Posts by CyborgSam

1) Message boards : Number crunching : Ryzen and Threadripper (Message 2026642)
Posted 7 Jan 2020 by Profile CyborgSam
engadget wrote:
AMD's 64-core Threadripper will be available February 7th
If you have $3,990 to burn on a CPU, that is.
When AMD said its 64-core Threadripper 3990X would be ready in 2020, it apparently didn't intend to make people wait very long. The brag-worthy processor is now slated to be available on February 7th for a staggering $3,990 (yes, that matches the model number).

If anyone is feeling generous, feel free to buy me one. Or two, and include a mobo and a few GPUs...
2) Message boards : Politics : The Donald Trump Thread (IV) (Message 2023425)
Posted 17 Dec 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
... Note: Mr. Narcissist, if you do the Nixon you get secret service protection for life and you get to build your Library. ...

He'll build his library the way he's building his wall, he'll try to get someone else to pay for it. With the exception of his selfies and tweets the contents of his library could fit in a shoe box.

It amazes me how many people believe Clinton's lying about oral sex was a greater crime against the country than Trump's asking a foreign power to interfere with US elections.
3) Message boards : Number crunching : How to stop GPU use? (Message 2022851)
Posted 12 Dec 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
Probably preaching to the choir, just be glad I'm not singing Christmas carols...

Adequate airflow can be an issue even if the GPUs' fans are working OK. I tried cramming a Radeon RX 570 along with a Radeon RX560 in my Mac Pro. The airflow through the PCI & hard drive area just wasn't adequate for those two GPUs. It is adequate for two RX 560s.

GPUs, just like CPUs, use thermal compound to move heat from the silicon to the heat sink. This compound hardens with age and with heat (like we generate running CPUs at 100% load 24/7). As it ages and hardens the compound loses its thermal conductivity.

If the card is at least a couple of years old and you've blown all the dust out, it may be worth disassembling the card to replace the compound. I recommend Arctic Silver 5, it's worked fine for me for years. Be sure to clean both surfaces with isopropyl alcohol and blow them dry to ensure good contact. I use a piece of plastic wrap over my finger to apply the compound so I don't end up with a mess. OK, I still end up with a small mess, I blame old age...

I get at most three years from a laptop before it needs new compound. Not only do laptop processors run hot but the joint between the silicon and heatsink flexes from both heat extremes and mechanical motion. Desktops usually last longer before needing new compound.
4) Message boards : Number crunching : SETI/BOINC Milestones [ v2.0 ] - XXIX (Message 2021876)
Posted 5 Dec 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
Just passed 1B Seti total credits. 18 years in the making. Feels good.


Congrats, good job. My Raspberry Pis may reach 1B - in a million years... ;)

5) Message boards : Number crunching : Raspberry Pi & Other SBC Computers Discussion Thread :) (Message 2021287)
Posted 1 Dec 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
Bottom line: My ICE Tower cooled RPi4 Geekbenches at a 33% increase over out-of-the-box! It's running with over_voltage=5 and arm_freq=2100.

I searched and found some commonality among Raspberry Pi 4 overclockers. The practical cpu limit is arm_freq=2000, anything over is silicon lottery. The same appears to be true for over_voltage=5 (6 is the limit without voiding the warranty).

Some people used decimal values for over_voltage, e.g. 4.5. My interpretation of RPi's Overclocking options in config.txt is that decimal values aren't significant.

My experience showed that the GUI hung more when I increased gpu_freq. As I mentioned, SETI doesn't use this GPU and I run headless at 1440x900, so the standard GPU speed is fine.

My other RPi4 is running rock solid for over a day with over_voltage=4 and arm_freq=2000. I'll try increasing it after I install its soon-to-arrive ICE Tower.

Here's an interesting quirk I haven't investigated. Doing an lscpu gives what appear to be non-deterministic results:
freq lscpu
---- ---------
2000 2000.0000
2050 2194.9670
2100 2294.9670
2147 2294.9670

My RPi4 hung at 2147 but not at 2100. My guess is there really is a difference despite what lscpu shows.
6) Message boards : Number crunching : Raspberry Pi & Other SBC Computers Discussion Thread :) (Message 2021230)
Posted 30 Nov 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
The RPi 4s have a few hardware glitches, they're not rock solid like the 3s. I don't bother with WiFi since mine sit near my Ethernet switch. In addition, mine run headless at 1440x900 so I wouldn't run into the WiFi glitch.

One glitch that's disconcerting is when the RPi4 is powered on, the SenseHAT's LEDs shine so bright they look like a flash. The SenseHAT then displays its startup gradient, which goes black once the SenseHAT's driver loads.
7) Message boards : Number crunching : Raspberry Pi & Other SBC Computers Discussion Thread :) (Message 2021164)
Posted 30 Nov 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
I played with overclocking my two Raspberry Pi 4s. So far the best stability I found are these settings (added to /boot/config.txt in the [pi4] section):

I found setting over_voltage > 4 and/or arm_freq > 2000 caused the RPi4s to hang.

Both RPi4s were more stable after I left the gpu_freq at the default 500 and also set gpu_freq_min to 500. Since SETI doesn't use the RPi4's GPU I see no reason to speed up the GPU.

Without overclocking both RPi4s Geekbenched at about 4850. With the settings above the hotter RPi4 Geekbenched at 5900 and the one with the ICE Tower at 6100. That's a 22-26% increase. I have a second ICE Tower on order for the hot RPi4.

I got the ICE Tower RPi4 to run at 2140 MHz with over_voltage=6, it Geekbenched at 6570, a 35% increase. Unfortunately it hung too often. Such is life on the bleeding edge...

I'll make a throw-away MicroSD to see if I can't tweak a bit more speed out of the RPi4s.

FYI: for overclocking I strongly recommend setting up the MicroSD using NOOBS. This leaves a FAT32 partition containing /boot. When overclocking settings hang the RPi4, I pull the plug, put the MicroSD card in my Mac, edit /boot/config.txt, put the MicroSD card back in the RPi4, and try again.
8) Message boards : Number crunching : Raspberry Pi & Other SBC Computers Discussion Thread :) (Message 2021117)
Posted 29 Nov 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
The new RPi4 is up & running. The ICE Tower really keeps it cool. At 100% load the CPU is at 40C. My RPi3s run about 60C and my overclocked RPi4 about 80C (all have fans).

I got the SenseHAT mounted using one small extender and three long ones. It looks odd sitting so high above the RPi. Since the SenseHAT uses all the GPIO pins, I chose to power the fan from USB. I cut up an old USB cable and add two pins from a cut-up header extender. One side-effect is that the fan doesn't turn on until Raspbian activates the USB ports.

I tried overclocking this RPi4 with the same settings as my other RPi4 but it hung on boot (typical symptom). I'll have to try smaller increments.
9) Message boards : Number crunching : Raspberry Pi & Other SBC Computers Discussion Thread :) (Message 2020732)
Posted 27 Nov 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
LIke Martin pointed out, headers can be stacked and there are cables. Once I get the new RPi-4 setup I'll decide how to attach the SenseHAT.

On my RPi-3s, I had to use an extended header to get the SenseHATs high enough to clear the Miuzei case.
10) Message boards : Number crunching : Raspberry Pi & Other SBC Computers Discussion Thread :) (Message 2020561)
Posted 26 Nov 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
Thanks for the link. I just blew more than 1/2 of an Amazon gift card on a 2nd Raspberry Pi 4 with the "official" power supply, the ICE tower and a SenseHAT.

Last night I finally got around to overclocking my RPi-4. I've got it up to 1900 MHz using 4 over voltage steps. It's been up for 17 hours. It's Geekbench score went from 4800 to 6050, just over a 25% improvement. I'm hoping the new RPi-4 will do better since I had trouble with the first one (read on...).

Months ago I bought a CanaKit case & power supply with a new RPi-3. The power adapter partially blew out the RPi-3, it has no power light. The adapter died a couple of weeks later. I thought that was a fluke so I bought a RPi-4 CanaKit since they were the first RPi-4s on Amazon. It's power supply zapped a brand new SenseHAT the first time I powered it on. The RPi-4 works but I won't plug anything into it. Two CanaKit power supplies burning out two RPis. I'll never buy anything from CanaKit again.

My three RPi-3s use Miuzei clear cases and power adapters, they've been working fine.
11) Message boards : Number crunching : New Mac GPU Apps at BETA... (Message 2020002)
Posted 21 Nov 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
Is this correct for app_config.xml to ensure each GPU gets a CPU? My memory needs jogging...

12) Message boards : Number crunching : New Mac GPU Apps at BETA... (Message 2019939)
Posted 21 Nov 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
Another Question is why does My AMD 570 run so much faster than Sam's 570?

This Mac Pro is my main computer. So even though I run BOINC during the day it has to compete with two active displays. Whilst I get my beauty rest BOINC can hog all it wants.

I haven't dedicated any cores to the GPU tasks, that was one of my questions for the beta test.
13) Message boards : Number crunching : New Mac GPU Apps at BETA... (Message 2019596)
Posted 19 Nov 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
I think I understand what you are saying/asking ...

I need to learn to write more gooder...

When I created my SETI Beta account I tried logging in with what I thought was my password, when it didn't work I created an account. Then I logged in using my main account password and that worked. So I have two SETI Beta accounts and my main SETI account. All three are the same email. 2 have the same password, the errant one I recently created does not.

So my question is how do I merge two SETI Beta accounts that are using the same email address?

I let the Mac Pro run it's tasks out on the errant account. I just reinstalled BOINC on it, used BAM!, and added the SETI Beta. So now everything should be OK except I lost a couple of days of work.

14) Message boards : Number crunching : New Mac GPU Apps at BETA... (Message 2019340)
Posted 17 Nov 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
Ack! It gets weirder. I got logged into the new account on the Mac Pro. Since I added BAM it added my dual-cpu Mac Pro to it's stable.

So now I really want to merge the two accounts. I fear if I delete the beta account my dual-cpu's long history will disappear.
15) Message boards : Number crunching : New Mac GPU Apps at BETA... (Message 2019337)
Posted 17 Nov 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
The problem isn't directly a duplicate host, it's two accounts on SETI and SETI Beta with the same email. I can see the different <authenticator> codes for the two accounts.

How do I log into the bad SETI account since it has the email as this one? I tried using the password I used when setting it up, I just got an error since it's trying to log me into my main account.

I made the mistake of adding BAM after I had mistakenly created the new account. So BAM shows the host but doesn't show the SETI Beta project. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if shows any work done.

16) Message boards : Number crunching : New Mac GPU Apps at BETA... (Message 2019309)
Posted 16 Nov 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
I almost positive I screwed up when I signed up for the beta. I used the exact same email address as my main SETI account but the wrong password. The site's response made me conclude I needed to create a new account.

If I have two accounts with the identical email can I merge them?

I'm only a day or two into the beta testing so I don't care if the second account's results aren't credited to me.

I've already set the beta on the Mac Pro to not get new tasks.

I have a flu, so I blame an overheating CPU in my head for this lapse of logic...
17) Message boards : Number crunching : New Mac GPU Apps at BETA... (Message 2019197)
Posted 15 Nov 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
I can't believe how much I've forgotten from a few months ago when I was spending a lot of time here tweaking...

I installed the normal BOINC 7.16.3 and added just the SETI Beta project to my Cheesegrater Mac Pro running Mojave with a single 3.46 GHz Xeon, 20GB RAM, and two Radeon RX 560s.

In the hour it's been running I only saw one 8.23 task, the remaining are 8.22. Do I need to change anything?

For this beta, should I be changing command-line options to optimize one core per GPU or just test out-of-the-box?

Suggestions to jog my creaky old brain welcome.

18) Message boards : Number crunching : New Mac GPU Apps at BETA... (Message 2019183)
Posted 15 Nov 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
I just switched my Mac Pro with dual 3.46 GHz Xeons and a Radeon RX 570 to the beta. It runs Rosetta, WCG, and Einstein, so it won't have a ton of results.

I'm setting up my other Mac Pro today, it has a single 3.46 GHz Xeon and two Radeon RX 560s. I'll set it up to only use the SETI Beta for now.

It's getting cool enough outside I can run these space heaters full time in lieu of baseboard heating.

19) Message boards : Number crunching : Windows 10 - Yea or Nay? (2) (Message 2014126)
Posted 4 Oct 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
"The operating system is no longer the most important layer for us,” was the message from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella yesterday.

It shows... Satya's certainly learned from Apple's bean-counter Tim Cook. The recent Mojave and iOS updates are so buggy my Macs and iPhone have become more dysfunctional that useful. I'll waste yet another day of my life reverting to the older, soon-to-be unsupported, macoS Sierra just so I can get work done next week.

What's next? Starbucks saying that coffee is no longer their most important "layer"?
20) Message boards : SETI Perspectives : Seeing the Unseeable: The Black Hole Image (Message 2001284)
Posted 6 Jul 2019 by Profile CyborgSam
Thank you for a well written, concise, and understandable explanation.

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