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Profile Fred J. Verster
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Message 1302559 - Posted: 5 Nov 2012, 18:58:08 UTC - in response to Message 1302488.
Last modified: 5 Nov 2012, 19:09:24 UTC

GenuineIntel
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU @ 2.40GHz [Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 7]
(4 processors) NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT (241MB) driver: 258.96

There is my main computer... Maybe I should just add gpu cards to this and my
dual core linux box?

Steven

Upgrading your current GPU to something more efficient would be a good first step.

Loading up a few machines with 3 or 4 high end GPU's is probably the most efficient. However you will have to invest in high capacity power supplies & cooling. With single, or maybe dual, GPU's per machine you can use more run of the mill components.

With a large multiGPU system the CPU is less important. As you may be using it only to run the OS and feed the GPU's. So you could go with a lower cost CPU.

When adding these systems you just have to decide on how much power you are willing to pay for to run them. The UPS's I have in a rack show a usage of about 400 kW/h per week for only about a third of my machines. So it is probably safe to say I'm using around 5,000 kW/h per month running all of the systems. I don't know what the rate we pay for electric at work is, but my home rate is about $0.18 per kW/h.


In The Netherlands electricity is €0.50 per KW/h, so I'd go for efficiency,
high end (AMD/ATI5000/6000/7000;NVidia470/480/570/590/580/680/690) GPUs.
In most 'cases' mobos have only 1 PCIe (1.0/2.0/3.0)x16 slot and your PSU
must support this by having enough amps at +12V (24 - 50A).

I use 2 Quads and 1 i7-2600, the Quads have a GTX470 and a 480,
i7 has 2 HD5870 GPUs, PSU=1KW . The 2 Quads have 650Watt PSUs,
they totally draw ~1000Watt/h and are 24x 7 on. You can do the math ;-)

And the CPUs are equally important if you'll use them too for crunching
but a C2D/i3 will do or an AMD CPU or APU....

And, ofcoarse, use the LUNATICs Optimized apps. and CUDA/OpenCL apps..
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Message 1302647 - Posted: 5 Nov 2012, 22:51:00 UTC - in response to Message 1302559.

I am looking into some motherboards which support 6 core main processor and
have 6 pci-e slots. Also looking for quite a hefty power supply just to insure
the beast will have enough juice.

Looks like it may take me quite awhile to procure the parts and build a beast like that based on the prices I found.

In the meantime, I will be firing up a couple of 3 ghz Pentiums I have and hopefully getting gpus in those machines. Those machines are slimline cases,
don't know power supply ratings but they should not burn much juice. (Hope not anyway) I'll let em go for a month and see what happens to my electric bill...

Steven

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Message 1302651 - Posted: 5 Nov 2012, 23:00:42 UTC - in response to Message 1302647.

I am looking into some motherboards which support 6 core main processor and have 6 pci-e slots. Also looking for quite a hefty power supply just to insure
the beast will have enough juice.


I'm curious. What motherboard is that?

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Message 1302708 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 1:55:19 UTC - in response to Message 1302651.

http://tyan.com/product_SKU_spec.aspx?ProductType=MB&pid=687&SKU=600000212

Here's one that supports 8 core amd cpu and has 5 pci-e slots. This is one I'm leaning towards, Back in the day, I had a tyan thunderboard, tyan makes nice boards... The dual processor 400mhz thunderboard sever I had back in the day ran nicely for years and years.

Steven

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Message 1302716 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 2:43:20 UTC - in response to Message 1302708.

http://tyan.com/product_SKU_spec.aspx?ProductType=MB&pid=687&SKU=600000212

Here's one that supports 8 core amd cpu and has 5 pci-e slots. This is one I'm leaning towards, Back in the day, I had a tyan thunderboard, tyan makes nice boards... The dual processor 400mhz thunderboard sever I had back in the day ran nicely for years and years.

Steven

With 4 dual slot GPU's in there airflow/cooling is going to be a problem, unless you go watercooling, so why not try for a triple GPU motherboard with a 2 slot spacing between PCI-E slots.

Cheers.
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Message 1302718 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 3:04:24 UTC - in response to Message 1302716.

I'm still in the dreaming/researching phase of this, so you may be well right.

I have zero experience with computers with multiple gpu's except I for a time had 3 video cards in one system for multi-monitors...

I do have some 3ghz pcs right now which have I believe one agp slot and 3 pci
slots. Can someone suggest some agp or pci gpu cards I can get second hand on
ebay for those machines?

Steven

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Message 1302722 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 3:39:26 UTC

Cambian wrote:
I do have some 3ghz pcs right now which have I believe one agp slot and 3 pci
slots. Can someone suggest some agp or pci gpu cards I can get second hand on
ebay for those machines?


An Nvidia card/s must be "CUDA" capable to crunch for seti@home
An ATI card must have a certain open GL ability I am not sure about.

There is only one or two models of CUDA enabled graphics card that are made for the PCI interface

For AGP see this AGP interface discussion

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Message 1302746 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 6:15:29 UTC - in response to Message 1302718.
Last modified: 6 Nov 2012, 6:17:58 UTC

I'm still in the dreaming/researching phase of this, so you may be well right.

I have zero experience with computers with multiple gpu's except I for a time had 3 video cards in one system for multi-monitors...

I do have some 3ghz pcs right now which have I believe one agp slot and 3 pci
slots. Can someone suggest some agp or pci gpu cards I can get second hand on
ebay for those machines?

Steven


Don't do it.

It's cheaper to buy another motherboard and processor than to over-pay for "iffy" video cards.

You can get a motherboard/CPU combo deal with multiple core CPU and dual PCIe slots for under $150.


Every old machine you have would almost certainly need a new power supply. So you spend money on a power supply and more money on marginal GPUs, then you need a big case with lots of fans for multiple GPUs, and before you know it you could have put-together one, reasonable, computer and put a killer GPU in it for the same money.

EDIT: Or you could do what I've done a few times: Put an "adequate" PSU on an old P4 motherboard with a PCIe slot (eBoy?) and run the whole thing without a case. I've got an "experiment" running now. Can a P4 and a PCIe 1 x 16 slot keep a SC 660Ti fed? I'll know soon enough.

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Message 1302747 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 6:17:15 UTC - in response to Message 1302322.

i am running a sabertooth 990fx motherboard with a 8150 Zambezi 8 core cpu with three ati gpus a6870 a 5870 and a 5570. with seti going down a lot i have been running primegrid to get numbers on my rig. i an running about 110,000 work units a day 2 core are feeding the gpus fulltime.the hd6870 has 960 Stream Processors and does about 24 jobs a day the 5870 with 1200 Stream Processors runs about 12 jobs a day the 5570 with 400 Stream Processors runs about 5 a day the remaining 6 cpus also do 5 as well.these cards are not well matched, and would run better as goups of the same cart but this is what i had in my junk box or could get cheap when i built this rig. as you can see 35 jobs gpu 5 jobs cpu on a monster machine
o nobody menchined most of the more powerful cards take 2 slots.
next build 4 core with apu two matched videocards.
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Message 1302764 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 8:21:38 UTC

Like Tbret says, don't waste money on PCI CUDA cards. while it would "work", they are old technology cards, probably only 16 or 32 CUDA cores. They are obsolete before you buy them.

For the cost of 4 of those you could completely gut the old box, and put in a PCI-E system board, a cheap CPU, a stick of RAM, AND a more modern mid-range CUDA card, and the whole rig should still run off a 350w power supply.

Probably get 10X the RAC of a PCI based CUDA machine. And you have a machine that is a current entry level computer, is a useful machine for general use, and even gaming, and you can run for many years.

Do that with a handful of your old boxes and your "farm" starts becoming a useful collection. Of course, whip the lid off the boxes first, you might find a later model P4 that actually has a PCI-E slot. In that case just buy a mid-range CUDA card for it and it becomes useful.

My current desktop is an old BOX that I rebuilt with a Q6600 and cheapo system board a few years back, pre CUDA apps. I have the option of dropping in a new CUDA card now to boost the RAC, but haven't got around to doing it.

Ian

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Message 1302788 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 10:27:56 UTC - in response to Message 1302722.

An ATI card must have a certain open GL ability I am not sure about.

ATI/AMD cards need to be a minimum of HD2*** series for Boinc to recognise them as CAL compatible GPUs,
For Setiathome we need OpenCL support (Not OpenGL), for OpenCL support you need at least a HD4*** GPU, prefereably a HD5*** or later GPU,

Claggy

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Message 1302832 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 13:43:30 UTC - in response to Message 1302559.


In The Netherlands electricity is €0.50 per KW/h


Well, in the Netherlands where I live it's about half of that...
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Message 1302839 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 14:24:38 UTC

I wil add my 2cents and say dont use the old computers. You dont know how long they might last. Besides they are outdated a lot. I have fixed my old P4 twice. The first time I took it to the shop and had a new CPU fan out in and a used PSU installed. cost was $125.00. Then two months later my hard drive died. This time with the help of a lopt of folks in here I put in a new hard drive.
The motherboard and CPU are still working but for how long? I bought the P4 new in 2003.

Your best bet is to gut one of the old ones and build it the way you want it.
I just built my own (with a lot of help from those in here) An I7 3770. Im running it without adding my EVGA 550 TI gpu so I can get a bench mark of just running CPUs. Right now im allmost 10 times better than the P4. Both running stock apps.
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Message 1302902 - Posted: 6 Nov 2012, 23:39:08 UTC
Last modified: 6 Nov 2012, 23:46:38 UTC

One of my lottery fantasies. A few dozen of these fully tricked out


http://www.velocitymicro.com/wizard.php?sr=0&iid=194&gclid=CMjX3pHAu7MCFREx4AodSBAA0Q

And mayby a small power company!!
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Message 1303252 - Posted: 7 Nov 2012, 19:43:39 UTC - in response to Message 1302902.

Your Instant Price Update
$62278

Estimated Ship Date
12/5/2012

haha :)
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Message 1303255 - Posted: 7 Nov 2012, 20:01:59 UTC

for 62k I could have 64 cores driving 128 gpus ...

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Message 1303286 - Posted: 7 Nov 2012, 21:21:45 UTC - in response to Message 1303252.

Your Instant Price Update
$62278

Estimated Ship Date
12/5/2012

haha :)

For $22479 you could have that configured with 9 GTX680's. Which are about 3 times as fast at the Quadro 6000 selected for the $60K price tag. Most expensive does always equal fastest.

If blowing lotto money I would go for a 8 CPU socket system to play around.

Otherwise I like the idea of many smaller machines. Like having a 72U rack crammed full of mini-ITX machines.
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Message 1303291 - Posted: 7 Nov 2012, 21:39:48 UTC

For a real fantasy, has anyone figured out if one of those Monster Cray machines could be configured and what the throughput would be?
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Message 1303345 - Posted: 8 Nov 2012, 0:24:04 UTC - in response to Message 1303291.

DIY Supercomputer built in a weekend....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k32Bwy9rha4

For SETI you would want less Xeons, and more GPUs. but the code they are running is not written for GPUs, so it's Xeons all the way. 3,072 CPU cores. But the idea of a rack of self contained barebones PCs connected together is ideal for SETI work. In fact bandwidth isn't really an issue, as long as they can communicate at some sensible speed all is well.

Built by Uni Students for their research project. Doesn't say how many pizzas it took to complete.

Ian

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Message 1303452 - Posted: 8 Nov 2012, 6:59:13 UTC
Last modified: 8 Nov 2012, 6:59:37 UTC

I don't think the problem would be HOW to build them, but how to tell Boinc Manager to activate-see those computers, or any other computer.

You may build as many you want but how BM will understand them?

Is there any setting to tell BM that you are working on a farm computer, and use all of them at the same time?
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