19 June 2016

19th of June

Farm status
The farm is divided into 3 types of computers. The Intel GPU's have a GPU imbedded into the main processor, Nvidia GPUs which have added Nvidia graphics cards and the Raspberry Pis. The GPU's can be used for calculations in addition to the CPU however not all projects have apps that can use the GPU.

Intel GPUs
All running Einstein O1 search (CPU only)

Nvidia GPUs
Two running Einstein O1 search (CPU only)

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 search

Project news - Einstein
Now that we've got most of the way through the O1 search they have found that the data is quite noisy and so are planning on cleaning it up a bit before the next search starts. The next search will scan different frequencies.

The O1 search had smaller work units available for the slower computers. There were less of these smaller work units and they've now processed all of them. There are only full-size work units left and have opened up all computers to running these full-size work units as we near the end of this search.

Pi news
This week I've been running through the Pi's and updating them. There were quite a few updates in Raspbian Stretch and also BOINC 7.6.33 came out. I've been doing them one at a time so as to minimise the impact on their output. They usually get a new computer Id so I need to finish off any work in progress before upgrading them.

I have put the possibly faulty Pi back in service as number 9. I don't have a case for it so its just sitting on top of a cardboard box at the moment. I started off with a clean Jessie lite image on a new SD card and upgraded it so its the same as all the others.

As part of the tidy-up of the Pi's I got a 5 port 40 watt USB charger. I have plugged 4 Pi's into it at the moment and they seem to be working fine. If all 5 ports are used then it can only supply 8 watts to each device and the recommended is 10 watts so it probably can't handle 5 at once. Its just a cheap no-name one that the computer shop had. I will give it a few days to see how reliable it is. I need to get more USB A to Micro-USB B cables if I am going to use these to replace the individual power adapters.

Future upgrades
I was in the computer shop on the weekend and started off looking at a dual-Xeon build however getting parts was one problem (the motherboard wasn't available in Australia). The case for the motherboard was going to be another problem as it was an SSI EEB sized board. Lastly dissipating 180 watts or more of heat from the case was going to be an issue. In the end I gave up on that idea.

I got a quote for another 6 core/12 thread machine using the Asus X99-A II motherboard. It wasn't as expensive as I thought and I already have two like it. However I think I might just get a couple more i7-6700 machines as they are fairly energy efficient and don't produce too much heat. They'll replace the two remaining i7-3770 machines that also have GTX970 graphics cards installed. I will then need to find a couple of fairly low-powered machines to drive graphics cards.

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