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The rise of the GPU client


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#1 Live Forever

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 09:18 PM


At the time of me writing this, it appears that the GPU clients now have slightly more than half the amount of total TFLOPS that all the Playstations combined have. (718 vs 1408) They are also about 4 times as efficient as Playstations at TFLOPS produced per machine.

(Edit: They overtook the total amount produced by Playstations, with far fewer clients)

Currently the total GPU clients have about 3.6 times the amount of power of the regular Windows clients while only having about 3.1% of the clients of the regular Windows clients. (in other words, one average GPU client does the work of approximately 100 regular Windows clients, give or take)

With the added point values given to GPU clients (to encourage their use), as well as the increased speed at which they are able to complete work units, I think our team should be encouraging as many users to use GPU clients as possible.

Edited by Live Forever, 13 August 2008 - 07:13 AM.


#2 Live Forever

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 09:19 PM

By the way, current statistics can be seen here: http://fah-web.stanf...y?qtype=osstats

The GPU client numbers have been growing steadily as of late. (since the introduction of the GPU2 client)

#3 Mind

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 10:07 PM

Thanks for the update Nate! GPUs are becoming more of a workhorse in scientific applications lately and we should encourage their use for the Longevitymeme team in order to steam roll up the rankings.

#4 frenchhorn1

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 04:07 PM

Frenchhorn1 here,

I built a gpu machine for about $500 from newegg.
I got two open box ati 3850's for $120 or so each with an amd x2 4200 processor.
They gpu's run at 70% of capacity, the cpu at 96-100%. The problem is heat though. The gpu's run at 70C. I would get a faster cpu to better utilize the gpu's but then they would overheat.

I get 2450 points a day average from it. I feel a bit ripped off though, if I'm doing 100 times the work from my other cpu's and only getting 5 times the points. It's actually fewer points than what a q6600 will do. (I'll have one of those up and running in a few days.)

I do churn out 2 wu's every 3hrs 45min. (2 gpu's)

BTW, setting up 2 gpu cards is freakin tough.

#5 dnamechanic

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 06:21 PM

Frenchhorn1 here,

The problem is heat though. The gpu's run at 70C. I would get a faster cpu to better utilize the gpu's but then they would overheat.

Hi Frenchhorn1, thanks for reporting your experience.

I get 2450 points a day average from it. I feel a bit ripped off though, if I'm doing 100 times the work from my other cpu's and only getting 5 times the points. It's actually fewer points than what a q6600 will do.


The GPUs have a huge capability in Gflops, far more that the quad Q6600. The GPU client can currently process only certain kinds of work units. This limits its applicability to Stanford. This is probably the reason that the award points to not correspond to the Gflops capability of the GPUs.

Points awards change fairly often. The SMP work units for dual and quad core processors currently have a large bonus value attached to attract folders. It is possible that SMP work units (for Q6600) may be reduced in the future, or GMP may have increased bonus points. This all depends on Stanford's needs.

The GPU processing is very good because it may attract gamers. Gamers tend to maintain the latest hardware for best game play and that means of course the latest GPU. Looks like the newer AMD/ATI 4000 series are killers in terms of Gflops. Some reports at the Folding Forums indicate that the newer Nvidia cards are as fast (As AMD/ATI) or even faster when folding small molecule work units.

(I'll have one of those up and running in a few days.)

Great! Q6600s are pretty efficient.

I do churn out 2 wu's every 3hrs 45min. (2 gpu's)


Yes, thanks!

BTW, setting up 2 gpu cards is freakin tough.

You are pioneering. At this time you are one of the few that have done so.

Edited by dnamechanic, 25 June 2008 - 11:46 AM.


#6 Live Forever

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 04:08 AM

Wow, frenchhorn1, you sound like you are really innovating there. Good work! :p

The heat problem is understandable; Do you have any type of a cooling system for the GPUs?

#7 chungenhung

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 03:06 AM

My 4850 runs at 80C and I am not complaining.
Those GPUs can really take a lot of heat without melting.
My GPU is OCed from 625 to 700MHz, using stock cooling.
I would say if it didn't crash, you are all good.

#8 dnamechanic

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 12:43 AM

My 4850 runs at 80C and I am not complaining.
Those GPUs can really take a lot of heat without melting.
My GPU is OCed from 625 to 700MHz, using stock cooling.
I would say if it didn't crash, you are all good.

Chungenhung, looking at your recent productivity, I would say you can speak with authority.

Thanks!

It would be interesting to know what hardware you are folding with.

Based on the points of your completed work units, looks like you pretty much use everything available ;)

#9 Ghostrider

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 01:44 AM

The GPUs are getting very powerful. Although more points are awarded to CPUs than GPUs, I think this will change as the GPUs become more programmable. nVidia has a CUDA platform to run C++ code on the GPU. Intel will probably be heading in that direction with their Larabee project. This will be a definite big win for DC projects and in the future, the GPU will continue to dominate and the CPU will play a more minimal role. I mentioned previously that I will probably leave FAH for Rosetta since Rosetta only supports CPUs so my cycles will be relatively more valuable to that project...but this is no reason to stop folding...do something with your CPUs.

#10 dnamechanic

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 02:07 AM

... nVidia has a CUDA platform to run C++ code on the GPU.

The Longevity Meme is about to be passed by a new team, whoopass (see here).

It is quite interesting in that whoopass just started about two weeks ago. Looking at their Stanford Stats reveals that their homepage is NVIDIA. Looks like they are a software development group (CUDA) for NVIDIA GPUs. Guess they are testing their products.

Zero to 700,000 PPD in about two weeks!

Whoopass.jpg

That's some serious foldin', McFolden ;).


Whoopass_2.jpg

The Folding Forums have had a discussion about whoopass. It does seem likely they are using NVIDIA GPU's but the magnitude of the PPD is astounding. Apparently, anyone that knows what they are using for folding machines is not talking :~

Edited by dnamechanic, 30 June 2008 - 02:07 AM.


#11 maestro949

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 08:45 PM

The stanford individual stats page reveals that McFolden is running 127 processors. My guess is that it's a Tesla chassis filled with their newer cards or a stack of the 1U units (about $8k per unit) they have.

#12 frenchhorn1

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 03:48 AM

Hey Chung man!!!

How did you double your output.
Share man!!!!

What PPD are you getting on your 4850?
I hear a GTX280 gets around 8,000PPD.

PS. My q6600 is up and running. Total cost of system build = $400 (no monitor, I use kvm switch) 3150PPD.

PPS. If the prize was even higher, I might buy a q6600 GTX280 system

#13 chungenhung

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:11 AM

team "whoopass" is indeed the nVidia CUDA team. They were the ones testing out the nVidia GPU clients. So I would guess they are all running like GTX280 cards.

#14 chungenhung

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:12 AM

Hey Chung man!!!

How did you double your output.
Share man!!!!

What PPD are you getting on your 4850?
I hear a GTX280 gets around 8,000PPD.

PS. My q6600 is up and running. Total cost of system build = $400 (no monitor, I use kvm switch) 3150PPD.

PPS. If the prize was even higher, I might buy a q6600 GTX280 system

I just recently bring online several quads and GPUs. If the price is higher, it would definitely encourage more folders to jump in.

#15 Live Forever

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:48 AM

I saw whoopass gaining on us (along with folding@evga). That is cool that they are so efficient.

#16 chungenhung

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:00 PM

My 3 9800GTX just arrived today.
I have already set up 2 and is testing the OC ability.
Those cards are HUGE. It almost couldn't fit in one of my ATX mid tower.

#17 Live Forever

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:13 AM

My 3 9800GTX just arrived today.
I have already set up 2 and is testing the OC ability.
Those cards are HUGE. It almost couldn't fit in one of my ATX mid tower.

How big of a performance increase are you expecting?

#18 frenchhorn1

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 01:43 AM

well, I just added my 2nd nvidia 8800gt folding unit. I swapped out my 2 3850's for one 8800gt and now the ppd is up from 2500 to 4800.

I plan on adding another 8800gt to that box eventually.

PS!!!
According to f@h stats, the gpu client is producing 997 Teraflops. That's almost 1 petaflop for just that client.

WOW!!!

#19 Live Forever

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 03:25 AM

well, I just added my 2nd nvidia 8800gt folding unit. I swapped out my 2 3850's for one 8800gt and now the ppd is up from 2500 to 4800.

I plan on adding another 8800gt to that box eventually.

PS!!!
According to f@h stats, the gpu client is producing 997 Teraflops. That's almost 1 petaflop for just that client.

WOW!!!

"WOW" indeed!

#20 frenchhorn1

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 07:56 AM

I checked today and the GPU client is now officially over 1 petaflop.

It's exactly 1020 Gflops currently.

That's about 10 additional each day.

So, I predict that it won't be more than 2 months before the gpu client outpaces the ps3 client.

Although, the powerpc client is still appreciated at their 7gflops.
BTW, I think I produce about half of that total by myself, by which I mean my computers. I'm not that great at math myself. I usually have to look over to the guy next to me, but then I realize that I've been out of school for a while, and the answer I copied really starts to look like a sudoku puzzle for some reason.

I guess this is why the IRS has me on speed-dial. Go figure right?

Next I suppose the FBI is going to be knocking down my door asking where Jon-Benet is, or the CIA asking where osama is, or Elliot Ness asking where Jimbo Hoffa is, or George W asking where Waldo is.

Jees.

"That's all I have to say about that"
-Forrest Gump

"You're working hard to put food on your family."
-G.W. Bush

Who sounds smarter?

#21 frenchhorn1

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 04:47 AM

Well,

It's been two months since my last post, and the GPU client is currently outproducing the PS3 (1183 to 1121 GFlops)

As for my other psychic gifts, I've seen into the future, and I see myself winning second place in some sort of competition.

Yea!!!! I'm the f1rs7 pl4c3 l00z3r!!!!!

#22 Live Forever

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:14 AM

Well,

It's been two months since my last post, and the GPU client is currently outproducing the PS3 (1183 to 1121 GFlops)

As for my other psychic gifts, I've seen into the future, and I see myself winning second place in some sort of competition.

Yea!!!! I'm the f1rs7 pl4c3 l00z3r!!!!!

I see the team breaking into the top 100. I hope my prognosticating abilities are as good as yours, frenchhorn. ;)

#23 Lazarus Long

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 11:46 AM

The problem is heat though. The gpu's run at 70C. I would get a faster cpu to better utilize the gpu's but then they would overheat.


AS for the issue of heat have you tried changing out your CPU fan for one of the new liquid cooling mods?

There are a variety of them on the market at various costs and efficiencies but even the worst one blows away ambient air cooling. Retrofitting one of the new externally driven liquid cooling systems might even allow you to safely overclock the system you have now.

Water cooled CPU/GPU systems

More online sources

Liquid Cooling

Frozen CPU

Thermaltake ProWater




Power Supply option
http://www.koolance.com/default.php

#24 sentinel

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 12:08 PM

Just lost this post so forgive the brevity.

I've got about 6 or 7 processors on line but was looking at adding a GPU. Given that I have fairly old machines in the main (ie 2-5 years) what Graphics cards are recommended. I looked at 8600GTs but they are vista only and wnated to see if anything a little less "current" was worth setting up.

Thanks

Sentinel

#25 Shoe

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 01:44 PM

Just lost this post so forgive the brevity.

I've got about 6 or 7 processors on line but was looking at adding a GPU. Given that I have fairly old machines in the main (ie 2-5 years) what Graphics cards are recommended. I looked at 8600GTs but they are vista only and wnated to see if anything a little less "current" was worth setting up.

Thanks

Sentinel


I think you need to have a card in the 8800 series or newer to be able to fold with it at all.

#26 sentinel

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 01:49 PM

Just lost this post so forgive the brevity.

I've got about 6 or 7 processors on line but was looking at adding a GPU. Given that I have fairly old machines in the main (ie 2-5 years) what Graphics cards are recommended. I looked at 8600GTs but they are vista only and wnated to see if anything a little less "current" was worth setting up.

Thanks

Sentinel


I think you need to have a card in the 8800 series or newer to be able to fold with it at all.


Thanks Shoe, Any you could recommend that you are running/can run on XP? (he said as he "hurtled" into position 149 ;) )

#27 Shoe

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:43 PM

Thanks Shoe, Any you could recommend that you are running/can run on XP? (he said as he "hurtled" into position 149 ;) )


I fold with an overclocked Nvidia 8800 GT, which seems to be a pretty quick folder. It's cheap and can run on XP.

Edited by Shoe, 12 August 2008 - 10:44 PM.


#28 sentinel

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 07:51 AM

Thanks Shoe, Any you could recommend that you are running/can run on XP? (he said as he "hurtled" into position 149 ;) )


I fold with an overclocked Nvidia 8800 GT, which seems to be a pretty quick folder. It's cheap and can run on XP.


Thanks Shoe, seems like a popular choice. The other consideration I hadn't banked on was needing a Power supply of 400W + which rules out most of my boxes. As you can see I don't do a lot of serious gaming! Maybe time for a re-think...

#29 Mind

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 06:25 PM

Chungenhung claimed he could set up a dedicated folding "rig" (with a new GPU) for $300 or $400. Check with him.

#30 sentinel

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 09:31 AM

Chungenhung claimed he could set up a dedicated folding "rig" (with a new GPU) for $300 or $400. Check with him.


Seems a bit on the low side even if you're in the H/W biz, but I'd be keen to hear how if Chung wants to chime in :)




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