GPU hardware advice on Win10

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Message 1978909 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 15:13:08 UTC

Hi all. After a long time, I am resuming my SAH crunching. I have a few questions regarding GPUs and Win10 machine advice in general:

1)I have a Lenovo M910 Tower but it only has a 250w power supply and currently only an integrated Intel video. Would you be able to suggest a great GPU card for this machine that won't draw too much power and damage the machine yet give good crunch times? 15+ years ago I was a hardcore hardware guy but life has moved on and I have gotten out of touch with hardware in highly technical fashion. I don't know how to measure CUDA performance of 2019 cards vs. 2016 cards, for example...and maybe there is no easy way to compare. I would love to spend less than $150 (for brand new...not sure if I trust buying a used GPU) that will work in this Lenovo. My goal would be that the GPU crunch each SAH work unit in 15 mins or less.

2)I have a 2017 iMac with an i7 chip and the AMD Radeon Pro 575 GPU and that crunches 1 SAH work unit every 5-6 minutes! To me, that is incredibly fast. My Lenovo M910 (which I never bought for diehard video performance) takes 2 hours per SAH WU. I don't expect to find my answer in #1 to match this iMac, but it is a performance reference for you.

3)In general, do you recommend a particular make/model Win10 machine that I do not have to build myself that would match or exceed my iMac? I refuse to buy HP but if you suggest a Dell or Lenovo or whatever brand I am all ears. The iMac 2 years ago was $2300. I would hope that given the passed time and buying Wintel over Apple I could find such a competitor for $1200 or less. But again, I don't want to build the box. I have bought Lenovos in the past few years because I get an employee discount.

Thank you all very much and I am excited to be back!
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Message 1978915 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 15:35:01 UTC

You need to know if there is and how much spare power there is on that Lenovo M910 Tower. If you have no way of measuring it then a Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor is helpful. Can be used to check out all sorts of home appliances.

For Nvidia 10 series cards then this page tells you the power needed, https://www.nvidia.com/en-gb/geforce/products/10series/compare/.

At a guess you might have ~100W spare and the 1050/1050i at 75W might be doable. As the spec sheet says that it can power the AMD Radeon™ R7 350 which is also rated at 75W.
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Message 1978918 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 15:48:18 UTC - in response to Message 1978915.  
Last modified: 6 Feb 2019, 16:01:00 UTC

You need to know if there is and how much spare power there is on that Lenovo M910 Tower. If you have no way of measuring it then a Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor is helpful. Can be used to check out all sorts of home appliances...


Yes, I forgot to mention that the M910 draws about 100w when BOINC is running 24x7. I was aiming to find a card at 75w or less so I have a buffer.

Would you or anyone here have any feedback on how the GEFORCE GTX 1050 performs crunching SAH? Meaning, how long does it take to crunch 1 WU?

Thanks again!
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Message 1978927 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 16:18:19 UTC - in response to Message 1978918.  

You need to know if there is and how much spare power there is on that Lenovo M910 Tower. If you have no way of measuring it then a Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor is helpful. Can be used to check out all sorts of home appliances...


Yes, I forgot to mention that the M910 draws about 100w when BOINC is running 24x7. I was aiming to find a card at 75w or less so I have a buffer.

Would you or anyone here have any feedback on how the GEFORCE GTX 1050 performs crunching SAH? Meaning, how long does it take to crunch 1 WU?

Thanks again!

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=81962&postid=1970134#1970134
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Message 1978929 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 16:22:30 UTC - in response to Message 1978918.  

You need to know if there is and how much spare power there is on that Lenovo M910 Tower. If you have no way of measuring it then a Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor is helpful. Can be used to check out all sorts of home appliances...


Yes, I forgot to mention that the M910 draws about 100w when BOINC is running 24x7. I was aiming to find a card at 75w or less so I have a buffer.

Would you or anyone here have any feedback on how the GEFORCE GTX 1050 performs crunching SAH? Meaning, how long does it take to crunch 1 WU?

Thanks again!

Hi Ej,

I run a GTX 1050Ti and one of my completed WUs ran: Run time - 23 min 57 sec -- CPU time - 14 min 12 sec

Hope this helps and have a great day! :)

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Message 1978934 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 16:36:38 UTC

I'm NOT sure on other brands, BUT the EVGA Line for the GTX-1050 ONLY draws power from the PCI-e Slot on the Motherboard of the computer. NO additional power from the PSU is needed. So, this would be a good choice to keep within the 75 Watt or less power draw from the PSU of your system.

When looking for a GTX-1050/1050TI for your system, make sure the card has NO Pin-out plugs on the top of the card. If it does, that means it needs extra power from the PSU.


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Message 1978936 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 16:54:35 UTC - in response to Message 1978909.  
Last modified: 6 Feb 2019, 17:17:07 UTC

2)I have a 2017 iMac with an i7 chip and the AMD Radeon Pro 575 GPU and that crunches 1 SAH work unit every 5-6 minutes! To me, that is incredibly fast. My Lenovo M910 (which I never bought for diehard video performance) takes 2 hours per SAH WU. I don't expect to find my answer in #1 to match this iMac, but it is a performance reference for you....
You can make that machine a little better with very little work. First you need to update the version of BOINC you are running. The newer version has a number of improvements including the GPU Memory is detected correctly. The version you have has been known to show Negative GPU Memory, which causes problems on some Apps. Second, you can add settings to the OpenCL configure file that will speed up the GPU quite a bit. In the Library/Application Support/BOINC Data/projects/setiathome.berkeley.edu folder there is a file that begins with mb_cmdline_mac_OpenCL... That file is blank on the stock installs, you can add a few settings that will speed things up. Open the file with TextEdit and paste the following line into it, and then save it,
-sbs 1024 -oclfft_tune_gr 256 -oclfft_tune_wg 256 -spike_fft_thresh 4096 -pref_wg_num_per_cu 6 -period_iterations_num 16
Oh, every time you change a file in setiathome.berkeley.edu you have to set the permissions back to boinc_master. The easy way would be to just reinstall BOINC, that will reset the permissions back to owner boinc_master. You could use the Terminal to set permissions if you know how, https://boinc.berkeley.edu/wiki/Tools_for_Mac_OS_X#Using_BOINC.27s_security_features_with_the_stand-alone_BOINC_Client
That will make your GPU run close to My RX 570, Run time: 6 min 25 sec verses your present, Run time : 9 min 9 sec
There is also a Much better CPU App for the Mac, but, you would have to completely replace your Stock Apps with the Optimized Apps to use the CPU App. The package for your Mac would be the ATi5r3710&CPU-AVX2.7z Apps here, https://arkayn.us/forum/index.php?topic=191.msg4368#msg4368 You would need to change the Settings file on that package as well, I just got my 570 recently and was able to test it with different settings. It looks as though you aren't using the CPU, you could complete much more work using it. Just remember to free a CPU core to run the GPU. It would work best by just running 6 CPU Apps, verses 7 or 8, that way the machine would run cooler with less lag. The CPU App would run very fast if you just ran 4 cores with the boost enabled.
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Message 1978946 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 18:10:02 UTC - in response to Message 1978936.  

You can make that machine a little better with very little work. First you need to update the version of BOINC you are running....


Thanks for the tips! Most of my machines are idle for very long periods of time...months or years. I have set up a little farm in my basement to help with SAH and other projects.

Also, other than updating BOINC on the Mac, I'm not going to muck with the Macs...I know very little about how they work compared to my knowledge of Windows/DOS. The Mac I have is my wife's which is mainly used for pictures and I could never convince her to just buy a Wintel. :)

I would love to find a small/mid tower for around $1000 that would be 100% dedicated to SAH and give the best bang for the buck. If you or anyone has a make/model suggestion, I would appreciate it. I was looking at the Lenovo Thinkstation P330 which includes:

    Intel Xeon E-2134
    8GB RAM
    400Watt PSU
    NVIDIA Quadro P1000 4GB 4xMini DP High Profile
    Win10



For $1214 before any sales...$944 with my discount. Is either price a good price and offer good GPU crunching?...or would you customize the P330 differently? I have SAH set up to NOT use CPUs so maybe I can drop the CPU config and save ~$50 if it doesn't influence the GPU much/at all.

Thanks again!


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Message 1978969 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 20:35:26 UTC - in response to Message 1978946.  
Last modified: 6 Feb 2019, 20:39:54 UTC

Confused on the Quadro P1000 card with the (High Profile) parameter description. I am only aware of the standard P1000 which is a low profile card. It only has 640 CUDA cores.
https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/design-visualization/quadro-desktop-gpus/
If you are constrained by the P330 case dimensions to only using low profile cards, then this would be logical. However you could get a much more powerful card if you are not constrained by the case form factor.

[Edit] The Windows gpu application is OpenCL based and requires one full cpu core to support a gpu task. The application also can only do one task per card realistically. So if you are not going to do cpu tasks, a 4C/4T cpu would suffice and save some costs on configuration.
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Message 1978970 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 20:41:55 UTC - in response to Message 1978946.  

Well...
I for one am not a Windows person... since Win 10. I do have 8.1 around here somewhere, on some machine.
The last pre-built machine I bought was a 2008 Mac Pro, which is still crunching SETI very well using the CUDA Special App.

At present, the Windows platform is the slowest at SETI. Both Linux and macOS can use the CUDA Special App which is close to 3 times as fast as the OpenCL App.
All my experience is with self-built machines running either Linux or macOS, either one is a better choice at present. The best SETI machine at present is a self-built Linux machine running multiple GPUs,
such as this rather cheap machine, Coprocessors: [12] NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4040MB) driver: 396.54 OpenCL: 1.2
It uses a $200 CPU, an $80 motherboard, and all the GPUs you can muster.
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Message 1978972 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 20:48:35 UTC - in response to Message 1978946.  

You can make that machine a little better with very little work. First you need to update the version of BOINC you are running....


Thanks for the tips! Most of my machines are idle for very long periods of time...months or years. I have set up a little farm in my basement to help with SAH and other projects.

Also, other than updating BOINC on the Mac, I'm not going to muck with the Macs...I know very little about how they work compared to my knowledge of Windows/DOS. The Mac I have is my wife's which is mainly used for pictures and I could never convince her to just buy a Wintel. :)

I would love to find a small/mid tower for around $1000 that would be 100% dedicated to SAH and give the best bang for the buck. If you or anyone has a make/model suggestion, I would appreciate it. I was looking at the Lenovo Thinkstation P330 which includes:

    Intel Xeon E-2134
    8GB RAM
    400Watt PSU
    NVIDIA Quadro P1000 4GB 4xMini DP High Profile
    Win10



For $1214 before any sales...$944 with my discount. Is either price a good price and offer good GPU crunching?...or would you customize the P330 differently? I have SAH set up to NOT use CPUs so maybe I can drop the CPU config and save ~$50 if it doesn't influence the GPU much/at all.

Thanks again!



Just sent you a PM. (12:48 PM - Pacifc)


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Message 1978975 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 20:57:29 UTC

For ~$1000 you should be able to get your local computer shop to build you quite a reasonable computer in a "decent" sized case.
As Keith says a 4 (real) core CPU will be quite adequate, motherboard, with 4 or 8 GB RAM PSU (500-600W), hard drive (SSD is not really required as SETI does so little disk access) and a mid-range nVida GPU or two (GTX 1060 or RTX2060 would be a good starting point) - I've not the prices in the US, but in the UK that what should come within your budget, at less than £700 for the hardware plus whatever operating system you want to use. (And we often find that for computer stuff we are paying at £1=$1, despite the pound being at about £1=$1.30)
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Message 1978980 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 21:17:00 UTC

I just did a Google search for $1000 pre-built PC's and landed on this first. A quick start.
https://www.wepc.com/reviews/best-prebuilt-gaming-pc-under-1000/

The Amazon links to the Dell and the SkyTech computers stand out because they have 4 or 6 core cpus but with a decent GTX 1060 3GB gpu and 8 or 16GB memory with plenty of storage for just Seti usage. I would stay away from the AMD APU systems but a plain Ryzen 1200 or 1400 is fine.
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Message 1979005 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 22:47:20 UTC - in response to Message 1978980.  

I just did a Google search for $1000 pre-built PC's and landed on this first. A quick start.
https://www.wepc.com/reviews/best-prebuilt-gaming-pc-under-1000/

The Amazon links to the Dell and the SkyTech computers stand out because they have 4 or 6 core cpus but with a decent GTX 1060 3GB gpu and 8 or 16GB memory with plenty of storage for just Seti usage. I would stay away from the AMD APU systems but a plain Ryzen 1200 or 1400 is fine.


I agree about the AMD 2200g/2400g cpu/apus. They are neat ideas but not very fast crunchings for the gpu's. Practically anything from a gtx 750Ti on up is faster.

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Message 1979008 - Posted: 6 Feb 2019, 22:52:18 UTC - in response to Message 1979005.  

I agree about the AMD 2200g/2400g cpu/apus. They are neat ideas but not very fast crunchings for the gpu's. Practically anything from a gtx 750Ti on up is faster.

iGPUs are great for driving a monitor, while the addon cards can be used for crunching with the most aggressive settings with no impact on system responsiveness or display output.
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Message 1979409 - Posted: 8 Feb 2019, 19:41:40 UTC

I have a HP with a wimpy power supply that I put a NVIDIA 1130 GPU into. Way better than the INTEL CPU based GPU. Works very well without spending big $$$ on a more powerful non standard ATX HP replacement.
Note: Al older NVIDIA 730 also worked well.
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Message 1979789 - Posted: 10 Feb 2019, 22:43:49 UTC

After a driver update, LOCAL PREFERENCES r being ignored, vis-a-vis to NOT suspend when I use the system.

I can neither CHECK nor UNcheck ANYthing on the website, either PREFERRED or HOME.

As this is NOT immediately after a MS update debacle, I am stumped as to cause in this time-continuum.

TNX in advance for help,

Phil, WF3W
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Message 1979791 - Posted: 10 Feb 2019, 22:51:20 UTC - in response to Message 1979789.  

Did you go to the bottom of the website preferences page and select "Edit Preferences"? The website page just displays your current settings. Clicking on any item does nothing. You need to edit the preferences to make changes and then select Apply.
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Message 1979795 - Posted: 10 Feb 2019, 23:27:27 UTC - in response to Message 1979791.  

Did you go to the bottom of the website preferences page and select "Edit Preferences"? The website page just displays your current settings. Clicking on any item does nothing. You need to edit the preferences to make changes and then select Apply.

And then do an update in the BOINC manager on the associated computer.
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Message 1980223 - Posted: 14 Feb 2019, 3:32:28 UTC
Last modified: 14 Feb 2019, 3:32:42 UTC

Every Wednesday EVGA runs special on their refurbished stuff, psu, gpu, motherboards, some odd pieces.

As far as building pc, dell optiplex 990 with i5-2500 can be had on ebay for about 120 usd, max out the ram at 16 gb, stick used/grey market 120 gb ssd for 25 usd from ebay in it, get gtx 1050 from evga for 100 usd. You will have kick a$$ system for around 300 usd. Something like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-OptiPlex-990-MT-i5-2500-3-30GHz-4GB-RAM-320GB-HD-WINDOWS-10-PRO/254120032491?hash=item3b2abbf8eb:g:rZcAAOSw6n9cLki5:rk:40:pf:0&LH_BIN=1
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Message boards : Number crunching : GPU hardware advice on Win10


 
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