Folding GPU (esp. AMD) is where it's at...

Discussion in 'Distributed Computing' started by Louis Wu, May 15, 2013.

  1. Louis Wu, May 15, 2013
    Last edited: May 15, 2013

    Louis Wu macrumors 6502

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    #1
    specifically, a 7970 running under Windows 7 or 8 using the latest client and core17 and the beta flag...

    background info here:
    http://folding.typepad.com/news/2013/05/core-17-update-video-and-reddit-live-qa.html

    CPU folding really isn't worthwhile unless you have a massively powerful rig running bigadv units (they require 16 cores running at a decent clock to finish the work units within the specified time) and GPUs can be used for other things (like video editing or gaming) so are probably the better bet for most folks who are thinking of getting into folding.

    I found that Macs aren't that good for folding unfortunately -- last time I checked my older mini was doing about 2 K ppd.

    by comparison, a GTX 660ti went from 36 K to 50 K ppd with the new core17.

    but it's the AMD CPU cards that are really pulling in the big numbers!

    my GPU rig runs a chip taken out of my Mac Pro and it gets about 6 k ppd under Win7. And upgrading my Mac Pro was how this all started for me... don't say you weren't warned :D

    just throwing this out there. comments and questions welcome.

    Louis
     
  2. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #2
    thanks for posting!

    now do you use the same machine that's GPU folding? i've noticed that there was a huge lag when using the machine that was also GPU folding. the machine was unusable.

    i've got 4 x gtx 260s that are just sitting collecting dust. is it really worth my time to set them up again?
     
  3. Louis Wu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    To be clear, I'm just thinking about the 7970; haven't pulled the trigger yet. But with Core17 my PPD on my 660ti went from 36 to more than 50... the 560ti went from 20 to 25k PPD so not nearly as good a bump. Of course the 560, being older, takes more power than the 660ti...

    ...so on power grounds alone I'd say not to bother. In the next week or so I'll be taking the 560 off line because the 25 k per day really isn't worth it... (in power and heat)

    and they're running in a w7 box with plenty of cooling fans! I tried running the quad core Xeon just to feed the GPUs and found that the CPU was still being used about 25-30% of the time so I turned CPU folding back on since might as well get the extra 5 K per day...

    Louis

    I've been seeing in other folding forum boards that people are selling off their nVidia GPUs (nice units, like 580s) to concentrate on other hardware (presumably AMDs). Not a bad time to be picking up GPUs for your Mac Pro if you need one! (not the 580 though, it takes more power than a Pro can supply)
     
  4. rwh202 macrumors regular

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    #4
    Seems like I've reached the same conclusion as you - GPUs (esp AMD) are the way to go.
    Just bought a 7870 for an extra 56k PPD and a GTX 660ti to replace/complement some old GTX 460s.

    I'll wait until core 17 becomes official and the bonus points get confirmed, then I might well splash out on a 7970 - 110k PPD is equivalent to 4 of my i7 CPU rigs with about half the power usage.
     
  5. Louis Wu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    that's good advice -- don't know how the Core17 public launch will go. and good to hear that you've picked up 56 k extra!

    the 660ti is very nice; runs fast and cool, and works well in a Mac Pro besides!

    and you're right, it's scary how many ppd you get out of a 7970 and how much you'd save on power. I'm already thinking of loaning rigs out to friends so their sons can play video games :D
     
  6. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #6
    so can you post how exactly to add the core17 flags in version 7 client?
     
  7. Louis Wu, May 19, 2013
    Last edited: May 19, 2013

    Louis Wu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    OK let's just go with general advice on how to configure your client to run most efficiently...

    http://folding.stanford.edu/English/FAQ-Configure

    let me know if any questions!

    PS if you start picking up 7663 WUs then you're doing it right!
     
  8. twoodcc, May 19, 2013
    Last edited: May 21, 2013

    twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #8
    thanks! i've been told that this is mainly for those in the beta program. so maybe we should take this down?
     
  9. Louis Wu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    done
     
  10. ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

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  11. Louis Wu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I don't have a clue -- but if you have access to one toss it on and see what happens!

    (I wouldn't go buying one unless I had other uses for it; for folding the AMD 7970 or the new nVidia GTX 780 cards seem to be the big winners in the price/power/performance sweet spot!)

    Louis

    ----------

    because of the non-linear relationship built into QRB, one very powerful graphics card (or computer) does a lot better than 2 less powerful cards (or computers).

    I'm using my CPU solely to feed 2 video cards.

    GTX 660ti (Kepler) = 65 K ppd
    GTX 560ti (Fermi) = 24 K ppd

    guess which one is newer?
    guess which one takes more power?

    Louis
     
  12. ChristianJapan, May 30, 2013
    Last edited: May 30, 2013

    ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

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    #12
    finally ordered a 660TI this morning; to replace my 9800GTX+; seems a good balance between power/consumption/heat/PPD

    With my current three CPU/ one GPU setup I make ~ 30k PPD; will be nice to see that one graphic card easy double that. And my poor iMac can stop folding (but doing a good job; actually better compared to the 9800GTX with respect to PPD).
    Dont know what it is: but addictive it is.

    Happy Folding
     
  13. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #13
    awesome! let us know how it goes!
     
  14. ChristianJapan, Jun 1, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013

    ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

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    #14
    Nice card, goes good but slowly ... I only fetch some of the 8074 projects, 4 hours crunching, 3800 Points, no bonus. Still comes to 24kPPD
    Together with my other CPUs seems I can crunch 52kPPD.

    Something you guys make during the lunchbreak.

    Fighting me up in the ranks, now place 7 of productive users, 4% daily contribution ... 7 digits mid/late June

    Energy bill: will be higher ... The meter is permanent with 600 Watt for my desk. :eek:
     
  15. Louis Wu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    not shabby at all! it took me a lot longer to get to that level!

    way to go!

    Louis
     
  16. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #16
    hey that's still awesome!
     
  17. ChristianJapan, Jun 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013

    ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

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    #17
    Ok, I'm stills noob with F@H. How do you get 65kPPD out of your 660ti ? Right now I have some nice WU with around 34kPPD on my 660ti. Up from some "boaring" 24kPPD-WU.
    Still some way to go for 65kPPD. Are you in beta-test ?

    Or should I stop using the CPU for folding ? It's a i7 2600S, 3.4GHz. How many cores would I need to feed the GPU sufficiently and bump the PPD ?
     
  18. rwh202 macrumors regular

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    #18
    That'll be running core_17 OpenCL work units - i.e. beta units for now

    The nvidia clients don't use much CPU, but experimenting with leaving one core free for GPU might be worthwhile. You can then get issues with using an odd (or prime) number of cores, so for safety I use -smp 6 when I have 2 GPU clients running and leave it at 8 when only running one.

    My first 660ti had to be RMA'd, but the new one seems to be a good'un and now putting out enough steady points for me to retire two GTX460 with change to spare... Now lusting over a GTX780 for 140kPPD...
     
  19. Louis Wu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    yeah, me too... but very pricey!!

    Louis
     
  20. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #20
    hey Louis, congrats on that bigadv wu! let's hope you got the system working well and they continue!
     
  21. Louis Wu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Thank you! :)

    One WU does not a trend make, so I'm trying the tactic of "Not Touching Anything" to see if that helps with stability.

    I think there might be an issue with a memory slot on the motherboard. Right now I've got 14 of 16 populated, which I know isn't the best, but I don't want to mess anything up...

    will see how this goes!

    Louis
     
  22. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #22
    number 2 complete! hopefully things will continue to stay stable! ;)
     
  23. Louis Wu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    thanks -- keeping fingers crossed as it's been a slog to get this far!
     
  24. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #24
    i'm sure it'll be fine. hopefully no power outages or anything
     
  25. Louis Wu thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    don't even suggest that!
     

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