Getting the most production for the least electricity

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Profile Tom Miller
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Message 1873127 - Posted: 15 Jun 2017, 13:36:11 UTC
Last modified: 15 Jun 2017, 13:38:13 UTC

I do remember reading a thread that was dated from a few years ago that reviewed this question for the common GPU's at the time. The results were that the GTX 750 Ti card produced the most production per watt.

I currently have an average electricity bill of about $150 / mo and a pretty warm office. :)

One of the reasons I have that high a bill is I live in a mobile home. The other reason comes down to having an elderly HP Z-400 running a Xeon W35xx that makes a decent heater as well as a not completely slow Seti processor.

If I find I can afford it, I might "trade up" to a faster and less costly to run PC. In fact, I am experimenting with one right now. But the Z-400 is a mid-sized tower with a Raid 1 so it can be a triple threat (file server, print server, and seti server). The other is a Microtower so it doesn't really spell "Server" :)

Any analysis you want to share with us?

Tom
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Message 1873129 - Posted: 15 Jun 2017, 13:42:19 UTC - in response to Message 1873127.  
Last modified: 15 Jun 2017, 13:43:43 UTC

For GPUs you will find this nice GPU Chart

For CPUs, basically pay attention to the TDP for their heating effect.
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Message 1873175 - Posted: 15 Jun 2017, 17:02:37 UTC - in response to Message 1873129.  

For GPUs you will find this nice GPU Chart

For CPUs, basically pay attention to the TDP for their heating effect.


Thank you for pointing me to that spiffy chart.

Now I wonder if we can come up with an approximation of the same information for cpu's....

Tom
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Message 1873297 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 9:36:12 UTC - in response to Message 1873127.  
Last modified: 16 Jun 2017, 9:44:10 UTC

I do remember reading a thread that was dated from a few years ago that reviewed this question for the common GPU's at the time. The results were that the GTX 750 Ti card produced the most production per watt.

I currently have an average electricity bill of about $150 / mo and a pretty warm office. :)

One of the reasons I have that high a bill is I live in a mobile home. The other reason comes down to having an elderly HP Z-400 running a Xeon W35xx that makes a decent heater as well as a not completely slow Seti processor.

If I find I can afford it, I might "trade up" to a faster and less costly to run PC. In fact, I am experimenting with one right now. But the Z-400 is a mid-sized tower with a Raid 1 so it can be a triple threat (file server, print server, and seti server). The other is a Microtower so it doesn't really spell "Server" :)

Any analysis you want to share with us?

Tom

One thought.
I have two Z400s (as well as 2 Z600s) that had W3550s in them, changed the CPUs out to X5675s. The 5675s are hexa-core Xeons, and make a lot less heat than the older quad-core W3550s did and also less power consumption. Just be sure your BIOS and Bootblock are current. The older bootblock didn't support the X-series, and cannot be updated. I can get you specifics, if this sounds interesting. iirc, I paid under $75 each for the 5675s on eBay.
Edit: Good site for CPU info, allows side-by-side comparisons such as the one I pre-populated for X5675 vs. W3550 here.
Jim ...
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Message 1873317 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 11:15:26 UTC - in response to Message 1873297.  

One thought.
I have two Z400s (as well as 2 Z600s) that had W3550s in them, changed the CPUs out to X5675s. The 5675s are hexa-core Xeons, and make a lot less heat than the older quad-core W3550s did and also less power consumption. Just be sure your BIOS and Bootblock are current. The older bootblock didn't support the X-series, and cannot be updated. I can get you specifics, if this sounds interesting. iirc, I paid under $75 each for the 5675s on eBay.
Edit: Good site for CPU info, allows side-by-side comparisons such as the one I pre-populated for X5675 vs. W3550 here.
Jim ...


Rats! I just upgraded to an X5680 which draws (in theory) upto 10 more watts than my X3565. I think the key distinction besides a current bios is that the Z-400 has 6 Dimm memory slots instead of 4.

On the other hand, it does seem to be running cooler. The only other difference from yours is mine is slightly faster at 3.44Ghz but I haven't really seen a difference in the length of time it takes my tasks to process. Either way, 12 cores looks way more impressive than 8! :)

I need to write an article on "hot rodding" your Z-400 for all those people still running ones with 2.52Ghz.

Thank you.

Tom
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Message 1873392 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 17:13:04 UTC - in response to Message 1873297.  

I have two Z400s (as well as 2 Z600s) that had W3550s in them, changed the CPUs out to X5675s. The 5675s are hexa-core Xeons, and make a lot less heat than the older quad-core W3550s did and also less power consumption. Just be sure your BIOS and Bootblock are current. The older bootblock didn't support the X-series, and cannot be updated. I can get you specifics, if this sounds interesting. iirc, I paid under $75 each for the 5675s on eBay.
Edit: Good site for CPU info, allows side-by-side comparisons such as the one I pre-populated for X5675 vs. W3550 here.
Jim ...


Jim,
I think I understand about the Bios. I want to know more about the "bootblock" stuff before I write that great article "How to Hot Rod your HP Z-400/600 and cool it down" :)

Thank you.
Tom
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Message 1873462 - Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 0:10:04 UTC - in response to Message 1873175.  

For GPUs you will find this nice GPU Chart

For CPUs, basically pay attention to the TDP for their heating effect.


Thank you for pointing me to that spiffy chart.

Now I wonder if we can come up with an approximation of the same information for cpu's....

Tom

Newer generation CPUs are normally more efficient than their previous generation.
When looking to upgrade and you want to be "more efficient" there are a few avenues to help guide your decision.
A) Same power usage and greater output.
B) Lower power usage and the same output.
C) Somewhere between A & B
D) Lower power usage and greater output.
E) Lower power usage and less output.
There isn't normally much gain from one generation to the next, but skipping several gens can't be rather noticeable.
A current gen i5, or probably even an i3, would run circles around a Xeon X5680.

For me what I need the machine to do is what I solve first. Then I try to find the most efficient options.
Like one of my machines is a low powered Celeron J1900. Which pulls ~23w at full SETI@home load. For fun I popped a GTX 750 Ti to see if it hand enough ommph to feed the GPU as well. So now the system power usage is up to ~60w. The systems purpose is file storage, running scripts for reports about my network, and some other tasks. I plan to use it for some home automation stuff once I get around to it as well.

If I wanted to build a system dedicated to running SETI@home today. I would go for:
i5-7400 CPU
H270 motherboard
two GTX 1060 3GB's
650w 80Plus Platinum PSU
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Message 1873477 - Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 0:57:08 UTC - in response to Message 1873462.  

i5-7400 CPU
H270 motherboard
two GTX 1060 3GB's
650w 80Plus Platinum PSU

Even with Petrie's special, total draw of that system would be around 350W (65+120+120+ rest of system) (SSD for boot/storage & 16GB RAM).
For that system i'd go with a 500W (brand name) PSU- 45%-55% load is roughly the sweet spot for a switch mode PSU maximum efficiency (that band is wider the higher the rating of the PSU- Bronze, Gold, Platinum etc) (The lower the load the less efficient, the closer to it's maximum rating the more likely problems are, so 65-75% of it's maximum rating is a good compromise).
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Message 1873481 - Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 1:10:28 UTC - in response to Message 1873477.  

My guess for a 1060 would be around 85W, a 1070 is 125-130W.
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Message 1873486 - Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 1:28:01 UTC

My 3570K with dual 3GB 1060's pulls an average of 245W while my 2500K with dual 3GB 1060's pulls an average of 270W from the 230v wall sockets while crunching so I've very happy with the running cost/performance of these setups.

More modern i5 CPU's should be even better than them.

Cheers.
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Message 1873551 - Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 11:31:49 UTC - in response to Message 1873462.  

If I wanted to build a system dedicated to running SETI@home today. I would go for:
i5-7400 CPU
H270 motherboard
two GTX 1060 3GB's
650w 80Plus Platinum PSU


Hal,

Why an i5 instead of an i7?

Tom
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Message 1873580 - Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 14:05:52 UTC - in response to Message 1873477.  

i5-7400 CPU
H270 motherboard
two GTX 1060 3GB's
650w 80Plus Platinum PSU

Even with Petrie's special, total draw of that system would be around 350W (65+120+120+ rest of system) (SSD for boot/storage & 16GB RAM).
For that system i'd go with a 500W (brand name) PSU- 45%-55% load is roughly the sweet spot for a switch mode PSU maximum efficiency (that band is wider the higher the rating of the PSU- Bronze, Gold, Platinum etc) (The lower the load the less efficient, the closer to it's maximum rating the more likely problems are, so 65-75% of it's maximum rating is a good compromise).

There are a few reasons I decided on a 650W PSU.
1) It gives headroom to add a 3rd GPU. I estimated total system load to be ~230w for 2 GPUs and ~320w for 3 GPUs.
2) Efficiency actually starts to fall off after 50%. At least all of the data in the 80 PLUS Verification and Testing Reports indicates that it does.
Here is part of the report for the PSU I have in mind. http://i.imgur.com/V7VDR1J.png
3) The PSUs series that I currently get starts at 650w and go up.
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Message 1873582 - Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 14:18:40 UTC - in response to Message 1873551.  

If I wanted to build a system dedicated to running SETI@home today. I would go for:
i5-7400 CPU
H270 motherboard
two GTX 1060 3GB's
650w 80Plus Platinum PSU


Hal,

Why an i5 instead of an i7?

Tom

As I was specing the system for dedicated SETI@home use. Mostly cost and efficiency.
I would rather put the $110 difference in cost between the CPUs towards a 3rd GPU for a dedicated system.
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Message 1873625 - Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 19:02:33 UTC - in response to Message 1873582.  

Hal,

Why an i5 instead of an i7?

Tom
As I was specing the system for dedicated SETI@home use. Mostly cost and efficiency.
I would rather put the $110 difference in cost between the CPUs towards a 3rd GPU for a dedicated system.


Hal,
That leads to the question of does the proposed motherboard have "space" for a third GPU or do we get into "risers" and/or taking it out of its case?

This is fascinating thank you for the conversation.

Tom
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Message 1873641 - Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 19:49:20 UTC - in response to Message 1873625.  

Hal,

Why an i5 instead of an i7?

Tom
As I was specing the system for dedicated SETI@home use. Mostly cost and efficiency.
I would rather put the $110 difference in cost between the CPUs towards a 3rd GPU for a dedicated system.


Hal,
That leads to the question of does the proposed motherboard have "space" for a third GPU or do we get into "risers" and/or taking it out of its case?

This is fascinating thank you for the conversation.

Tom

The MB I considered for this configuration does have 3 PCIe x16 slots. Two of them are only x4 electrical, but that shouldn't be much of an issue.
Here are links to the parts I had in mind. MB, CPU, Mem, PSU, GPUs
I would probably use a M.2 SSD I already have, but if I needed to order one SSD
A case is always optional, but I did recently order a Thermaltake V51... I'm not sure why I did... maybe I'll use it for my next gaming PC build?
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Message 1873689 - Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 22:51:48 UTC - in response to Message 1873580.  

2) Efficiency actually starts to fall off after 50%. At least all of the data in the 80 PLUS Verification and Testing Reports indicates that it does.

And below 50%. However the rate of decline above 60% is much less than the rate of decline when below 40%.
I think it depends on how well designed, and how honestly it's rated. Good design & honestly rated, around 50% is the maximum efficiency. But it can be 45-55% of it's rated value, depending on how they come up with that value 45%- conservative, 55%- optimistic).

If you've plans to add another GPU, then yeah, you want the 650W PSU.
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Message 1873777 - Posted: 18 Jun 2017, 9:02:17 UTC

strange to see such low loads as being the optimum power point when even half decent designs should be aiming at 80%+ as the optimum power point, a well designed sitting nearer the 95% point.
my last multi load PSU had its optiyum power point at about 94% peak load.
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Message 1878220 - Posted: 14 Jul 2017, 15:14:13 UTC
Last modified: 14 Jul 2017, 15:24:11 UTC

So back to the "Getting the most production for the least electricity". I have started a "Z machines" thread here https://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=81696 so Al, Jim and anyone else interested in the HP Z machines can talk about them.

We have spec's for a dedicated Boinc/Seti machine running an i5 and two gtx 1060's with possible upgrade to a third 1060 from Hal9000. He proposed a https://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=81586&postid=1873641#1873641

Hal9000 said:

If I wanted to build a system dedicated to running SETI@home today. I would go for:
i5-7400 CPU
H270 motherboard
two GTX 1060 3GB's
650w 80Plus Platinum PSU


In a later post Hal9000 said
The MB I considered for this configuration does have 3 PCIe x16 slots. Two of them are only x4 electrical, but that shouldn't be much of an issue.
Here are links to the parts I had in mind. MB, CPU, Mem, PSU, GPUs


edit: Darn, lost the links to the parts!
http://www.gigabyte.us/Motherboard/GA-H270-HD3-rev-10#sp
http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/bls8g4d240fsb
http://ark.intel.com/products/97147/Intel-Core-i5-7400-Processor-6M-Cache-up-to-3_50-GHz
And a couple of a PS and Gpu's that the website link is down on.

So the other question is for most efficient all BOINC projects specs would someone propose?

Tom
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Message 1878406 - Posted: 15 Jul 2017, 17:03:17 UTC
Last modified: 15 Jul 2017, 17:14:23 UTC

What are you running that has at least 4 cores or more w/Hyper Threading and that has less than a 135 watt TDP?

I got to poking around on Wikipedia and found that I could find a lot of the lower wattage Intel TDP cpu's. There seem to be quite a few 65(?) watt ones that still run at or above 3Ghz.

The really low wattage ones seem to go down to 2Ghz or lower really fast.

I am interested in an efficient for any BOINC project targeted system. It seems like I really need 3+ Ghz on the motherboard since that is where all the processing will be on those projects.

And the more cores the merrier (or at least the total production).

The X5675 at 95 watts (3.06Ghz, 6c/12t) fits into this range. That cpu runs on a C2 version of the HP Z600 (boot date block x/x/2010). JimBocous reported that he also was able to run that cpu on some HP Z400's. My understanding is a Z400 with 6 memory slots will run the X56xx cpus. I am running a Z400 with an X5680 (3.44Ghz, 6c/12t) but the 5680 is NOT a lower wattage cpu :)

So does an i7-3770 (3.4Ghz, 4c/8t) at 77 watts TDP. I found mine living in a Dell 7010 Microtower (you can't put a high end video card in there but a low wattage GTX 750Ti works or a low wattage Gtx 1050Ti should work). The PS is something like 235 watts and experimentation with a more powerful PS and a GTX 1060 Ti burned the MB out in about a month, so I don't recommend higher end video cards.

Thanks,
Tom
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Message 1878505 - Posted: 16 Jul 2017, 6:50:06 UTC - in response to Message 1878220.  

So back to the "Getting the most production for the least electricity". I have started a "Z machines" thread here https://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=81696 so Al, Jim and anyone else interested in the HP Z machines can talk about them.

We have spec's for a dedicated Boinc/Seti machine running an i5 and two gtx 1060's with possible upgrade to a third 1060 from Hal9000. He proposed a https://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=81586&postid=1873641#1873641

Hal9000 said:

If I wanted to build a system dedicated to running SETI@home today. I would go for:
i5-7400 CPU
H270 motherboard
two GTX 1060 3GB's
650w 80Plus Platinum PSU


In a later post Hal9000 said
The MB I considered for this configuration does have 3 PCIe x16 slots. Two of them are only x4 electrical, but that shouldn't be much of an issue.
Here are links to the parts I had in mind. MB, CPU, Mem, PSU, GPUs


edit: Darn, lost the links to the parts!
http://www.gigabyte.us/Motherboard/GA-H270-HD3-rev-10#sp
http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/bls8g4d240fsb
http://ark.intel.com/products/97147/Intel-Core-i5-7400-Processor-6M-Cache-up-to-3_50-GHz
And a couple of a PS and Gpu's that the website link is down on.

So the other question is for most efficient all BOINC projects specs would someone propose?

Tom

Here are links to the parts from my previous post. MB, CPU, Mem, PSU, GPUs, & SSD.

Due to projects having different kinds of processing needs. There is not really a single configuration that would be the most efficient for all BOINC projects.
A project could be optimized for one type of hardware and another project could be optimized for something different.
Milkyway for example uses DP (double precision) computation. This is important to know when selecting a GPU to use for their project.
As Nvidia GPUs have a DP limit of 1/32 SP GFLOPS & Radeon GPUs have a DP limit of 1/16 SP GFLOPS. So Radeon GPUs tend to be more desirable for that project when shopping for standard desktop GPUs.

Since I don't make dedicated crunching machines. I spec my systems for what I need and then see how the configuration runs the tasks for my projects.
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