26 May 2012

26th of May

Farm news
The farm has been chugging away all week with no dramas. During the week I tested the Nvidia 301.42 drivers on one machine. This weekend I took the opportunity to upgrade all the machines to it. I also upgraded the BOINC client to 7.0.28 so they are all the same.

Nvidia releases 301.42 drivers
Nvidia has released updated drivers. Nothing new in that, except this version addresses the "sleep bug" that the 295.x and 296.x drivers introduced for Windows. That means it should be safe to upgrade to this version so you can run CUDA 4.2 apps.

Project news - Einstein
I forgot to mention last week that Einstein have an OpenCL app for the ATI graphics cards. Its been in testing for a while on Albert@Home (the Einstein beta test project). It has now been released on the main project.

They also discovered 3 new pulsars in the data from Arecibo.

Project news - GPUgrid
They have been beta testing a CUDA 4.2 science app for a few weeks. They will be rolling it out publicly next week. The normal sized work units will still use CUDA 3.1 for the time being with the CUDA 4.2 app being used for the "long" work units.
Linux users will need 295.x drivers (or later) and Windows users will need 301.x drivers (or later) to run the new science app.

22 May 2012

22nd of May

Not much to report this week. The farm had the weekend off as I went down to the snowy mountains.

There has been a number of changes to their web site. A few people have complained that they have to use multiple tabs to see things now, where as before they were on a single page. I haven't looked at my stats recently so can't comment on the changes.

Farm news
Apart from the weekend off its been crunching pretty flat-out on 3 of the machines.
The GTX570 in Sulu is starting to build up its RAC (recent average credit) as its been running constantly for about 2 weeks now. Its currently up to 90,000 which is pretty good for a single GPU.

The older EVGA GTX570 was sold on eBay, so its off to a new home. As I mentioned before I am looking at GTX670 cards to replace the remaining Palit GTX570's with. There is about 60 watts of power saving between the two generations of cards.

GPUUG fundraisers
The GPU Users Group have been doing a couple of fund raisers.
1. A hard disk transport case so they can ship drives between telescopes and the university.
2. Another hard disk transport case and 20 x 2Tb hard disk drives, again for transporting data.

I have donated a bit to both. Actually one was meant to finish off the 1st fund raiser, but I picked the 2nd by mistake. To fix it up I made another donation.

Project news - Seti
They spent most of last week off line due to a power failure. They are now back on-line and everything is up and running.

A 15kV underground power line heading from the campus power substation to the hill where the Space Sciences Building is located, shorted out around 2030 on Tuesday night. PG&E, the local power company, spent two days crawling the line from manhole to manhole looking for the problem. Apparently while looking for the first short, they managed to cause another short in the line.

13 May 2012

12th of May

Another SSD
I installed the Intel SSD in Spock on Monday. I copied all the stuff over from the hard disk, repartitioned it, formatted it and then copied a few things back. Adjust the defrag settings and run the SSD toolbox software and its done. The 3 main crunchers now have one each.

Heart transplant
This weekend I went off to the computer shop with Spock and the i7-970 CPU I mentioned on the 5th of May. It had its CPU transplant and a Corsair H80 cooler installed. Its been having a bit of a work out this afternoon when I got back home.

I have also had a look at the Corsair-Link solution to see if it might help with cooling. It allows monitoring various sensors in the machine and adjusting the fans and/or H80 cooler. Its both a hardware device that you plug fans and the H80 into and software for controlling them. They sell in the US for $100 each. I am not sure about Australian pricing.

GTX570 for sale
The GTX570 that was removed from Spock is now up on eBay. It turns out I had the original box with all the bits in it, so its packed up again and ready to go to the highest bidder.

GTX670's are out
Nvidia have now released the GTX670's based upon the Keplar chips. I have been having a bit of a look online as possible replacements for the 2 remaining (factory overclocked) GTX570 cards that I have. The Palit ones look quite good, but I need to see if there are any real world examples of people using them for crunching.

05 May 2012

5th of May

I bought this on eBay seeing as the computer shop couldn't get one. Its an i7-970 cpu. There is a headsink in the box too which is the main reason why the box is so big. I don't need the heatsink.

This one is destined to upgrade Spock from an i7-920 (8 cores @ 2.67Ghz). I have already upgraded its memory and ordered an SSD for it. They tried to deliver the SSD on Friday except nobody was home at the time. The computer shop don't have a Corsair H80 in stock, so I will have to wait another week before it can get done. This will make it the same setup as the other 12 core machine:

Intel i7-970 CPU (12 cores @ 3.2Ghz)
Corsair H80 water cooling
12Gb DDR3 memory
120Gb SSD
500Gb HDD
GTX560Ti graphics card

BOINC testing
We got 7.0.27 this week, which has a number of changes. Currently I have it running on my usual test machine without any issues.

CPDN project news
A couple of their upload servers crashed with hard disk errors last week. They managed to get one back up fairly quickly but the other took most of the week. It was back online and uploads going through but is now reporting a problem with one of the log files.

I have made a couple of donations to them so they might be able to replace some of the hard disks. I have asked how much they cost as I don't know how much a server grade 2Tb hard disk is in the UK, for that matter I don't know how many drives they would need.

GPU User Group news
They did a couple of quick fund raisers to supply a new RAID controller card with battery backup and 4 x 24" monitors for the project staff at Seti. Both have been delivered. The staff were quite impressed with having new large screen monitors. Matt (one of the project staff) posted a picture of his desk looking nice and neat using some books to stand the monitor on.

Quake Catcher project news
They also went off line for a few days. Now that they are back online it looks like they have updated their web site.