME. I have an old Dell Dimension 3000 with an Intel Celeron 2.40 Ghz Chip,4mb Ram,750 mb Hd, and a intregated 82865g graphics controller.

It only has PCI slots on the MOBO no PCIe. Now I've had this thing running SETI since May 31 2012. I know it's not the best machine ,but I am doing my part. Slowly.

I don't want to put much money into it. So far I've only added a wifi card, and disabled most programs to allow it to run as fast as possible. I even tried over clocking but you cant on this system. At least I couldn't make any changes.

I don't want to buy a new system, funds aren't that great, but I am addicted to this program, and Really enjoy reading about all of your awesome machines out there. Addictive stuff.
Can anyone recommeded, from experiance,or knowledge of this system a Grapics card that would help this thing Crunch faster? Thanks for any and all help.

I have been looking at this. I think it will work, just want to keep the budget as low as I can. This whole SETI thing has this old Disabled Vet excitged about something I can actually do in my garage while sitting down. :-)>









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Message 1267183 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 18:52:06 UTC - in response to Message 1267182.

IIRC there was talk of a zotac 460 that is PCI compatible.
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Message 1267185 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 18:53:01 UTC - in response to Message 1267182.

Zotac makes a PCI Fermi video card, a GT430. You could probably get a RAC of 2 to 3 K. I would suggest only running cuda and just using the cpu to feed the video card.
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Message 1267234 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 20:39:43 UTC

On the same lines would adding a new card improve the intregated extreme graphics controller any? I would like to see some improvement, but if it won't make that much diffrence I don't want to waste my money.

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Message 1267235 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 20:41:56 UTC - in response to Message 1267234.

I suspect the new card would be used instead and it should blow the integrated graphics away.
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Message 1267241 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 21:07:01 UTC - in response to Message 1267235.

I suspect the new card would be used instead and it should blow the integrated graphics away.



Thats what I was hoping to hear. Alrighty then. I must pursue this. Thanks again for your help :->

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Message 1267247 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 21:11:47 UTC - in response to Message 1267182.
Last modified: 3 Aug 2012, 21:16:09 UTC

I don't want to put much money into it.

Here's something that costs nothing: use the Lunatics optimized apps, that will speed up the crunching by about 50%.

You can of course still add a CUDA capable GPU if you want to, but the optimized apps are a quick and easy way to improve the performance, so you can start with that and than think about buying a card.
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Message 1267261 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 21:45:27 UTC - in response to Message 1267247.

I don't want to put much money into it.

Here's something that costs nothing: use the Lunatics optimized apps, that will speed up the crunching by about 50%.

You can of course still add a CUDA capable GPU if you want to, but the optimized apps are a quick and easy way to improve the performance, so you can start with that and than think about buying a card.


That would be cool. I looked at the Lunatics site, but not sure which one would work on my XP system.

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Message 1267271 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 22:05:02 UTC

Just use the 32 bit installer here.

http://lunatics.kwsn.net/index.php?module=Downloads;catd=9

Watch the temps since the opti apps get a little bet warm on laptops.

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Message 1267277 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 22:18:52 UTC - in response to Message 1267271.

Just use the 32 bit installer here.

http://lunatics.kwsn.net/index.php?module=Downloads;catd=9

Watch the temps since the opti apps get a little bet warm on laptops.

Okay ,Ill give it a try. :-)>

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Message 1267285 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 22:49:29 UTC - in response to Message 1267277.

Shoot I downloaded Lunatics 32 bit windows, and for some reason the screensaver is gone. Still crunching though.

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Message 1267290 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 22:57:10 UTC - in response to Message 1267285.

Shoot I downloaded Lunatics 32 bit windows, and for some reason the screensaver is gone. Still crunching though.

The Lunatics apps contain no graphics support - either for on-demand "show graphics", or as a screensaver.

Sorry, but that's one of the optimisations they use - all CPU power is devoted to crunching, nothing is left over for eye-candy.

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Message 1267291 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 22:58:02 UTC - in response to Message 1267290.

Shoot I downloaded Lunatics 32 bit windows, and for some reason the screensaver is gone. Still crunching though.

The Lunatics apps contain no graphics support - either for on-demand "show graphics", or as a screensaver.

Sorry, but that's one of the optimisations they use - all CPU power is devoted to crunching, nothing is left over for eye-candy.


Dang!

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Message 1267294 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 22:59:12 UTC
Last modified: 3 Aug 2012, 22:59:27 UTC

The screen saver only uses resources.
You´ll be much faster now.
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Message 1267295 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 23:00:30 UTC - in response to Message 1267285.

Shoot I downloaded Lunatics 32 bit windows, and for some reason the screensaver is gone. Still crunching though.

Everything's ok the Lunatics app has had the graphics disabled to increase crunching speed.
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Message 1267297 - Posted: 3 Aug 2012, 23:08:57 UTC - in response to Message 1267294.

The screen saver only uses resources.
You´ll be much faster now.


Yeah your right. :-)>

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Message 1267341 - Posted: 4 Aug 2012, 1:45:48 UTC - in response to Message 1267297.

Will the motherboard in the old box support a better CPU?

Putting in a faster P4 in place of the Celeron will give you a big boost. Chips like that can usually be dumpster dived or bought for about the cost of postage.

You need to check the web page of the motherboard maker and see what CPUs it will support, then see what you can find. I have seen some boards that are pretty much celeron only, but most have at least some support for the full P4 chips.

Not going to make it a super cruncher, but you could easily get a 50% boost for pretty much no money. Heck someone here might send you one for free if you ask nice. I have a box full of them. but postage from NZ is more than they are worth.

There are PCI based CUDA cards, but they aren't cheap, and you are spending good money on old technology. I would save my money to spend on a later, but still used system, that could support a decent CUDA card. I've dumpster dived a couple of dead Core2 duo machines lately and fixed them (power supply and hard disk from other organ-doner PCs) If I wasn't short of cash I could slot in a relatively cheap mid range CUDA card and have some serious grunt.

Ian

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Message 1267363 - Posted: 4 Aug 2012, 3:30:27 UTC

Thanks Ian, yeah I'm not sure what the form factor is yet. I've been thinking about a card for awhile now. After doing a little surfing, it looks I can get a card for $40.00 to $80.00. Thats not to bad. The thing is I have two of these old Dell's one runs good ,and one doesnt. It does have enough parts to keep the good one running just on Seti. Good Ideas you have though.

I have a laptop thats also crunching numbers also. Thinking about puting Seti on my new laptop, that would probably out perform the other two combined. Anyway the old dell sits on my garage work bench, and is fun to goof around on. I guess it's my little Lab. Makes me happy, and I'm helping out a little. Who knows That old PC might be the one to find ET. Ha Ha :-)>

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Message 1268368 - Posted: 6 Aug 2012, 13:49:31 UTC

Depending on how accurate the specs from Dell happen to be. You may be able to put a Pentium 4 with 1MB of cache & Hyper-Threading up to 3.2GHz in the old machine.

A few months ago I bought a 3.0GHz Prescott P4 for my old box to give me SSE3 support. IIRC I only paid about $15 with shipping. So you could probably give the CPU a decent upgrade pretty cheap as well.

However, I have found running 24/7 the top end P4 CPU's will have a max RAC at or just under 1000. So adding a GPU should be a large improvement in production for that machine. Even if it is just running a few hours per day.
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Message 1268378 - Posted: 6 Aug 2012, 14:30:14 UTC - in response to Message 1268368.

Depending on how accurate the specs from Dell happen to be. You may be able to put a Pentium 4 with 1MB of cache & Hyper-Threading up to 3.2GHz in the old machine.

A few months ago I bought a 3.0GHz Prescott P4 for my old box to give me SSE3 support. IIRC I only paid about $15 with shipping. So you could probably give the CPU a decent upgrade pretty cheap as well.

However, I have found running 24/7 the top end P4 CPU's will have a max RAC at or just under 1000. So adding a GPU should be a large improvement in production for that machine. Even if it is just running a few hours per day.


I may just look into that. Thanks. I'm know it will never be great,but before I started it back up for this project it was in the attick collecting dust. It does run 24/7 though.

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Message boards : Number crunching : Upgrading the garage cruncher. Help!

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