23 December 2011

23rd of December

Its Christmas eve eve and here is the news...

Farm news
Nothing much has been happening on the farm this week. I had only 1 machine running trying to get through those Full-res Ocean CPDN work units. They only take around 550 hours :-)

I am still trying to organise a case for the Adventure and its graphics cards. It always seems so much harder once you have most of the bits to get the last few parts. I have emailed some pictures to my usual shop and they have been in contact with one of their suppliers who specialises in rackmount cases.

Maul's heatsink and CPU fan seem rather clogged up with dust so I will take him into the shop next week so it can get cleaned. I also want them to rearrange the fan wiring so the fans don't just run at full speed.

GPUUG fund raiser
The GPU User Group ( http://gpuug.org/ ) are trying to finish off their 45 x 2Tb hard disk drive fund raiser. As I reported before they have already shipped 24 drives to Seti. I made another donation towards it. They need to finish this off so they can get onto the next item, which is an Astropulse server. At the moment they are $2,189 away from completing this one so if anyone would like to donate please help out.

Project news - GPUgrid
GPUgrid ( http://www.gpugrid.net/index.php ) updated their website and wow its quite fancy now and has the latest server software. It will take a little getting used to. Its mostly the same navigation as before but with the new server software some things are different, on top of the new look web pages.

19 December 2011

19th of December

BOINC testing
We got 7.0.3 this week. So I put it on Maul. Its crunching away at the moment. There have been some reports of weird work-fetch issues. I have found the manager has an issue with the projects tab and resizing if there is a scroll bar. Apart from that it seems to be behaving. The transfers tab now shows "Download:suspended". Before you didn't know if a transfer was going up or down when they are suspended. The file transfer backoff's have also been reduced after complaints they were too agressive in the current 6.12 clients.

The main new feature (apart from the task scheduling/work fetch) is support for OpenCL devices, primarily ATI and Nvidia graphics cards.

Not too bad, but not quite ready for release yet (in my opinion).

Farm news
This week has been warm with rain on and off, so I have to keep the window mostly closed, which also means it gets hot. I have had Sulu running all the time but mostly without GPU to keep the heat under control.

GPUUG funding drives
The GPU Users Group still have a couple of hardware funding drives going. One for a new server and one for 45 x 2Tb hard disk drives for the RAID array. Seeing as it was half-way there on the funding drive Seti asked if they could get half of the drives ordered. Various orders were placed (due to vendor limits) to get 24 drives. The remainder will get ordered once the funding drive completes. At the moment they need $2,999 to finish this one off.

The GPU Users Group have also started taking donations to Seti via PayPal. The University is unable under California law to accept PayPal donations. The GPUUG can as they are incorporated in a different state and not a government entity.

Project news - GPUgrid
They have just updated their server software. Some things (like web pages) are yet to be updated. This should allow them to support ATI cards in the future once they have a compatible science application.

The next update planned is to a newer science application which will only work on cards that have a compute capability of 1.3 or better.

12 December 2011

12th of December

Farm News
Well I have been buying presents again. Well its more that a bunch of them turned up today.

1st up a replacement monitor arrived. I have already swapped the old monitor out. It looks a bit clearer than the old one. Its also noticably lighter. The old one will go out in the next council clean-up.

It was followed a few hours later by the extra PCIe bridge cards and cable for the Adventure 2800. Along with the bridge cards came the 10 GTS450's. Even though they are from 2 different companies in Japan they happened to use the same courier company and arrived together.

For the last few days its been quite warm and then a storm rolled in yesterday and the temperature dropped again. I have only been running one machine without any GPU work. Now the temp has dropped I have fired up the GPU again.

Well I haven't got a case organised yet. I might just go for a rack-mount style case as they tend to be cheaper and more easy to find with the necessary cut-outs in the back-plane. I need to do some searching on the internet to see what is available.

BOINC testing
No new versions so far this week. There have been a lot of complaints about the backoff being too agressive in later BOINC clients so I have posted a request to the mailing list in the hope we can reduce them in the new version. There has been no response from the developers yet.

07 December 2011

7th of December

Back in Sydney.

Well its home with me. I haven't taken it out of the box. I have ordered a 2nd set of bridge cards/cable for it from the company in Japan.

I have asked my computer shop to see if they can find a suitable case for it (they need 12 cut-outs on the back plane for all the cards). I have a spare Corsair 1000 watt power supply which probably isn't enough for all the cards, but might be enough to get it going with say half the cards. The shop hasn't got back to me yet.

I need to decide which machine is going to host it. I have a number of Q6600's but they only have a single PCIe x16 slot. The P6T's have 3 slots (two are x16) but I would rather not use them as a host. I may need to get another machine with dual x16 slots. It wouldn't need to do much processing, it just needs to feed the PCIe bus.

The 10 GTS450 cards have been ordered. The latest email from the company in Japan is they shipped them today.

BOINC testing
Well the 6.13 line has ended and 7.0.2 is out for testing. There have been a few different issues reported for it already, so I will wait for another build before I install it on one machine (probably Maul).

Farm news
Sulu has just completed its Hi-res Ocean CPDN work unit that it had before I went away. Its also finished off the 3 regional models that it had. Since then its picked up another 3 Hi-res Ocean work units. Its also running Einstein CPU work.

I have a couple of machines running GPUgrid work so they should be getting a fair bit processed now as they try and catch up.

My 22 inch monitor has been playing up for the past 6 months. It switches the screen off after about 20 minutes of use. I think its got a dry joint and once it warms up it turns off. Some times it will do this while you are in the middle of using the machine, so its not power management. To fix this I normally just turn it off and on. The power switch on it broke yesterday. It would appear to not push out, so probably broke a spring. Now its on until it warms up, then all I can do is pull the power cable out and put it back. Time to order a new one I think.

GTS450 cards
I have installed the 3 of them in Maul, swapping out the GT240 cards that were there before. They run rather hot, not suprisingly being single slot cards. What is suprising is that they only appear to be a little faster. The peak flops reported by BOINC is approximately 1/3 more (401). For Einstein work the GT240's were taking around 80 minutes and the GTS450 around 60-70 minutes. It could also be a driver issue as I had to install later drivers.

If they overheat they make the machine reboot. I have added an extra fan near the cards to blow air down the length of the cards but it doesn't seem to make much difference. The top most card is 10 degrees hotter than the bottom card. The BIOS isn't agressive enough at increasing fan speed so I have had to do this manually to stop them overheating.