07 January 2021

January 2021

Farm status
CPU only
Doing Rosetta overnight

Intel GPUs
Off

Nvidia GPUs
Three running Einstein, Milkyway and Rosetta overnight

Raspberry Pis
Running Einstein and Rosetta

For news on the Raspberry Pis see Marks Rpi Cluster


Other news
I had to downgrade another of the Nvidia GPU machines to kernel 4.19 so I could use its GPU. The "GPL Condom" changes in the 5.9 kernel are causing me grief. I have one Nvidia GPU machine still running the 5.9 kernel which can no longer use the GPU for compute. There is a 455 driver from Nvidia which might work but its in the experimental stage in Debian.

I finally received the 2nd Ryzen 5900X CPU today so I'll be swapping out the second 3900X for a 5900X today.


GPU upgrades
I mentioned in my 19th of December 2020 post that I had plans to upgrade the graphics cards. I bought 4 x Seasonic 850w power supplies as the current machines only have 550w power supplies.

I haven't decided what Nvidia graphics card to get. I am leaning towards the RTX 3060 Ti although there are rumours of an RTX 3060 Ultra. I am waiting on the official announcement so I can compare them.

28 December 2020

28th of December

Farm status
CPU only
Running Einstein work

Intel GPUs
Off

Nvidia GPUs
Off

Raspberry Pis
Running Einstein work


Farm news
Another hot week so not much crunching done.

Rosetta has some issue where it doesn't have any work to send despite the server status page saying there are 11 million work units ready. In the mean time everything that is running is doing Einstein work.

19 December 2020

19th of December

Farm status
CPU only
Running Rosetta

Intel GPUs
Four running Rosetta

Nvidia GPUs
Off

Raspberry Pis
Six running Einstein. Three running Einstein and Rosetta (50/50 split).


Other news
Its been a hot and humid week so everything except the Pis have been off. Today is a somewhat cooler 24 degrees C with drizzle on and off (ie 100% humidity). I've fired up a few of the Intel GPU machines and have them doing Rosetta.

I am still waiting for the 2nd Ryzen 5900X to be shipped. The supplier status is "We are expecting a small shipment this week. Once we have confirmed numbers, we will update with an expected new queue position. Queue is just shy of 50% filled since launch". I ordered the second 5900X on the 6th of November so its been six weeks so far. Maybe Santa will bring a new CPU for christmas.


Next year plans
I was thinking of rationalizing the farm a bit and bringing it up to 4 x Ryzen 5900X machines and get rid of the Intel GPU machines completely (6 x i7-8700). That reduces the physical machines while not losing too many CPU cores.

Another area that I would like to look at is an AMD GPU machine or two. Currently there are 4 x Ryzen 5600 with Nvidia GTX 1660Ti in the farm. I haven't used AMD GPUs before due to issues with their drivers under Linux.


Ampere Altra
They are now shipping. Some reviews have started to surface. Apparently the 80 core 3.3Ghz model is faster than an AMD Threadripper at compute performance. I made inquiries about getting one but never heard back from my server supplier. I will have to ask again.

12 December 2020

12th of December

Farm status
CPU only
Running Rosetta

Intel GPUs
Off

Nvidia GPUs
Ran some Rosetta. Currently off

Raspberry Pis
Pi3s running Einstein. Pi4s running Einstein and Rosetta.

For news on the Raspberry Pis see Marks Rpi Cluster


GPU issues
I went to use a couple of the Nvidia GPU machines and found that the GPU was missing in BOINC. This is caused by the "GPL Condom" code added to the 5.9 Linux kernel. It blocks drivers that use both GPL and proprietary symbols. All of my Nvidia GPU machines were on the 5.9.6 kernel.

The display part works fine, its the CUDA and OpenCL capabilities that are blocked, which means I can't use the GPUs for compute work. To work around this I ended up down-grading two of the machines to the 4.19 kernel that Debian buster is currently running. While its easy to select an earlier kernel on the Grub boot menu, its another thing to remove the newer kernel(s) from the machine without reinstalling and that took a bit of experimenting.