Taking over SETI rig management for my dad, settings and configurations?

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Message 1917090 - Posted: 5 Feb 2018, 15:34:00 UTC
Last modified: 5 Feb 2018, 15:38:21 UTC

Steve, you've gotten a lot of good advice, I guess all I can add is a comment. Your timing stinks, for upgrading your machines GPU crunching capabilities that is.. lol As you probably have seen if you have done any GPU shopping as of late, pickings are pretty sparse, and what is available is outrageously expensive. Take a look at Christmas money pouring into Newegg.... for some current chatter about it, and Ok, what the heck is going on with limiting availability of video cards?? At least at Micro Center? for a little more historical perspective on it. None of which will help you either feel better, or get you one step closer to a reasonably priced upgrade, but you'll understand. But then again, you mentioned that you mine, so you could already be well aware of it, just thought I'd pass it along for a reference.

Best of luck with upgrading your Dad's systems, I hope he still gets some enjoyment out of them even if he isn't actively maintaining them, actually hopefully you guys enjoy doing this together. I lost my Dad a little over 2 years ago, and there are times I'd love to be able to share this or that with him, so it's great that you get to work with him on this still, it's a blessing, even though learning the software can be frustrating at times. ;-) Trust me, I understand, I am diving into getting my copy of RedHat Linux running BOINC, and it is a steep learning curve for me. Linux and I have had a love/hate (mostly hate on my part, TBH) for 20 some odd years - off and on (mostly off) but this time I have decided I'd conquer it! Isn't going to be fast or pretty, but I will win - so says me, at least today... lol

Well, best of luck getting all your boxes updated, with all the advice you have recieved, you're well on your way to getting them outputting to their fullest potential.

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Message 1917156 - Posted: 5 Feb 2018, 18:48:32 UTC - in response to Message 1917090.  

Steve, you've gotten a lot of good advice, I guess all I can add is a comment. Your timing stinks, for upgrading your machines GPU crunching capabilities that is.. lol As you probably have seen if you have done any GPU shopping as of late, pickings are pretty sparse, and what is available is outrageously expensive. Take a look at Christmas money pouring into Newegg.... for some current chatter about it, and Ok, what the heck is going on with limiting availability of video cards?? At least at Micro Center? for a little more historical perspective on it. None of which will help you either feel better, or get you one step closer to a reasonably priced upgrade, but you'll understand. But then again, you mentioned that you mine, so you could already be well aware of it, just thought I'd pass it along for a reference.

Best of luck with upgrading your Dad's systems, I hope he still gets some enjoyment out of them even if he isn't actively maintaining them, actually hopefully you guys enjoy doing this together. I lost my Dad a little over 2 years ago, and there are times I'd love to be able to share this or that with him, so it's great that you get to work with him on this still, it's a blessing, even though learning the software can be frustrating at times. ;-) Trust me, I understand, I am diving into getting my copy of RedHat Linux running BOINC, and it is a steep learning curve for me. Linux and I have had a love/hate (mostly hate on my part, TBH) for 20 some odd years - off and on (mostly off) but this time I have decided I'd conquer it! Isn't going to be fast or pretty, but I will win - so says me, at least today... lol

Well, best of luck getting all your boxes updated, with all the advice you have recieved, you're well on your way to getting them outputting to their fullest potential.


Hi, I guess i should clarify.

My name is Ian, my dad's name is Steve. I'm using his account to post because after creating my own account I was unable to post due to no contribution credit. Plus it makes it easy for people to check out our profile to see the systems running and whatnot. My dad is 75 and doesn't really do online forums or social media. in the 17 or so years he's been contributing, he only made one single post on this message board back in 2005 LOL. So if you see recent posts, it's 100% chance that it's me.

I'm aware of the GPU pricing. I do some mining myself. I purchased the 2x 1050tis for the most recent machine LAST Christmas (over a year ago) before the prices went all crazy. But I'm no fool, I bought all my current mining cards at good retail prices (between Thanksgiving 2017 and early January 2018), and refuse to buy anything at the crazy gouged prices.

and that's why I'm looking at 700 series cards for the upgrades for now. they still apparently do a good amount of work and are cheap. i bought 4 cards from ebay, 3x 760s and 1x 750ti. average price about $85/each. this doesnt seem too bad in my opinion. there actually seems to be more demand for the 750tis than the 760s (based on bidding competition and selling price on ebay) which i don't understand, but i guess the lower power consumption is a selling point. When the cards show up, I'll get to work configuring everything.

I think my dad would prefer the 2 systems to stay on windows, He's a life long microsoft/windows user, and the Summit(1) machine was actually still running Win XP x64 lol, I threw it on Ubuntu when we lost the XP key, and Win 7 wouldn't install on the old hardware. but for now he seems very pleased with a setup. We went from having computers just laying around, to actually getting 3 systems mounted in a 25U rack. and we might toss one of the others in the rack as well. Summit1,2,3 are all in SuperMicro 4U cases.
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Message 1917192 - Posted: 5 Feb 2018, 21:13:17 UTC

oh and one more thing.

obviously we have a lot of CPU power here. but it seems like many people are running multi GPU setups primarily and putting focus there.

i assume at one point there was still value to CPU power, as there were CPU only WUs, but is that still the case? has everything moved to being able to be crunched on the GPU? or are there still some CPU only units that need love too?
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Message 1917198 - Posted: 5 Feb 2018, 21:31:56 UTC - in response to Message 1917192.  

There are still CPU task but the gpus can do them much faster. So it’s your choice
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Message 1917203 - Posted: 5 Feb 2018, 21:41:26 UTC - in response to Message 1917198.  

Or the cpu tasks are very lean power consumption wise versus power hungry gpu tasks. Low and slow . . . . . or high and fast approaches.
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Message 1917255 - Posted: 6 Feb 2018, 0:56:22 UTC

I mean are there cpu ONLY tasks? WUs that can't be processed on a GPU
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Message 1917263 - Posted: 6 Feb 2018, 1:20:49 UTC - in response to Message 1917255.  

I mean are there cpu ONLY tasks? WUs that can't be processed on a GPU

Only Arecibo VLAR's are not sent to Nvidia cards. So they end up processed only on the cpu's for Nvidia based systems. Other than that one special condition, all tasks are the same and can be processed on either the cpu or gpu.
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Message 1917270 - Posted: 6 Feb 2018, 2:03:22 UTC - in response to Message 1917263.  

thanks.

am i to assume these WU can be processed on AMD cards then? since you called out nvidia
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Message 1917278 - Posted: 6 Feb 2018, 2:46:22 UTC - in response to Message 1917270.  

thanks.

am i to assume these WU can be processed on AMD cards then? since you called out nvidia

Yes, the Arecibo VLAR's work well on AMD cards. The decision to limit Arecibo VLAR's to Nvidia cards was made several years ago I believe on Kepler and earlier families. That decision is still in force even though you can process them on Maxwell and Pascal cards with not too much performance loss if you reschedule them. SETI always configures for the lowest hardware in existence, to its detriment in my opinion. Most of us aren't running on a 2 core cpu just to get the pretty BOINC screen saver.
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Message 1918104 - Posted: 10 Feb 2018, 20:15:55 UTC
Last modified: 10 Feb 2018, 20:47:12 UTC

well thanks for the help everyone.

I upgraded some systems and added 5 more GPUs to the mix. added 3x GTX 760's and 2x GTX 750tis.

current specs:

1. Sierra-Summit
SuperMicro CSE-743S1-645B 4U chassis
SuperMicro X7DA8+
2x Intel Xeon E5440 (8 cores total, no HT)
EVGA GTX 760 (2x WUs)
Ubuntu 17.10 x64

2. Sierra-Prize2
SuperMicro X7DA8+
2x Intel Xeon E5440 (8 cores total, no HT)
EVGA GTX 760 SC (2x WUs)
EVGA GTX 760 SC (2x WUs)
Windows 7 Ult x64
Lunatics mod

3. Sierra-Summit2
SuperMicro CSE-743TQ-1200B-SQ 4U chassis
SuperMicro X9DAi
2x Intel Xeon E5-2680v2 (20 cores, 40 threads)
EVGA GTX 760 (2x WUs)
EVGA GTX 760 (2x WUs)
Windows 7 Ult x64
Lunatics mod

4. Sierra-Summit3
SuperMicro CSE-743TQ-1200B-SQ 4U chassis
SuperMicro X9DAE
2x Intel Xeon E5-2697v2 (24 cores, 48 threads)
EVGA GTX 1050Ti SSC (3x WU)
EVGA GTX 1050Ti SSC (3x WU)
Windows 7 Ult x64
Lunatics mod

5. Sierra-Spare
RocketFish (BestBuy) LianLi rebadged EATX full tower case
SuperMicro X9DRi-LN4F+
2x Intel Xeon E5-2690v1 (16 cores, 32 threads)
EVGA GTX 750ti FTW (2x WUs)
EVGA GTX 750ti FTW (2x WUs)
Ubuntu 17.10 x64

just need to let them run a few weeks to see where RAC lands. should be a healthy boost from before i started tweaking them. and i need to figure out how to apply the lunatics mod for the linux boxes, or look into the petri thing mentioned previously.
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Message 1918106 - Posted: 10 Feb 2018, 20:33:23 UTC - in response to Message 1918104.  

You can supply the optimized SoG tunings for the Linux OpenCL app just the same as in Windows. You can run the Petri 'special sauce' CUDA app on the GTX 750Ti as it has the minimum CC 5.0 necessary. The GTX 760 only has CC 3.0 and isn't compatible with Petri's app.

It really isn't all that hard to get the special app running in Linux. The hardest part is to get the Linux installation completed. Look over the special app threads here in the forum and get the app from Crunchers Anonymous.
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Message 1918119 - Posted: 10 Feb 2018, 21:05:12 UTC - in response to Message 1918106.  

Stave has the same NVidia driver installed as many people here. So dropping the 'sauce' in should be straight forward.
... Just run your cache dry first so you don't ghost all the tasks you have ....
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Message 1918120 - Posted: 10 Feb 2018, 21:06:49 UTC
Last modified: 10 Feb 2018, 21:08:59 UTC

yeah i was just reading that. i'll look into it more. I didn't know the 750ti was a Maxwell card. i kind of assumed it was a lesser card than the 760s. maybe for gaming it is lol.

I added some more hardware info to my post. when i first started hooking things up, I planned to put the 2x 750Tis into the Summit(1) machine because it only has a 650W PSU. but i couldn't get it to POST and boot reliably, 50% of the time it wouldn't post with a VGA error beep code, the other 50% it would POST, but only if the card was in the second PCIe slot. tried all the BIOS settings i could but just couldnt get it working. swapped in the 760 and it worked beautifully. but only plugged in a single card due to power concerns (and lack of appropriate connectors). I think it must be some kind of compatibility issue between these cards and the SM X7DA8+ motherboard. it's quite an old system, I don't know.

moved the 750tis to the Spare system and worked right away with the X9 series motherboard. and the other X9 series board in the Summit3 system works fine with the 1050tis. maybe it's a PCIe gen issue or something.
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Message 1918127 - Posted: 10 Feb 2018, 21:31:18 UTC

some pics cause why not

Summit Rack



Spare (taken with 760s, has 750tis now)


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Message 1918139 - Posted: 10 Feb 2018, 22:08:09 UTC - in response to Message 1918127.  

Nice, there used to be a show me yours, I'll show you mine thread where we all showed off our machines. But I think it's long ago locked and way , way down on the boards.
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Message 1918156 - Posted: 10 Feb 2018, 23:31:30 UTC

Nice rack! You should compare your rack to Al's or RuieKe's.
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Message 1918303 - Posted: 11 Feb 2018, 18:57:37 UTC
Last modified: 11 Feb 2018, 18:58:48 UTC

i googled some seti rig pics and found those old threads.

i was surprised that it seems like very few people are running very GPU heavy systems with a riser setup. most systems i've come across have all cards on board with 2/3 or sometimes 4 GPUs. I figured the top producers would be running 7/8/+ GPU rigs in the same kind of open air rigs that the mining guys use. I saw a few SETI builds like this, but it definitely seems to be the minority. it seems most of the top producers are just running a massive number of individual systems

is there a reason for this? is there just not much experience with the riser setups and people are adverse to try something "new"? does SETI crunching require more bandwidth too and from the card that the 1x PCIe link isn't enough?

for example, here is my main ETH mining rig:

G3930 Celeron processor
8GB single stick DDR4-2400 ram
ASUS Prime H270-Plus motherboard
6x RX 570 4GB
2x RX 580 4GB
1200w PSU
Rosewill RSV-L4500 case that i modified to fit everything




i figured setups like this would be an absolute monster for SETI, but i didnt really see anyone doing stuff like this. sure i'd need to toss in a new CPU and some more ram for seti maybe, but everything could be the same. I made this system cause i wanted the density and i wanted to mount it in my rack, it would be even easier/cheaper to make this in an open air frame type setup.

just curious why SETI guys aren't going for high GPU count systems and sticking to 4 or less. you save a bit on total energy consumption the more GPUs you cram into a single system since you arent powering multiple CPUs/motherboards/HDDs, etc.
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Message 1918306 - Posted: 11 Feb 2018, 19:10:29 UTC

It depends on the project and the kinds of task that they put out. Einstein is one that I am familiar with and that shows definite performance reduction if the gpu's are in less than PCIe X8 or X16 slots.

Seti can get away with X1 slots easily but does see improvement if the gpu is at faster slot speeds. I see a very slight difference from a card in X4 compared to its identical mate in a X8 slot.
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Message 1918307 - Posted: 11 Feb 2018, 19:13:45 UTC - in response to Message 1918303.  

Can only speak for myself. I go for high end GPUs as the time to complete is much faster than a 750Ti.

Did I have a system with risers? Yup. I start off with some 650 and work my way up. At one point I had 4 750Ti in a case with Risers. Then I started to upgrade the cards. Once I hit the 780Tis, I found the cards weren't working with the Risers anymore. Tried different configurations. Eventually made the decision to just go for a extended motherboard with high end CPUs and lots of lanes. Stuck in a huge PSU and there you go.
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Message 1918309 - Posted: 11 Feb 2018, 19:18:29 UTC - in response to Message 1918307.  

Think the issue with the early versions of risers is that the additional power connections for the higher wattage cards wasn't thought out or engineered very well. Seems the miners came up with adequate hardware and power solutions to use lots of X1 risers. The motherboard manufacturers are releasing specifically designed mining motherboards with dozens of X1 slots right on the motherboard ready for X1 riser cables to be plugged in.
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Message boards : Number crunching : Taking over SETI rig management for my dad, settings and configurations?


 
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