19 August 2018

19th of August

Farm status
Intel GPUs
2 x i7-8700 doing Asteroids and Seti work

Nvidia GPUs
2 x Ryzen 1700 doing Asteriods and Seti

Marks Rpi Cluster
All doing Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
Einstein discovered an issue with the preparation of the data for the gravity wave search. They think there may be an issue with the de-jittering they apply before we crunch the work units. The current search is about 75% completed. I have stopped running Einstein gravity wave work while the project determine what to do next.

15 July 2018

15th of July

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Three i7-6700’s running Einstein gravity wave work
Two i7-8700;s running Asteroids and Seti work

Nvidia GPUs
Two running Seti work

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
Asteroids ran out of disk space last week so I wasn’t able to upload completed work. They took the project down for a couple of days so they could copy the data across to a temporary location. There are reports they’ve run out of space again today. They have a storage server coming but when it will be available is not known.

CPDN aka Climate Prediction came back last week after being unavailable for 3 months. Their virtual machine images had all been corrupted so they were forced to restore back to March and rebuild many components. They don’t have much work available and tasks that were in progress before are no longer recognised. I don’t have any machines attached to the project as they don’t have 64 bit science apps (32 bit apps need extra non-standard libraries to run under Linux). I’d like them to build 64 bit apps as that would mean we don’t need the other libraries. OSX meanwhile is going 64 bit only so hopefully we can get some action on this front.


BOINC 7.12 released
The latest version of BOINC was released. The main changes are to support Science United which is like an account manager for BOINC. It allows computer clusters to let the public run some of their tasks. For more information see https://scienceunited.org/

The Linux build is yet to reach stretch-backports so I haven’t given it a try. There is already a 7.12.1 which hasn’t even made it into Debian.

07 July 2018

7th of July

Farm status
Intel GPUs
3 running Einstein gravity wave work
2 running Asteroids and Seti work

Nvidia GPUs
All off

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work


Hardware updates
I got another of the i7-8700’s installed this week. It replaces an i7-6700. I ended up taking it to a local PC shop. They didn’t do a good job. They left the front case fan unplugged and the power wiring for the motherboard wasn’t passed through the back as its supposed to. I fixed the case fan up myself, it just needed the two rear fans to be on a Y splitter so there was a fan header free on the motherboard for the front case fan. When I feel inclined I will fix up the power wiring, meanwhile its crunching away.

The plan is to replace my eight i7-6700’s (4 cores/8 threads) with six i7-8700’s (6 cores/12 threads). That grows the core count while reducing the number of physical machines. Two have been swapped out already. The rest just need an on-site PC assembler.


Software updates
We got an updated Linux kernel in stretch-backports. It installed fine on one of the Intel GPU machines. When I went to install it on one of the Nvidia GPU machines however It wouldn’t boot. It left a blank screen and I couldn’t ssh into it. I had to boot using the older kernel. There is a Debian bug raised for it (901919). They have since resolved it by patching the Nvidia drivers, but they haven’t yet made it to stretch-backports.

24 June 2018

24th of June

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Four i7-6700's running Einstein gravity wave work
One i7-8700 running Seti work

Nvidia GPUs
Two running burst of GPUgrid with Seti

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
I have 3 of the i7-6700's off  while I am running a couple of the Nvidia GPU machines. The sun is out so its warm during the day. I let the Nvidia GPUs idle during the day but nights are cool so they run overnight. The remaining i7's are crunching 24/7.


Power9 CPU
I had a look at the IBM AC922. They sport dual Power9 CPUs with up to 22 cores/88 threads. They can also be fitted with 2-6 Telsa V100 GPUs (way too expensive for me). They are an ideal number cruncher. They are installed in a number of computer clusters such as Summit at the Oak Ridge National Lab and Sierra at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

There are a couple of other companies also selling Power9 based computers such as Raptor Computing which have a Talos II (dual CPU machine) and a Talos II lite (single CPU machine) that is more affordable at $1399 (USD) without CPU or memory.

I'd love to get one or two of the AC922's even if they don't have Tesla's in them they'd make a great cruncher. Sadly while they run Linux out of the box and there is a BOINC client for them in Debian I would have to get various science apps and recompile them for the PPC64LE architecture and optimise them. That is something I don't have the expertise to tackle.