Seti at home takes a lot of power


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Message boards : Number crunching : Seti at home takes a lot of power

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kmcjeep
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Message 1292397 - Posted: 7 Oct 2012, 14:29:51 UTC

I have been a member of Seti only for a short time but have 6 machines crunching 24/7. September was my first full month crunching with all 6 machines, I have to say that while I support the project, I cannot from a personal perspective allow myself to spend $82.54 a month extra for the power to run 6 computers full time. $82.54 is how much my electric bill went up in September. Yes, that's about $13.76 per machine which is in the realm of other threads I've seen on the subject. I also believe that I have seen where S@H has scanned the sky at least once with no results (I could be wrong on this). So the chances that they will find life in this manner is, I believe, low. However the project does support many other worthwhile projects. I don't mind building machines but will have to sell them as I don't need a couple of them. I'll never be able to match the scores of other fanatic members whose numbers are in the millions with only one machine. Thanks[/b]

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Message 1292407 - Posted: 7 Oct 2012, 15:10:50 UTC - in response to Message 1292397.

Well, everybody is doing as much as he / she can.

Thank You for contributing at all.

So, if you can't afford the electricity, then you have of course to cut down on crunching. If you use TThrottle to limit the CPU time or if you take some machines out of service that is your personal choice.

Hopefully you will keep one machine crunching. With new data from another telescope the chance to find some signal will raise.
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Message 1292418 - Posted: 7 Oct 2012, 15:39:01 UTC

I have been a member of Seti only for a short time but have 6 machines crunching 24/7. September was my first full month crunching with all 6 machines, I have to say that while I support the project, I cannot from a personal perspective allow myself to spend $82.54 a month extra for the power to run 6 computers full time. $82.54 is how much my electric bill went up in September. Yes, that's about $13.76 per machine which is in the realm of other threads I've seen on the subject. I also believe that I have seen where S@H has scanned the sky at least once with no results (I could be wrong on this). So the chances that they will find life in this manner is, I believe, low. However the project does support many other worthwhile projects. I don't mind building machines but will have to sell them as I don't need a couple of them. I'll never be able to match the scores of other fanatic members whose numbers are in the millions with only one machine. Thanks

Welcome to the project and the forums! Only you can decide what you can afford. If you can crunch part time on one or two of them, that contribution will be helpful to the project's objectives, and we'd like to have you in the community - part time crunching is common.

I don't think anyone can say that SETI has searched the sky with no results. First, the data comes from an observatory in Puerto Rico that can only see about 1/6 of the sky from that latitude. Second, SETI doesn't buy much observatory time for targeted observations - it "piggy backs" on time purchased by others, so it can't do a systematic 100% scan. The project is about to switch to an observatory in another latitude soon, so "new sky" is ahead of us. I'm sure others can explain this better than I can.


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Message 1292432 - Posted: 7 Oct 2012, 16:42:25 UTC


Thank you both for the replies. I'll leave it running on my server (it does run all the time) and my wife's Mac Pro, it seems to run cool and quiet, for a month and see what my electric bill is. Thanks again, nice replies.

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Message 1292436 - Posted: 7 Oct 2012, 16:51:21 UTC

I've not noticed a difference in my usage over the years. I live in Texas so my energy use tends to fluctuate throughout the year. I get bills from $90 in the winter and up around $300 in the summer.

I do have quite a few higher end PC's running seti and other projects 24/7. I have to assume that I pay more than $8.00 for everything else running in my place during the winter.

I'd take a bit longer of a look at your power usage. I'd even check it for a few more months and make sure you aren't doing something else that may be sucking on the Kilowatts.
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Message 1292438 - Posted: 7 Oct 2012, 16:57:21 UTC
Last modified: 7 Oct 2012, 17:18:47 UTC

Welcome to the boards, You contribute what you feel is right for you.

I did peek at your computers and everyone has a GPU in them. I have no Idea what the wattage requirements are for each one is. But maybe you could buy a kill a watt meter and find wich ones are eating up your watts.

Im sure there are others in here who could answer that question though.
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Message 1292452 - Posted: 7 Oct 2012, 17:15:36 UTC
Last modified: 7 Oct 2012, 17:16:16 UTC

The driver you are using on 6775753 is one with the sleep bug - the driver goes away when Windows puts the monitor to sleep (if connected by DVI or HDMI). Some of the errors on it look like that problem - not the VLAR timeouts, the ones with messages like this one:

setiathome_CUDA: No CUDA devices found
setiathome_CUDA: Found 0 CUDA device(s):
setiathome_CUDA: CUDA Device 1 specified, checking...
Device cannot be used
SETI@home NOT using CUDA, falling back on host CPU processing

See Claggy's sticky thread about this driver.

Watch for info about the availability of the optimized apps. They could increase your throughput without using a significant amount of additional power, but the Windows versions are not being distributed at this time due to a licensing question that neds to be resolved. I don't know if the Mac Pro could run one or whether that distribution is also halted - any one know?
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Message 1292577 - Posted: 7 Oct 2012, 22:31:20 UTC - in response to Message 1292397.

I cannot from a personal perspective allow myself to spend $82.54 a month extra for the power to run 6 computers full time.

So don't run them 24/7. Only run one, and turn it off when you're done with for the day.
Problem solved.

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Message 1292582 - Posted: 7 Oct 2012, 22:37:16 UTC - in response to Message 1292438.

I have no Idea what the wattage requirements are for each one is.

Very rough rule of thumb is around 200W for a GPU. Highend ones pull more, bottom end ones less. Most CPUs are around 100W, although older (P4) CPUs would be closer to 130W (all at 100% load).
Although CPUs pull roughly half the power, they also do much less than half the work of a GPU.
My GTX560Ti pulls just under twice the power of my E6600 CPU, but it does almost 5 times the work. So it's much more efficient.
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Message 1292592 - Posted: 7 Oct 2012, 23:04:18 UTC

Machine #6775753 is a new build I7 3820 w 2 550 TIs. It was running nicely showing both GPUs working. I did have trouble with it in the beginning with the latest drivers, so I backed down to where it is now and it was running fine. However I think it and the I7 920 are what's hogging the wattage, so I started the FX4100 back up, and throttled the cpu down. I'll leave the 3820 and 920 down until I see what happens. Don't have a kw meter or an amp meter always wanted one, but they're spendy. Will look around and see what I can find Thanks again.

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Message 1292596 - Posted: 7 Oct 2012, 23:19:40 UTC - in response to Message 1292592.

However I think it and the I7 920 are what's hogging the wattage, so I started the FX4100 back up, and throttled the cpu down.

The FX4100 running at 100% load would use about the same power as the I7 920, but wouldn't do as much work. The I7 3820 (without the GPUs in there) would do similar work to the FX4100 (maybe more) but use less power.
Basically, since the Core 2 Duo CPUs were released, AMD hasn't been in the race when it comes to performance or power consumption. Unfortunately they haven't even been close.

The green bar is stock speed, the red overclocked.

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Message 1292602 - Posted: 7 Oct 2012, 23:40:18 UTC
Last modified: 7 Oct 2012, 23:51:04 UTC

Your list of computers:

1) 95W CPU + 19W GPU

2) 130W CPU + 182W GPU

3) 65W CPU + ~30-35W

4) 130W CPU + 116W GPU + 116W GPU

5) 65W CPU + 30W GPU

6) 89W CPU + 30W GPU

As others have suggested, I'm sure a Kill-a-Watt is well worth the money in your case:)

Anyway that's a grand total of ~1100W or about a hundred bucks a month (ballpark)! These estimates are nowhere near accurate, hence the suggestion for a power meter:)

So yeah, $82.54 sounds about right with your gear...

(Just saw your last post. @over 300W, yeah the 920 should be the first to go)

Edit:

I'll leave the 3820 and 920 down until I see what happens.


If I were you I'd turn everything else off and leave the one with the i7-3820 and just use the GPUs. Best Watt to Workunit ratio of all and you'll cut the (Seti part) of your bill down to 1/5.

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Message 1292631 - Posted: 8 Oct 2012, 1:06:20 UTC

FX4100 was just a whim, saw a MB for free at Microcenter and chose the 4100 for $89.00, case with a 400 watt PSU for $28, already had a DVD, 4 gb memory (1333) and bought an Crucial M4 for 94.00 Windows 8 is free - for now. Bought an HD 5450 for $29. So I was up and running for $240.00. Yes you get what you pay for, but with it running win 8 and off an ssd it really isn't bad. All it does is S@H and internet. Thanks a lot for the last two posts. That really helps out with which computer uses the power. I haven't tried to run only the GPUs and no CPU - didn't think about that. I'll give it try. Thanks again.

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Message 1292643 - Posted: 8 Oct 2012, 1:58:48 UTC - in response to Message 1292631.

I'd hate to see what the power bills are for some of our more massive crunchers. 500K RAC doesn't come cheap.
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Message 1292645 - Posted: 8 Oct 2012, 2:06:07 UTC - in response to Message 1292643.
Last modified: 8 Oct 2012, 2:08:29 UTC

I'd hate to see what the power bills are for some of our more massive crunchers. 500K RAC doesn't come cheap.

So you will feel our pain by just imagine our power bill here to mantain 300K RAC as the kw/hr here cost almost 2x or more the US price... Oh no my headache returns...:)
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Message 1292678 - Posted: 8 Oct 2012, 3:30:30 UTC - in response to Message 1292643.
Last modified: 8 Oct 2012, 3:31:25 UTC

I'd hate to see what the power bills are for some of our more massive crunchers. 500K RAC doesn't come cheap.


If i had the funds, and the location, i'd just put solar panels on my roof with some batteries & an inverter.
Only expense would be the purchase & installation costs, and replacing the batteres every few years. Even then, they'd pay for themselves in no time.
$2.50/kWh here & it goes up every year.
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Message 1292683 - Posted: 8 Oct 2012, 3:39:26 UTC - in response to Message 1292678.

I'd hate to see what the power bills are for some of our more massive crunchers. 500K RAC doesn't come cheap.


If i had the funds, and the location, i'd just put solar panels on my roof with some batteries & an inverter.
Only expense would be the purchase & installation costs, and replacing the batteres every few years. Even then, they'd pay for themselves in no time.
$2.50/kWh here & it goes up every year.

Ive made the maths and here to feed my 5 hosts, the total cost of the solar pannels, with batteries for the nigh or cloudy days plus the conversters will cost me more than what I spent on electricity in around 10 years...
Besides the fact that I dont have so much money available, the another discouraging thing was that neither the batteries, neither the pannels had a lifespam larger than 5 years (at least not the ones at "affordable" prices that I can get here)
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Message 1292788 - Posted: 8 Oct 2012, 13:43:06 UTC - in response to Message 1292678.
Last modified: 8 Oct 2012, 13:46:02 UTC

I'd hate to see what the power bills are for some of our more massive crunchers. 500K RAC doesn't come cheap.


If i had the funds, and the location, i'd just put solar panels on my roof with some batteries & an inverter.
Only expense would be the purchase & installation costs, and replacing the batteres every few years. Even then, they'd pay for themselves in no time.
$2.50/kWh here & it goes up every year.


Are you sure $2,50 /kwh? this is even 6x more expensive than here, i spend more than US$ 650 per month just to keep my hosts working at (US$ 0.40/kwhr). So i imagine at 2,50... :(

If i have your electric cost i´m sure think on wind (more eficient and cheapeer if you have the natural resource avaiable) or solar energy (still the most expensive source). I try to do the maths and for now is not a solution for me, specialy because i have my hosts located in 3 different places, and if i put them all at the same place, beside the security problem, i sure will need to put an AC to work to keep them cool, so even more power will be used.
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Message 1292806 - Posted: 8 Oct 2012, 15:15:34 UTC - in response to Message 1292631.

FX4100 was just a whim, saw a MB for free at Microcenter and chose the 4100 for $89.00, case with a 400 watt PSU for $28, already had a DVD, 4 gb memory (1333) and bought an Crucial M4 for 94.00 Windows 8 is free - for now. Bought an HD 5450 for $29. So I was up and running for $240.00. Yes you get what you pay for, but with it running win 8 and off an ssd it really isn't bad. All it does is S@H and internet. Thanks a lot for the last two posts. That really helps out with which computer uses the power. I haven't tried to run only the GPUs and no CPU - didn't think about that. I'll give it try. Thanks again.

In the winter those machines pumping out heat could offset some of your heating cost. Depending on where you live. Since I have my home machines not running anything & just have a lower powered C2D mobile running my network storage. I used about 450 KW/h per month less during the summer vs last year when I had them running. My September usage is about 280 KW/h less than it was last year. So about $50-100 a month for my 5 machines to run.
Sadly as I live in a condo and don't own the roof I can't have any panels up there. I am trying to figure out if I can mount some PV panels in my skylights & on my balcony. However with the small area of panels I would be able to have it doesn't look good comparing the cost to return.
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Message 1292832 - Posted: 8 Oct 2012, 16:44:41 UTC

I've done something quite similar with my single cruncher. It's an IBM Intellistation Z-Pro 9228 with two each quad-core Xeon X5356 processors and an overclocked MSI Radeon R6870 Twin Frozr graphics card, all water-cooled with a Koolance Exos v2.0 external system. Running SETI on all 8 cores and the Radeon throws a goodly amount of heat into the office/spare bedroom.

It dipped down into freezing temps this last weekend. Instead of setting the house furnace thermostat to kick in at 67 degrees, I've just let the IBM run SETI through the night, and set a box fan in the doorway of the spare bedroom blowing air into the upstairs hallway.

I know electric heat isn't as cost-effective as our natural gas furnace, but I can at least crunch and make use of the waste heat. That's assuming I can keep it fed with Seti WUs on the download/upload end of late.

If I remember correctly, server farms of late use the waste heat from the racks to warm the office spaces in northern climates. Not a bad idea...

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