What exactly am I looking for in a GPU?


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Profile Dragokatzov
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Message 1356081 - Posted: 12 Apr 2013, 13:28:56 UTC

What specs are the most important, and which are more trivial. I am guessing RAM is not overly important, but if I want to find the best bang for the buck, what specifications should I be looking at?

Thanks!
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Message 1356084 - Posted: 12 Apr 2013, 13:40:16 UTC

Budget??

Unlimited its something like an Nvidia GTX690 or Titan (probably about $1000 or so)

Mid price ($500ish) Nvidia GTX670, or GTX680

Budget ($100) Nvidia GT640


These are new cards, which are a lot more energy efficient than their 5xx equivalents. Obviously you can still pick up 5xx series and earlier, but they are starting to look a bit thin on the ground, and xx for xx are a bit slower then their 6xx equivalents.
(For a 590 or a 690 you will need a much bigger than standard PSU - so that's got to be factored into the price)

Someone else will be along soon with ideas for the AMD/ATI cards - I've not used them for so many years that I've no idea how they fit in the grand scheme of things.
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Message 1356089 - Posted: 12 Apr 2013, 13:47:43 UTC

I would say 1GB of ram should be the minimum. If all you will do is crunch you might be ok with a lower amount. But I use both of my computers with GPU's as daily drivers also.
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Message 1356101 - Posted: 12 Apr 2013, 14:17:36 UTC

I don't think I properly indicated what I was looking for, sorry about that.
taking a look at TigerDirect.ca, I see a GTX 650.

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4501123&Sku=E145-0650

looking at the detail specs, what are the most important things I am looking for, for example number of cores, memory clock, core clock, etc
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Message 1356109 - Posted: 12 Apr 2013, 14:32:41 UTC - in response to Message 1356101.

I don't think I properly indicated what I was looking for, sorry about that.
taking a look at TigerDirect.ca, I see a GTX 650.

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4501123&Sku=E145-0650

looking at the detail specs, what are the most important things I am looking for, for example number of cores, memory clock, core clock, etc

I'd look at the flops, power consumption, flops/watt and cost.

I like this comparison: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Nvidia_graphics_processing_units#GeForce_600_Series

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Message 1356121 - Posted: 12 Apr 2013, 14:50:27 UTC

This really clears it up! Thanks!
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Message 1356170 - Posted: 12 Apr 2013, 15:59:33 UTC

You mentioned Tiger Direct, and it is a participating vendor for GoodShop. So, if you are registered for GoodSearch, SETI can get from 1.5 to 5% of your purchase if you use the GoodShop site or toolbar to initiate the purchase. Other participating vendors for computer hardware and coupons are here.

We've raised $2,252.67 for SETI this way, and that could be a lot more if people just took the time - seems like someone is buying something for their computer almost everyday in this forum. The Korpelas have raised more than 10% of that, and I doubt that is all from searches. Most of my modest amount is from purchases.


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Message 1356425 - Posted: 13 Apr 2013, 1:32:29 UTC - in response to Message 1356081.

What specs are the most important, and which are more trivial. I am guessing RAM is not overly important, but if I want to find the best bang for the buck, what specifications should I be looking at?

Thanks!

Are you looking to replace your current GTX 550 Ti if not get another GTX 550 Ti and it will double your rac.
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Message 1356573 - Posted: 13 Apr 2013, 14:55:24 UTC

My computer, "red-pc" is my main desktop. I was thinking of replacing my 550Ti with a 680, moving the 550Ti to "lynn", and retiring the 9800GT in "lynn", or making another cheap box to put it in. I could also keep the 9800GT in "lynn" and just build another cheap box for the 550Ti. Depends on weather or not my next apartment pays for utilities or not ;)
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Message 1356575 - Posted: 13 Apr 2013, 15:39:03 UTC - in response to Message 1356573.

My computer, "red-pc" is my main desktop. I was thinking of replacing my 550Ti with a 680, moving the 550Ti to "lynn", and retiring the 9800GT in "lynn", or making another cheap box to put it in. I could also keep the 9800GT in "lynn" and just build another cheap box for the 550Ti. Depends on weather or not my next apartment pays for utilities or not ;)


I like my 550Ti. Its quite, runs silent, And crucnhes an AP like no tommorrow. Im going to buy another one soon for a new build.
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Message 1356591 - Posted: 13 Apr 2013, 17:07:08 UTC - in response to Message 1356573.

My computer, "red-pc" is my main desktop. I was thinking of replacing my 550Ti with a 680, moving the 550Ti to "lynn", and retiring the 9800GT in "lynn", or making another cheap box to put it in. I could also keep the 9800GT in "lynn" and just build another cheap box for the 550Ti. Depends on weather or not my next apartment pays for utilities or not ;)


Maybe you can avoid my mistakes.

Rather than spending a dime on another cheap box to house the 9800GT, I'd encourage you to upgrade the 550Ti to a 560Ti-448 or a 670 -- OR buy another 550Ti and a dual PCIe slot motherboard.

By the time you buy even cheap parts for the other system, and an OS if you don't have one, you've spent a good portion of the cost of a more-capable GPU.

I'm not knocking the 550Ti. I run one, myself. Two 550Ti's in one machine are so far superior to a 550Ti in one machine and a 9800GT in another that it would be hard to overstate it.

It's hard to let something like a paid-for 9800GT that's just sitting there, just sit there. Sometimes it is the only practical thing to do rather than spending money to run it.

Otherwise, you end-up with what I've got... lots of less-capable computers instead of one real whiz-bang super-capable computer. It's just as much trouble to look-out after a 5,000 RAC machine as a 50,000 RAC machine.


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Message 1356624 - Posted: 13 Apr 2013, 19:37:18 UTC - in response to Message 1356592.

I am just saying that if the economics are not the issue, you may well be better off in terms of productivity to launch another rig....and you add the additional CPU cores as well.

If money is no object, then how about a device designed to run 4 video cards externally?

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Message 1356652 - Posted: 13 Apr 2013, 21:51:08 UTC - in response to Message 1356624.

I am just saying that if the economics are not the issue, you may well be better off in terms of productivity to launch another rig....and you add the additional CPU cores as well.

If money is no object, then how about a device designed to run 4 video cards externally?

is this how some people here have 8 690's? or does BOINC see 1 690 as 2 cards?
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Message 1356655 - Posted: 13 Apr 2013, 22:08:36 UTC

BOINC sees 690s as two cards, despite them being two almost independent GPU mounted onto one card.
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Message 1356658 - Posted: 13 Apr 2013, 22:13:14 UTC - in response to Message 1356592.

My computer, "red-pc" is my main desktop. I was thinking of replacing my 550Ti with a 680, moving the 550Ti to "lynn", and retiring the 9800GT in "lynn", or making another cheap box to put it in. I could also keep the 9800GT in "lynn" and just build another cheap box for the 550Ti. Depends on weather or not my next apartment pays for utilities or not ;)


Maybe you can avoid my mistakes.

Rather than spending a dime on another cheap box to house the 9800GT, I'd encourage you to upgrade the 550Ti to a 560Ti-448 or a 670 -- OR buy another 550Ti and a dual PCIe slot motherboard.

By the time you buy even cheap parts for the other system, and an OS if you don't have one, you've spent a good portion of the cost of a more-capable GPU.

I'm not knocking the 550Ti. I run one, myself. Two 550Ti's in one machine are so far superior to a 550Ti in one machine and a 9800GT in another that it would be hard to overstate it.

It's hard to let something like a paid-for 9800GT that's just sitting there, just sit there. Sometimes it is the only practical thing to do rather than spending money to run it.

Otherwise, you end-up with what I've got... lots of less-capable computers instead of one real whiz-bang super-capable computer. It's just as much trouble to look-out after a 5,000 RAC machine as a 50,000 RAC machine.



I will only add a bit a comment here....
I have stated and documented the fact that multiple rigs running a single GPU will fare better overall than one rig trying to support several GPUs.
You can see this in the top computer rankings for Seti.
Look at the output of some of the top rigs. Divide by the number of GPUs. Then compare to what some of the lesser rated rigs are doing with just one similar GPU. Not rocket science.
Cramming more and more GPUs into a single rig just results in bottlenecks that the CPU and motherboard cannot get past in most cases.

I am not stating anything about economics here. It indeed may be cheaper to add another GPU to an existing rig rather than building another platform.
It's just the law of diminishing returns in play.

I am just saying that if the economics are not the issue, you may well be better off in terms of productivity to launch another rig....and you add the additional CPU cores as well.

Meow for now.


Mark, I find that what you have said to be absolutely true.

...depending on the motherboard and if I try to run CPU tasks, also. My triple GPU machines run best when only the GPU is running AND I've noticed that my motherboards that have dual x16 slots, or even dual x8 slots, tend to fair better than my motherboards that slow everything down to x4 if you add another GPU.

Just as a for-instance, it "looks like" my dual 470 + one 560Ti rig with an 8-core CPU in it is doing fine (I "seem" to be getting about everything those cards did when in separate systems). That particular motherboard reverts to x 8 on each of four slots with more than 2 GPUs in it.

Even though the resource meter doesn't register any stress when some of the CPU is doing CPU crunching also, it does adversely affect the GPU's RAC. I'm guessing it is a main memory bus issue, but I don't know that.

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Message 1356722 - Posted: 14 Apr 2013, 4:11:56 UTC - in response to Message 1356170.

Fred this is realy important I just payed 145 bucks for a gtx 650 and I have just bought some upgrades I will be installing over the next few days but this info needs to be made a separate thread all by it's self i'm on a tight buget and every penny I can save is a better card or ram or m/b I can buy and donateing money in this way ,Seti@home getting some sort of payment is fantasic
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Message 1356800 - Posted: 14 Apr 2013, 9:46:12 UTC

Fred this is realy important I just payed 145 bucks for a gtx 650 and I have just bought some upgrades I will be installing over the next few days but this info needs to be made a separate thread all by it's self i'm on a tight buget and every penny I can save is a better card or ram or m/b I can buy and donateing money in this way ,Seti@home getting some sort of payment is fantasic
There's some background in old threads such as the initial News thread and msattler's thread. Probably is time for a fresh update on this funding source.
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Message boards : Number crunching : What exactly am I looking for in a GPU?

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