28 December 2008

CUDA issues

It seems the Seti CUDA application has a few issues that need sorting out. So I have ceased running it and have returned to cpu-based computing for the time being.

BOINC 6.4.5 also has some issues and shows that it isn't quite ready for CUDA, although it detects and can assign work to the graphics card. It needs some work around scheduling of tasks and cannot currently run a cpu and a gpu version of the same science application.

Just to keep the graphics card warm I have joined GPUGRID. Their application seems to work fine, and keeps the gpu busy for hours on end. A typical work unit takes my 9800GT card between 8 and 10 hours. The only thing I don't like is they have very short deadlines, typically 3 or 4 days.

I managed to hit 2.5 million credits for Seti and 3.5 million credits overall. I am not treating them as a milestone as I am aiming to get Einstein up to 1 million. If all the machines were running it would take about 5 days to get there, but they are all switched off at the moment due to the heat - Current loft temperature is 30 degrees.

26 December 2008

Qui-Gon graphics

Here's the Palit 9800GT card that I bought to upgrade the graphics in Qui-Gon. I had never heard of them before I bought this one.

As the ACER power supply isn't grunty enough and only has SATA power connectors I had to upgrade it too. As you can see from the picture this is a Seasonic M12 mark II, rated at 500 watts.

Here is a picture of the card and the power supply installed in Qui-Gon. I also added the case fan seeing as it now generates even more heat.

And here is another shot of the innards of Qui-Gon

And lastly I got a few Star Wars figurines. Naturally I got the ones that belong with the computer names, so here is Qui-Gon Jinn sitting on top of himself.

21 December 2008

CUDA Seti application

As mentioned in my previous post, the Seti@home guys have released their CUDA-based application. After upgrading the hardware I spent most of today experimenting with the app_info settings.

It needs a CPU to "feed" the GPU, so it runs as 3 cpu tasks + 1 gpu task at a time on my quad core machine. Below is a screen shot of it running a Seti multi-beam work unit on the gpu.

This is a screen shot of the temperature utility for the graphics card, showing its getting a work out.

18 December 2008

Qui Gon returns

I got an email response from ACER today. They advised a combination of things that obviously resets something (unplug it, hold power button for 10 secs, wait 15 mins, plug it back in). Anyway it got the thing going, not too sure what it resets but it worked and now Qui Gon Jinn is off and running again.

The Seti guys have released the CUDA application. So now its official. I will have to sort out the appropiate power adapter cable for the video card pretty soon. I will be installing the CUDA aware version of BOINC on Qui Gon in anticipation of getting the video card working.

17 December 2008


I went out and bought a new NVIDIA 9800GT video card. Seti are currently testing a GPU application. I was planning on putting it into Qui Gon Jinn (one of the 5 ACER quad core machines).

I shut it down yesterday, opened it up to check the power connectors as the video card requires a seperate power cable. Qui Gon has SATA power connectors and the supplied adaptor cable is for molex connectors. So I closed it up without doing anything to it, plugged it in and now it won't power up at all. I have booked a service call with ACER. They have already failed their own benchmark of contacting me within 4 business hours.

12 December 2008

Plodding along

Nothing much to report on the BOINC front at this point in time. My machines get a few days of running because the weather is cooler and then it gets hot again and I have them only running overnight, so my RAC (recent average credit) is all over the place.

I haven't reached any milestones recently, although Einstein is closing in on 1 million credits.

My father passed away last weekend.