18 October 2014

18th of October

Farm news
I have finally reached 25 million credits for Seti so I am now scaling back and will concentrate on some of the other projects. Both Asteroids and ClimatePrediction need to catch up. In the case of ClimatePrediction they tend to go from feast to famine (ie lots of work to none) quite regularly. Asteroids have a CUDA app but because it does floating point maths it runs rather slowly. Both AMD and Nvidia limit the floating point capability of their consumer grade cards.

The farm is running during the day but the main GPU crunchers are usually off. Now that the dual Nvidia-GPU machine has been updated to GTX750Ti cards it may get to run during the day. I have already listed the two GTX660's on eBay.

Depending on how the 750Ti cards work out I may replace the remaining GTX660 cards. I have one GTX660 in each of the 6 core/12 thread crunchers.

Also on the shopping list are GTX970's to replace the GTX670's that are in the GPUgrid crunchers. I looked at them last week but decided they were a bit too expensive at the moment.

Project news - GPUgrid
They've decided to move to a CUDA 6.5 app and are dropping their 4.2 app. This fits with Nvidia ceasing support in their drivers for pre-Fermi cards. Given they are up to Maxwell architecture I expect Nvidia will drop support for the Fermi-based cards fairly soon.

17 October 2014

GTX750Ti upgrade

This is what we start with, a pair of GTX660's

And this is the GTX750's in their place.

Here are some GPU-Z screen shots. The first showing the card details

And this one showing it rather maxxed-out while running two Seti@home Multi-Beam cuda 50 work units.

They are certainly running a lot cooler than the GTX660's that were in there before. They also appear to be quicker but it could be the work units which vary in the amount of processing required.

12 October 2014

12th of October

Farm news
Not much happening on the farm during the day. Its usually too hot so the only things running are the Parallella's and Raspberry Pi's. At night I have been running the Intel-GPU machines. The Parallella and Pi's are running Einstein BRP4 work and the Intel's are still running Seti work.

On the hardware front I am going to get a pair of GTX750Ti's to replace some of the GTX660's. I will also be looking at replacing GTX670's which are in the GPUgrid crunchers. Given I have boxes of old graphics cards I will be listing these on eBay fairly quickly after they have been removed from the machines.

I got a rough price from the computer shop for the 20 thread Xeon servers, they were almost $3000 just for a CPU and then there was the motherboard. Needless to say I won't be buying one of them any time soon. I also looked at an i7-5820k (6 core/12 threads). The price was reasonable. But, and there is always a but, it uses 10 watts more than the i7-970's that its supposed to be replacing and is around the same clock speed. Sure it would be faster and has newer instructions.

Project news - Seti
They've released a new Astropulse application. It does a bit more maths and of course isn't compatible with the previous version. You'll either need to run the "stock" project supplied application or download the optimised versions and manually updated your app_info files.

There is an installer coming but will be a couple of days before that gets tested and released. In the mean time I have already installed it on the Intel GPU machines and managed to trash a bunch of multi-beam work units.

The estimated time to completion is way off while the server works out how fast your computer(s) are and will adjust itself once it gets 11 validated work units, excluding the ones that are more than 10% blanked or otherwise fail.

27 September 2014

27th of September

Farm news
Crunching continuing on Seti. Current credit is around 24.3 million. RAC (recent average credit) has dropped quite a bit due to having the Nvidia GPU crunchers off (due to the weather). I have the dual GTX660 machine running overnight most nights and off during the day. The Intel GPU machines are running 24/7 for the moment.

BOINC testing
We have 7.4.22 as a release candidate. I think there will probably be another bug fix or two before it gets released but its getting close.

Future hardware
I have asked my local computer shop to quote on a server-grade machine to replace my older i7-970 machines. They seem to be taking some time to get back to me. It was for a dual Xeon motherboard.

Also on the wish list are a couple of GTX970's to replace the GTX670's. Some GTX750's to replace the GTX660's and reduce the power bills.

Raspberry Pi's
The Debian-based Linux world had another bug fix this week. The bash bug which could allow a hacker full access to the machine. Debian and Ubuntu have released patches for bash  I have updated all the Pi's as a precaution.