29 Jun 2009

boinc update

Another week, another not much happening on the benchmarking front.

BOINC on the other hand, is going in leaps and bounds. Now at 3.88 million on Milkyway, I passed the 5 mill total mark, and The Clangers (the team I crunch for) passed 20 million.

As I was having a problem with my 4850s overheating in Dutchie, I've decided to purchase some VGA coolers:

At 11.47 a pop at SCAN, they seem OK to blow the air out the back, rather than just circulate it around.

It's also pay day next week. So along with the VGA coolers, I want a PSU for JC to put the GTX280 in, a PSU to put into my X2-4400 that I'm selling, another case for the X2-4400, and a 4850X2 to put into HELLFIRE to replace the GTX280. Then we'll see what's what on the BOINC front.

In other news, I was playing around with CUDA this evening, and got some things compiled. Though my basic idea of vector = vector * (vector+vector) at 512 threads didn't really see any improvement on speed. I have some things I need to CUDA up, so I'll have a bash at that soon.

19 Jun 2009

boinc update

Well, over a week later and lets see what is what.

Over the past few days, averaged around 140k points per day (PPD). MilkyWay are now issuing some work units that are slightly less points per second than before, but at least it's all work!

Gone from 1.59 million to 2.83 million since the last post. At the minute I have one 4850 card in HK, and the other in Dutchie. Having them both in Dutchie was putting making temps of 110ºC!!!

Looking at the cards in terms of cores and core speed, I posted the following over on the MW forums:

Cards that can process MW at the minute:

3850 - 668Mhz, 320cores, GDDR3 @ 828Mhz
3870 - 775Mhz, 320cores, GDDR3/4 @ 900/1125Mhz
3850X2 - 668Mhz, 640cores, GDDR3 @ 828Mhz
3870X2 - 775Mhz, 640cores, GDDR3/4 @ 900/1125Mhz

4770 - 750Mhz, 640cores, GDDR5 @ 800 Mhz
4830 - 575Mhz, 640cores, GDDR3/4 @ 900 Mhz
4850 - 625Mhz, 800cores, GDDR3/4 @ 993 Mhz
4870 - 750Mhz, 800cores, GDDR5 @ 900Mhz
4890 - 850-1000Mhz, 800cores, GDDR5 @ 975Mhz
4850X2 - 625Mhz, 1600cores, GDDR3 @ 993Mhz
4870X2 - 750Mhz, 1600cores, GDDR5 @ 900Mhz

So in terms of RAC, using the 3850 as a normalised value of 1:

3850 - 1
3870 - 1.16
3850X2 - 2
3870X2 - 2.32

4770 - 2.25
4830 - 1.72
4850 - 2.34
4870 - 2.81
4890 - 3.18 to 3.74
4850X2 - 4.68
4870X2 - 5.62

Formula = (cores / 320) * (1+((Mhz - 668)/668)

So a 4870X2 will get you roughly 5.62 times more RAC than a 3850.

Now, my intention at the beginning of the week was to get some 3850X2 cards, for 100GBP each, so crunch and also bench for some points (because not many have been benched...!).

I was going with the following:
HELLFIRE (i7 920) - 2x 3850X2
HAL (E6400) - 2x 4850
Dutchie (X2-5050e) - 2x 4670
HK (X2-4400) - GTX 280
JC (3000+) - 3850X2

But then the following occured to me given the numbers above. 3x 3850X2 cards at 100GBP each give the equivalent of 6x PPD. However, for the same price, 2x 4850X2 cards give 9.36x PPD. So I made a spreadsheet comparing price of the cards, and MilkyWay output:

Read it here.

So the way to go is 4850s or 4850X2s. Which in a sense is good - 4850s will get me some nice Global points at HWbot - though 3850s would have gotten me hardware points.

Also this week, a friend needs a new computer, so I'm going to sell HK, my X2-4400, to them. This will mean Dutchie will more than likely become my PC for network storage, and HAL will become a BOINC machine. It will also fund the above purchases :) :)

Thus the situation will end up:

HELLFIRE (i7 920) - 2x 4850X2
Dutchie (X2-5050e) - 2x 4670
HALBERD (E6400) - 2x 4850
JC (3000+) - GTX 280

It just means I also need to purchase a PSU for JC, and a case for HAL.

10 Jun 2009

boinc work

So, the BOINC project MilkyWay has work churning at an alarming rate :) Through a third party, the MW project can use ATI graphics cards with double precision accuracy to work on their science.

For the past couple of months, the users have been limited to 13 million credits a day - this meant for my two 4850s, they got around 15k a day because they were out of work for so long (and also there's an issue with cores to GPU ratio, as you could only get 6*cores worth of work units backlogged to crunch).

Now before when they had work all the time, each was getting about 60k a day (they were both in dual core machines). As of two hours ago, and because of a slight shift in their science over the weekend, the project is sending out work quicker than people can crunch it. So my ATi cards haven't stopped.

The change in science over the weekend caused some ATi cards to stop, meaning more work for the rest of us. As a result, I was getting 50k a day from my cards. Now hopefully I'll get 120k from the two cards, maybe even more:

Thanks to the ATi card development, MilkyWay is my top project, with 1.53 million credits as of 6pm today (it's 7 hours later, and now up to 1.59mil, which extrapolates to 205k/day).

At the minute I have several main aims in BOINC.

1) To increase the following graphic, by getting as many projects as required to certain credit levels - 50k (9); 100k (8); 250k (5); 500k (2); 750k (2); etc

2) To get into the top 80% of as many projects as possible
3) To beat my highest world position of 3185, which means getting 3.5million credits

As a result, my main projects are:

MilkyWay (for ATi cards)
GPUGrid (for nVidia cards)
SETI@Home (can use nVidia)
World Community Grid

3 Jun 2009

computex + XFX

Well, Computex is on. Computex is a tech show where manufacturers and stuff can show off their latest hardwares. There's always talk of new top end stuff, like the Core i7 975 to replace the 965, 1TB SSDs in 3.5 inch form factor, touch screen stuff and the like.

One thing that caught my eye was XFX, now moving into the PSU market. Now, I'm a secret fan of XFX - I love their styling, and their pricing. Green and black does it for me - 'nuff said.

The PSU on show was an 850W model:

Rated 850W at 50ºC with 88% efficiency. Looks like a myriad of connectors - hopefully enough 6+2 pins for the latest graphics cards.

If XFX can price this below the Corsair 850W model by at least a tenner, I think I now know where my next PSUs are coming from!

1 Jun 2009

cheap as chips

The 1GB Sapphire HD 4850 X2, PCI-E 2.0 (x16), 1986MHz GDDR3, GPU 625MHz, 1600 Cores, 4x DVI-I/ HDTV:

That's two 4850 GPUs on one card.

Now given I paid £120 for one 4850 a couple months back, how much do you reckon this is? £240? £260?

For today only (1/6/09), it's the low low low low low price of...


That's an awesome price.

Get it at SCAN.

I wish I had some money. This would be an awesome purchase.