28 March 2009
This week has had its ups and downs.
On the up side Darth Maul joined the farm and is crunching away.
On the down side the Seti@home file server had a hard disk failure and hasn't been sending out any work for a while. It is back in a rather limited fashon and producing small amounts of work units. The Einstein@home file server also failed and so its not downloading or uploading anything and the website is gone too. That leaves GPUgrid and Orbit@home for work. GPUgrid is working but not all my machines have GPU's. Orbit hasn't had any work for months. So basically the farm is almost out of work. I have attached one machine to Climateprediction but it wants to download over 150Mb to get started, so that will have to wait until my ISP's off-peak hours (1am to 7am).
I have continued BOINC testing. The current version is looking stable enough now to be released. I have 6.6.18 on one machine and 6.6.17 on all the others.
27 March 2009
And here is the insides looking towards the back of the case to give you an idea how big the heatsink/fan is.
The CPU doesn't seem to run that hot. Not suprising considering the size of the heatsink/fan.
The graphics cards on the other hand run around 70+ degrees, and thats when I ramp up the fan speed manually. The nVidia drivers are not too good at increasing fan speeds while running cuda tasks. I'm currently running 182.06 drivers.
Here are some more pictures of inside. The motherboard is an ASUS P6T, Intel core i7-920 CPU, Thermalright ultra120 heatsink/fan and 3Gb of Corsair DDR3 RAM. In the pci-e slots there are a couple of Palit GTX26o graphics cards.
21 March 2009
I had a few teething problems installing XP which turned out to be a dud CD. Used a different CD and that fixed it. Applied SP3, download latest 74Mb of fixes from Microsoft and its ready to roll.
Installed BOINC and picked up a couple of GPUgrid wu and it seemed happy. It then picked up some Einstein work, cpu fans all ramped up and then it crashed. The shop had OC'ed it to 3.9Ghz. So hop into the BIOS, reset to factory defaults and off we go again at 2.67Ghz this time. Seems to be stable now.
Here is the GPU-Z screen shot of one of the 2 GTX260-216 cards.
Here is the CPU-Z screen shot of the i7-920 after resetting to factory defaults.
And here is the BOINC manager showing all the tasks.
Lastly I had to go and update the flops counts in the Seti app_info to reflect the different speed compared to my usual quad-core machines. It hasn't picked up any Seti work yet so we'll see how much of a speed difference it makes.
18 March 2009
If you are not comfortable with editing an app_info and using optimised apps then this is not for you.
BOINC is very unforgiving of an incorrect app_info and usually will delete all tasks if you get it wrong.
Do NOT use Internet Explorer to edit the xml files, it will stuff up your app_info. Use Notepad or another text editor.
Thanks go to Richard Haselgrove and Claggy for ideas in building this app_info.xml file.
Upgrade your BOINC client first and get it working before changing anything else.
The app_info.xml below is based on a 32 bit Windows platform. If you are running on another platform you may need to add/amend the <platform_name> tags.
My computers support the SSSE3 instruction set. SSE2, SSE3 or SSE4.1 may be more appropiate for you. You will need to amend the program names as appropiate.
I've assumed that you have your cuda-capable card up and running and have the necessary nVidia drivers (minimum version is 180.48).
a) Optimised multibeam and optimised Astropulse
b) Cuda multibeam and support libraries
1. Download and install BOINC 6.6.20. Get this working before changing anything else.
1a. If you have a cc_config file with a <ncpus>
2. Empty your cache of Seti@home work. This is best achieved by setting the project to No new work and letting it finish off its tasks. Make sure they are all uploaded and reported, there should be none on your tasks list.
3. Download the optimised multibeam and astropulse apps (usually from the lunatics web site) if you don't already have them.
4. Download the cuda multibeam app (from the Seti web site) if you don't already have them. If you run the stock cuda multibeam app then you should already have these in your projects\Setiathome.berkeley.edu folder.
5. Disable network communications in BOINC. Shutdown BOINC. Make sure its shutdown.
6. Browse your client_state.xml file (its in the BOINC data directory) and look for the entry <p_fpops>. We need to use this number. Do NOT change this file.
7. Browse the BOINC log file to get the estimated speed of your GPU. This is usually given at the top of the log in Gflops. My 9800GT was estimated at 60Gflops.
8. For each of the apps multiply the p_fpops value by the factor below and put this into the appropiate flops entry in the app_info given below. For multibeam 608 you need the estimated Gflops.
Astropulse 500 flops = p_fpops x 2.25
Astropulse 503 flops = p_fpops x 2.6
Multibeam 603 flops = p_fpops x 1.75
Multibeam 608 flops = Est.Gflops x 0.2 (eg 60,000,000,000 x 0.2 = 12,000,000,000)
9. Make sure you have all the programs listed above in the projects\Setiathome.berkeley.edu folder. If not copy them there.
10. Save your app_info in the projects\Setiathome.berkeley.edu folder.
11. Start up BOINC. Check the messages tab to see if it lists any [file error] messages. If there are shut BOINC down, check you have the correct program names referenced. Go back to step 9.
12. If okay then enable new work for the Seti@home project.
13. Enable network communications again.
14. It should now download work of all types. If not check your Seti@home preferences on the Seti web site, that Astropulse, Astropulse_v5 and allow graphics processor are all ticked. If you have a slower computer you may not get astropulse work units anyway.
Updated 14th April 2009
15 March 2009
Highlights of this week
- Seti hit 3 million credits
- The ill-fated KFSN4 has gone off to become an i7. Should be back next week
- BOINC testing, now running 6.6.15. All machines updated to this version
- Finished app_info setup for Seti cuda and non-cuda work
As mentioned above and on the previous post, I setup an app_info file to allow processing of Astropulse, Astropulse_v5, multibeam (non-cuda) and multibeam (cuda) for Seti@home. Since Seti updated their server software earlier in the week this has been crunching away on the cuda-capable hosts, which is probably why it took less time to reach 3 million credits.
08 March 2009
With the release of BOINC 6.6.14 did some experimenting with trying to get a different science applications to run for the same type of work units (seti multibeam). Seti have a cuda application and a cpu application. They use the same application name but different version numbers. It looks like it may need the scheduler (which runs on the server) to be upgraded first.
Also related to the BOINC version, I tried the Team mod from Raistmer but it didn't work under 6.6.12. It looked like it would run under 6.6.14 but I couldn't get any seti cuda work to try it with.
Highlights of this week
- New versions of BOINC. Started off the week with 6.6.11 and now i'm testing 6.6.14.
03 March 2009
I had a few dramas with the optimised Astropulse (AP). I chopped a bit too much out of the app_info supplied when putting it together with my existing file. The result was the wrong version app running the newer AP 5.03 work units. Once I realised I aborted all the AP work and fixed app_info. About that time Seti@home added an option that by default disabled the sending of Astropulse 5.03 work. So after a couple of days of not getting any new work units I found this out and enabled them.
I am trying to get Seti over 3 million credits. This means I will be installing the cuda application on the two cuda-capable machines so they can use their gpu capabilities, once they complete their current batch of GPUgrid work.
The i7 was ordered, however the computer shop advised they didn't have stock for 2 weeks. Sounds familiar? Supposedly they will have stock mid-march.
Highlights of this week
- New version of BOINC, now running 6.6.11 on both cuda-capable machines
- Updated drivers to 182.06 on both cuda-capable machines
- New optimised Astropulse app installed on all machines