24 July 2016

24th of July

Farm Status
Intel GPUs
All six crunching Asteroids

Nvidia GPUs
Two remaining are running Asteroids

Raspberry Pis
All nine crunching Einstein

Project news - Einstein
They are going to be taking the project off-line from the 1st of August to the 5th of August. This is so they can convert to their new format website that they have been running on Albert for quite some time. They probably won't need the back-end servers off-line for so long.

Farm news
Given the length of time Einstein will be off-line I have already increased the cache on the Raspberry Pis so they have enough work to ride out the outage. I also took the opportunity to update all of them to the latest version of Raspbian.

I am number 10 in Asteroids top participant list (by recent average credit). This is despite being down two machines that were retired last week. I am waiting for the replacement machines to be assembled by the computer shop. Hopefully they'll be ready for next weekend. I also need to chase the shop as to what is happening with the replacement GPU crunchers.

My internet speed is rather slow these days. I had a service call with the phone company last week. They found two faults, one on the incoming line and one between the incoming line and a second communications cupboard. They swapped the lines over but that doesn't seem to have helped.

I am considering swapping internet provider to one that offers ADSL 2+ annex M support, thus improving upload speed but sacrificing some download speed. I have ordered a new ADSL router for this but it has yet to arrive.

16 July 2016

16th of July

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All running Asteroids

Nvidia GPUs
One running Asteroids, one off and the other two in pieces (see below)

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work

Machine shuffling
As mentioned above two of the Nvidia GPU machines are in pieces. They've been decommissioned while I get a couple more of the i7-6700's. Actually cannibalised is probably a better description. I've also got a couple of i5's on order that will become two new Nvidia GPU machines. The computer shop is still awaiting Asus motherboards.

After this the Intel GPU part of the farm will consist of 8 x i7-6700's. The idea is to have CPU crunchers (the i7-6700's) and GPU crunchers with one or two GPU's each. I still need to get the dual GTX750Ti cards into dedicated GPU crunchers too, but the GTX970's that came out of the two machines will be done first. Oh and I have a bunch of i7-3770 based motherboards looking for a home.

The newer Nvidia 1070 and 1080 cards are too expensive to consider at the moment, but I will look at replacing the GTX970's once the price is more reasonable.

07 July 2016

7th of July

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All crunching Asteroids work

Nvidia GPUs
One crunching Asteroids work. The others are off.

Raspberry Pis
All crunching Einstein work

Other news
I'm in the top 20 participants list at Asteroids and I am not even running all the machines.

I was running GPUgrid work earlier in the week, but its been raining for most of the week so they've been off.

The two i7-6700's that I ordered a couple of weeks ago are awaiting motherboards. Apparently ASUS managed to sell everything in Australia  by June 30th (our end of financial year) so the motherboards got back-ordered. They aren't expected to be in stock for a couple of weeks now. I am supplying the hard disks so will be taking the i7-3770's out of service for parts.

The Raspberry Pi's don't seem to like running off the Anker Powerport 6. I had one flashing its power LED and another where it went off completely. I plugged both into the official 2A power adapters which seemed to fix their problems.

I was looking at a dual-Xeon machine but after reading some news about AMD Zen processors will wait to see what happens at the end of this year. AMD are targeting the extreme processor market (I have two i7 extreme processors). They will have 8 cores/16 threads and lots of PCIe lanes. We will have to see how they perform.

25 June 2016

25th of June

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Finishing off Einstein O1 search and switching to Asteroids and CPDN work

Nvidia GPUs
Just finished Einstein O1 search now running GPUgrid work

Raspberry Pis
Running Einstein BRP4 work

Project news - Einstein
Their O1 search has pretty much ended. It will take a couple of weeks for the remaining work to be returned. The only work units available now are the resend of failed work units. Hopefully they won't take too long to get the next search running in a different frequency range.

Hardware purchases
I've ordered a couple more i7-6700's to replace the two i7-3770's. The i7-3770's each have a GTX970 which will need to go into a GPU-based machine.

For the GPU-based machines I've selected motherboards and they'll have a low power i3 CPU to run them. I still need to find a suitable case. The Fractal Designs ARC Midi cases that I normally use have been discontinued and are proving hard to find.

Nvidia released GTX1080 and GTX1070 graphics cards recently so once the prices drop a bit and supply becomes plentiful I may look at replacing the GTX970's. They don't work on GPUgrid yet so there's no hurry.

Intel GPU drivers
They've released a new driver 4464 for the HD Graphics 530. Unfortunately they still haven't got their OpenCL working so I can't use the Intel GPU's for anything useful. Despite opening a ticket with Intel in February there doesn't appear to be any progress in fixing their drivers.