02 May 2010

Weekly news

A few things in this weeks update:
  1. New BOINC versions, old one pulled
  2. Maul playing up
  3. Project realignment
  4. AMD releases the Phenom II x6
  5. GTX260 donated

BOINC versions
Bad news first. UCB decided to pull the current release version (6.10.43) due to a work fetch issue. To get the issue you have to be running a project that has a cuda app and your graphics card has less than the required ram (typically 256Mb cards). If you have one then they recommend you go back to 6.10.18. If your graphics card has 512Mb or better then you won't have a problem, so there is no need to do anything.

New version 6.10.50 was released with a bunch of changes and a few broken bits. The notable change they are adding is the ability to set a file transfer quota, and when exceeded it will suspend communications. Unfortunately the enable/disable comms options are now broken, but they are aware of the problem. In fact they have already released an updated Mac version. We're still waiting on a Windows build.

Maul playing up
Well it came back with much fanfare, but hasn't really behaved since. Firstly the shop hasn't got the case wiring correct and the power button is no longer illuminated and the PC speaker no longer works. These are just an annoyance rather than an issue. The main problem is it keeps locking up when using all 3 graphics cards. I suspect its a BIOS issue and the P6T cannot cope with 3 GPU's going at once. At the moment i've removed the load from GPU3 (which is in the PCIe x4 slot) and will see how it goes. BOINC is only using 2 GPU's for now.

Project realignment
After a bit of experimenting with running the GPUgrid work on the GT240 cards in Maul I've decided they are way too slow (about 10 hours a wu). So i've set Maul to just run Seti and Einstein work. The other machines with the more capable cards are concentrating on GPUgrid work.

Orbit would appear to be generating some beta-test work units while they sort out a new app. Once thats done they are expecting to generate real work. Its taken some years to get to this point, so i'm not holding my breath.

AMD releases Phenom II x6
While its somewhat behind Intel, the AMD doesn't do hyper-threading, so each core is an actual cpu. The release in itself this isn't significant, other than it may convince Intel to drop its prices for the i7 980x.

GTX260 donated
I've donated one of Maul's old GTX260 cards to one of the developers of the optimised apps for Seti@home. Most of the guys don't have a high-end card so cannot test their optimisations without help from others. I am hoping this will allow for more optimisation of their cuda app.

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