11 January 2015

11th of January

The weather has been hot so everything has been off for the last two weeks, except for the Parallella's and Raspberry Pi's. At the moment they are out of work due to Einstein@home having a problem with their upload server.

I took the opportunity to take the Parallella's apart and clean them. I have a 60mm fan mounted on top of the standard case so they accumulate dust. The fan blades have built up dust as well as the Parallella board and inside of the case having fine powdery dust.

Today turned cooler so I have fired up the entire Intel-GPU part of the cluster (6 machines) and the two new 6 core/12 thread machines. The Intel-GPU machines are doing Asteroids work. The 6/12 machines were running a mix of Seti and Asteroids wok.

31 December 2014

Goodbye 2014

This is my final 2014 post. Its around 11pm on New Years eve as I type this.

Farm news
The i7-5820's have been getting a bit of a work out this last week to get an idea of their performance. They seem to be about the same as the i7-3770's. I've run Asteroids, Einstein and Seti work through so far. It is better than the i7-970's that they are replacing but not as good as I wanted. I have hoped that going from a 1st generation to a 5th generation i7 would have provided greater improvements, but it seems not.

Apart from the new machines I have also been updating the Raspberry Pi's. I managed to remove x11 from them which free's up almost 100k of memory and around 800Mb of disk (SD card) space. The latest updates include the Linux kernel and boot loader..I got concerned when it said it was going to remove packages boinc and boinc-manager, but it seems it leaves boinc-client behind. The last time I tried it you couldn't remove x11 without taking out BOINC. The upgrade takes a few hours to get installed, followed by another 30 minutes removing the x11 junk so if you are going to do it allow plenty of time.

Next year
I have a few things I would like to get done. The "to do" list:

  • I would like to spend some time sorting out the Alpha Server DS15 and see if I could actually get BOINC installed on it.
  • I have some ideas about getting a rack and transplanting the Intel-GPU machines into it.
  • GTX970 upgrades and maybe free up two more i7-3770's to go into the rack.
  • Get the Skeleton running with the PCIe expansion board

All the best for the new year.

27 December 2014

I7-5820k builds

These are the 6 core/12 thread machines that I got just before Christmas. They are replacing a couple of i7-970 based machines with basically the same configuration, just newer. I spent Boxing Day decommissioning the old machines and moving boxes around, installing software, etc.

I would have liked to get the top of the line CPU but the price difference was almost $800, to gain extra PCIe channels and 1 extra core/2 threads.

About the only thing I might adjust at this point is to move one of the top fans to the front of the case as I think the air-flow is out of balance, that is there are more fans removing air than drawing air into the case.

Fractal Designs ARC Midi R2 case
Seasonic 750w modular power supply
Asus X99A motherboard
Intel Core i7-5820k CPU (6 cores/12 threads @ 3.3Ghz)
16Gb (4 x 4Gb) Kingston DDR4 memory @ 2133Mhz
Corsair H80i sealed water cooling, replaced fans with Noctua
2 x EVGA GTX750Ti graphics cards
Pre-loved WD Black 1Tb HDD
Intel 520 series 120Gb SSD
Generic DVD reader

14 December 2014

14th of December

Farm news
Despite the weather this week has actually had a bit of productivity. While it was hot most of the week we got a couple of cool days and I took the opportunity to fire up the GPUgrid crunchers. I had them running until midday when it started to get hot again.

I also managed to finish off the ClimatePrediction work that one of the Intel-GPU machines had so it has cleared its cache as well. As is usual I got a few file transfer failures for CPDN and GPUgrid which I have to clear via the dial-up.

On Saturday I picked up the two new i7 replacements from the computer shop. Now all I need to do is decommission the couple of old machines and sell them on eBay. The shop still need to supply a copy of Windows 7 for one of them, but that is just a CD and license sticker so I can pick it up during the week. I took a few photos so I will do a separate blog post for them.

BOINC testing
On the BOINC front we got a new build, 7.4.35 which has already been replaced with .36. I was doing some testing of notices with .35 which doesn't seem to notify when it has new notices. The suspend GPU tasks bug has been fixed though.