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Message boards : Number crunching : budget crunsher for 500€ with 2 gpu's?

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ralle030583
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Message 18658 - Posted: 13 Sep 2010 | 21:39:02 UTC

planning to spend arround 500€ for a gpu-crunsher.

But tbh havent any idea how to get max performance out of it. Was thinking about 2x460 768MB for 300€ i found (read they have a good €/folding rate)
but not sure if i can get rest whats needed for 200€.

Im not really sure how much cpu/ram and how big power supply would be needed to supply the 2 460's for gpu tasks.

would be other gpu('s) better?

P.S. sry, english isnt my native language and im a gpu-folding noob :)

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Message 18660 - Posted: 13 Sep 2010 | 22:15:26 UTC - in response to Message 18658.
Last modified: 13 Sep 2010 | 22:40:25 UTC

Hi ralle030583,

it's been a while since I've last built so I'm not up to date with all the components. But a quick google search got me this $500 Gaming PC when I look at this & see that you've already committed €300 & only have €200 set aside for the rest, I can't see how it's possible, when the 850W PSU on the list costs $130 or €100, leaving only €100 for the CPU, motherboard, RAM, HDD, & chassis, even if you plan to use Linux as the OS. It's best to have a bit of balance, as the lack of balance with hardware components will have an undesirable affect on performance &/or stability. Even if you do go cheap on the motherboard, CPU, RAM, & use a USB stick instead of HDD, would you go cheap on the chassis & PSU when heat has such an affect on stability & so does the power?

I'm not offering you a solution, but rather asking you the question, if you're willing to build a PC from scratch, cutting corners, only to be disappointed because you cut corners. I'd suggest that you either start with one GTX460 & leave open the possibility to add one later, or that you instead consider spending $600(€465) instead of €200 on non-GPU components.

Here in Danmark, I've noticed that PC's that cost around DKr.5000(€675) are best bought as a preassembled PC's, where you get the best bang for the buck. It's when you intend to spend DKr.10000 (€1350), that you yourself can get that best bang for the buck. In Danmark things are generally more expensive then in other EU Nations & we pay 25% VAT here, so what gives the best value in your Country is something I know nothing about. Just make sure to look at what the shops have to offer, before you decide if you can do it cheaper.
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Message 18669 - Posted: 14 Sep 2010 | 3:25:57 UTC - in response to Message 18658.
Last modified: 14 Sep 2010 | 3:29:44 UTC

How about a €625 ($806) PC? I took this from link listed in $ & not including shipping or OS. If what you want is to crunch 24/7 as cheap as possible, you can save on the OS by running Linux. You'll have to install via a USB pen or from an external optical drive (if you have one)

AMD Athlon II X3 445 3.1GHz Triple-Core 95W $78
ASRock EXTREME3 870 CF 8x/8x SATA6Gb/s USB3.0 ATX $90 YES it's CF NOT SLI, but you don't use SLI for GPUGRID & only need 2 PCIex8 which you get.
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 $80
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 460 768MB $170 which you'll need 2 of.
SAMSUNG F4 320GB SATA $43
SeaSonic S12D 850W 80PLUS SILVER Certified $130
Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX 2 x 120mm + 1x 140mm fans $45
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Message 18671 - Posted: 14 Sep 2010 | 7:03:33 UTC - in response to Message 18660.

@liveonc
its cheaper for me here to buy the parts instead of buying a preassembled pc.

pherhaps you are right and i should spend more on the non-gpu parts and start with one gpu.

but the parts for the 806$ build you posted seems also to be ok and its only a bit over my planned budget, need only to check local prizes. :)

As OS i wanted try a DotschUX 1.2/diskless client and setting up the server on my debian machine.



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Message 18676 - Posted: 14 Sep 2010 | 11:13:38 UTC - in response to Message 18671.

hmm after thinging about last posts
the current plan is building a nice base and adding up to 3 gpu's later

- Asrock 890GX Extreme3 140,-€
- AMD Phenom II X4 955 Prozessor Black Edition
(Sockel AM3, 3.20GHz, 8MB L2+L3 Cache) 140,-€
- Kingston 4GB RAMKit 2x2GB DDR2 90€
- S1000W Xilence Redwing Gaming-Edition 138€
- Sharkoon Bandit Big-Tower - black (180mm fan top , 120mmfan front) 80€

thats:
588€ for non-gpu parts... argh

+ first gt460 .. 130€

~700€ in total for base system with first gpu...

pherhaps i should replace some parts through cheaper ones ...
any suggestions to reduce costs, are some parts oversized?



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Message 18677 - Posted: 14 Sep 2010 | 11:52:19 UTC - in response to Message 18676.
Last modified: 14 Sep 2010 | 12:10:42 UTC

IMO "Budget" DOESN'T mean what you'd like, but what you need. It's not about planning ahead, but getting away with the minimum of what you possibly can. I can't recommend anything that my heart wouldn't also tell my head is best for me. But if my head tells my heart that I can't afford it, it's never a nice feeling.

But if you do have to cut costs, RAM would be the place, the chassis you can always get later (if you can stand the mess & be very careful), & the GPU will require a core per GPU (also it doesn't mean that it has to be super fast as long as it's not super slow) so you can go cheap(er) there too. BTW, are you sure that you're looking at the correct RAM? I can't see the model you mean, but if it's this, it uses DDR3. I hope you're very confident with your software skills too, because I couldn't get DotschUX working the way it was supposed to the normal way & you're going to run it over the network to save on the HDD. Be sure that you can cool this PC (also when it uses 3xGTX460) & find out if you can manually set the fan to 100% either via software, or by flashing a modified ROM. The very last thing is confidence in the quality of PSU. I have no experience with Xilence, but SeaSonic has always given me a nice(r) one.

NOTE: If you had in mind to use the Onboard GPU on the Asrock 890GX running Linux, I can't get that to work either when I'm using Nvidia GPU(s), but you had in mind to run yours over the ethernet (just to point out, if you had in mind to use a HDD), of course it's probably because I'm such a Linux N00B.
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Message 18678 - Posted: 14 Sep 2010 | 12:14:36 UTC - in response to Message 18676.
Last modified: 14 Sep 2010 | 12:21:58 UTC

Keep thinking about power efficiency for a GPU Crunching system.

That is a DDR3 based system; the way to go, but it needs DDR3 RAM!
Good motherboard with 3 PCIE slots - will allow you to add more cards later.

The PSU is key; it will need to be able to support more cards in the future - be prepared to spend big on a good PSU. The better PSU's are also more energy efficient. Is that the best one?

You should also look carefully at the CPU. If you can get a 65W CPU rather than a 95W TDP CPU then do it, even if it costs a bit more.

By using more energy efficient components (CPU, RAM, HDD) your overall systems power requirements will drop, keeping the running costs lower, and putting less strain on the PSU. GTX 460 (768MB) TDP = 150W. You might get away with an 850W PSU, but check the 12V rail supplies enough AMPs.

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Message 18679 - Posted: 14 Sep 2010 | 12:38:53 UTC - in response to Message 18677.

was only a typo in the list, i mean ofc DDR3

cost safings:
if 2GB is enough, for one crunsihing gpu its already one thing i can safe some
money now :)
do you think a AMD® Athlon II X3 445 (82€) is enough for a three gpu system?

if so i would be at:
- Asrock 890GX Extreme3 140,-
- MD Athlon II X3 445 82,- (shound't the 890GX unlock the 4th core? not sure about that UCC feature)
- Kingston 2 GB (1066 MHz NON-ECC) DDR3-SDRAM 43,-
- S1000W Xilence Redwing Gaming-Edition 138

total: 403,- instead of the 588,- for non gpu part
+ 130,- gt460
533,- .. goal meat


you are right i can purchase the case also later, have still somewhere an old which should be able to handle heat of one gpu xD , would need the new one when i already have 2 or all 3 gpu's

Upgrade list for later:
- Sharkoon Bandit Big-Tower - black (180mm fan top , 120mmfan front) 80,-
- Kingston 2 GB (1066 MHz NON-ECC) DDR3-SDRAM 43,-
+ 2 other GT460 xD

and 33,- over the planned 500€ won't give me a bad feeling i hope :)

Dotsch/UX:
i played already a bit arround and think i can get configured to run as network boot. and if not.. i can still ask for help at work from our sysadmins xD and if it doesn't.. i can still use a spare HDD from my other computers until i get it as diskless client to work

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Message 18680 - Posted: 14 Sep 2010 | 12:48:02 UTC - in response to Message 18679.

That looks like a very good system.

The AMD® Athlon II X3 445 will be good enough for 3 X GTX 460, so long as you just run GPUGrid (no seperate CPU cruching, especially on Linux).
Core unlock might depend on Bois Ver, and not sure its a good idea even if it's doable.
PS. Think GTX 475 might be an upgrade option too ;)

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Message 18682 - Posted: 14 Sep 2010 | 18:33:19 UTC - in response to Message 18680.

now i only need wait 2 weeks and then i can go shopping :)
pherhaps i have some luck and get better prizes in two weeks.

P.S does my sig work now?
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Message 18685 - Posted: 14 Sep 2010 | 21:30:32 UTC - in response to Message 18682.

Your sig sort of works, but I imagine it will look better in a few weeks ;)

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Message 18687 - Posted: 15 Sep 2010 | 10:53:32 UTC - in response to Message 18685.
Last modified: 15 Sep 2010 | 10:54:16 UTC

btw can you say me if that are good numbers for my NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT (997MB) driver: 25896


Task...... Runtime...... CPUTIME .... Claimed .... Granted
1887922 .. 49,048.17.....3,256.44 ... 4,535.61 ... 6,803.41
1882766 .. 64,698.37.....5,591.70 ... 5,764.79 ... 8,647.18
2950582 .. 62,623.64.....5,812.74 ... 5,764.79 ... 8,647.18
2929334 .. 52,622.30 ... 2,907.53 ... 4,535.61 ... 4,535.61
2929279 . 174,102.97 .. 23,367.00 .. 14,159.83 .. 14,159.83
2922547 .. 90,433.09 ... 3,075.45 ... 4,535.61 ... 5,669.51
2898789 .. 90,018.77 ... 5,898.32 ... 5,764.79 ... 7,205.98
2895631 . 245,675.42 .. 22,029.15 .. 14,159.83 .. 14,159.83

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Message 18688 - Posted: 15 Sep 2010 | 12:06:47 UTC - in response to Message 18687.

I make your 9800GT about 38% slower than my GT240's, so I would say your times are slightly on the low side, but not bad.
CC1.1 is about 33% slower than CC1.2. You'r shaders are 700MHz while mine are at 600MHz. My GT240's are on Vista x64, a reasonable comparison to your Win7 x64 system.
You probably dont keep one of your i5 750's threads free to expedite the GPU tasks. I have a Phenom II 940, with one core free to support the GPU's.

You did miss out on the bonus credit a few times. I expect this was to do with your setup. Better to keep a small cache (0.01days), otherwise tasks just sit in the queue eating away at the bonus time; 50% for task completion within 1day or 25% for task completion within 2days (deadline 5days).
- Unless the scientists changed this?

My concern with your cards would be the failures. Not the immediate failures, but the failures after say 3h. Unfortunately this is all too common with CC1.1 cards. Fortunately you have the solution, a Fermi.

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Message 18689 - Posted: 15 Sep 2010 | 12:15:47 UTC - in response to Message 18688.
Last modified: 15 Sep 2010 | 12:17:53 UTC

the one failure after 3h was my fault.. oc during the task was in progress.. think was a bad idea xD

should i set boinc to use 75% cpu's so i have 1 core free for the gpu?
set also swan_sync=0 in system properties.. read something about it.. thaught would be a good idea, or was that also a fault?
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Message 18690 - Posted: 15 Sep 2010 | 12:35:32 UTC - in response to Message 18689.

75% might be a good idea for your i5. Set it at 75% (or any number between 75 and 99 - seems to make no difference) and run a few tasks to see what improvement you get. It migth only be 5%, but even that helps; you would be happy with another 5% OC. You might be interested in this post.

I expect swan_sync would make little or no difference for a 9800GT, or any other CC1.1 card; it is mainly for Fermi's.

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Message 18691 - Posted: 15 Sep 2010 | 13:35:40 UTC - in response to Message 18690.

Hi, not really low budget, but finally got aGTX480 & 470 running on an ASUS P5E with an 850Watt (4x 12V;17A) running. And that's bearly enough, for these cards.
12V has dropped to 11.55, which is acceptable. I run it whithout a case, since the amount of heat is enough to heat a small room ;)


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Message 18692 - Posted: 15 Sep 2010 | 17:07:13 UTC - in response to Message 18691.
Last modified: 15 Sep 2010 | 17:45:39 UTC

Certainly not low budget, but definitely more efficient.
Two big cards in one system is much more economical than running them on seperate systems. Your CPU alone could draw 130W. With the motherboard, RAM and drives you would be close to 200W. Overclock even slightly and you are talking the same as a GTX470 (215W). So you are saving on the running cost of a full system, less the second card. At the same time you are almost doubling your contribution. It’s the best way to do it, if you can.

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Message 18694 - Posted: 15 Sep 2010 | 19:14:44 UTC - in response to Message 18692.

so after my OC attemps of my 9800GT failed and resultet in graphic errors (which seems also cause CUDA errors now...)
i just ordered a new GPU for my main-pc which should arrive before weekend

GigaByte GeForce GTX460 OC
715MHz/900MHz/1430MHz • Chip: GF104 • 40nm •

hopeing it was a good choice

the additional 500$ crunsher has to be deplayed for 1-2 months cause of that,
but thanks for all advises


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Message 18695 - Posted: 15 Sep 2010 | 19:45:49 UTC - in response to Message 18694.

The GTX 460 is a reasonably good card, and still has potential to be more productive. It is presently almost as powerful as a GTX260, for crunching here, but I would expect that to increase, perhaps to about the same as a GTX285. It is also quieter and less power hungry; an all round good card. It should serve your needs well, even if it keeps you away from your crunching system. Perhaps not a bad thing either - In a couple of month’s prices may have fallen and we should see the GTX475.

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Message 18696 - Posted: 15 Sep 2010 | 19:56:21 UTC - in response to Message 18695.
Last modified: 15 Sep 2010 | 19:57:08 UTC

i hope the few extra $$$ for the gigabyte OC version was a good idea, atleast its one with a good dual fan cooling and should be at full load still under 60°C (from what i read)
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Message 18697 - Posted: 15 Sep 2010 | 21:20:54 UTC - in response to Message 18696.

It was a good idea. They are basically guaranteeing that their card clocks well, and with a dual fan it will run cooler, quieter and probably clock quite a bit higher too ;)

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Message 18698 - Posted: 15 Sep 2010 | 21:59:54 UTC - in response to Message 18697.
Last modified: 15 Sep 2010 | 22:06:31 UTC

hmm it seems i need a new CPU Cooler... my cpu is currently throttled cause of heat, my cores are at around 65% avg load and 74,8°C accoridng to BonicTasks/TThrotle. (set a max of 75°C)

:-(

or cleaning the current one... think will look tomorrow for dust
and order pherhaps a new one... the temp seems me to high for only 65% avg load.

/me loves BoincTasks xD finally get it also to connect to my linux machine :)


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Message 18699 - Posted: 15 Sep 2010 | 22:28:48 UTC - in response to Message 18698.
Last modified: 15 Sep 2010 | 22:29:08 UTC

Have you tried disabling "Smart Fan", or other features that would throttle down the fan. I run all my fans at 100% regardless of requirement, as I'm not bothered by the sound (anymore), & if everything runs 100% more air is moved so temps never get the chance to rise. If that's not the problem, try opening your windows, if your home is being heated by your PC(s), or removing the dust as you said yourself. If it's still not enough, try cleaning & then applying new thermal paste. But if what you want is a bigger CPU Cooler, it's usually only a requirement if you OC your CPU. It "could" also be a bad PC case, the lack of additional (optional) fans, or cable-mess within the PC case.
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Message 18701 - Posted: 15 Sep 2010 | 22:55:47 UTC - in response to Message 18699.

disable smart fan in BIOS seemed to help a bit, at least cpu's are at 70% avg with same WU's since restart, so a 5% gain before TThrottle hit :)

need to check dust and cables as you mentioned tomorrow, now i rlly need to go to bed, need to work in 6 hours :-/
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Message 18706 - Posted: 16 Sep 2010 | 17:23:02 UTC - in response to Message 18701.
Last modified: 16 Sep 2010 | 17:24:17 UTC

ok.. i just saw (when building in a artic cpu cooler btw heat problem solved, ~50-55°C at full load xD)
that my mainboard of my main machine has 2 PCIe x16 slots xD

so i think i can run my 9800gt and the new orderd gtx460,
is there something i should consider when doing that ?
(beside the PSU)

can i do run both without problems or shoudn't i do that cause its so
different cards?
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Message 18707 - Posted: 16 Sep 2010 | 18:53:53 UTC - in response to Message 18706.

I don't think it will work.
Your GTX460 runs 6.11 apps and a 9800GT can only run 6.05 apps.

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Message 18708 - Posted: 16 Sep 2010 | 19:34:56 UTC - in response to Message 18706.

I inquired about the same once in this thread. Even if BOINC will detect your GPU's correctly, GPUGRID will see them as the GPU in the first PCIe slot or the one you've set your BIOS to be the default GPU & send WU's according to the two GPU's it's sees as the same type (even though they aren't).
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Message 18709 - Posted: 16 Sep 2010 | 20:25:59 UTC

k will only replace the 9800 in this machine, seems its not worth the efford as long i can't bind projects to a specific gpu in boinc (would set SETI cuda to the 9800 cause that are WU which it can handle nicely.. pherhaps one day...)


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Message 18710 - Posted: 16 Sep 2010 | 20:40:29 UTC - in response to Message 18709.

ralle030583, I see you have so many failed WU's. Do you OC your GPU or CPU, run your RAM too fast, have high temps, use your PC while you run BOINC, or can it be the driver you use?
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Message 18711 - Posted: 16 Sep 2010 | 20:52:04 UTC - in response to Message 18710.
Last modified: 16 Sep 2010 | 20:58:41 UTC

havent anything overclocked anymore. i tried it a bit with the gpu but reverted it cause thaught the failed task could be came from that.

things i did today to solve the prob:
0) had gpu overclocked a bit but resettet to default again
1) new cpu cooler + 1 new 120mm case fan , so CPU dont run hot anymore and gpu is also a bit cooler (and the best thing is, i dont hear the pc anymore at night cause the new fans are sooo quiet *happy*)
2) set cpu usage to 3 cores so one core is free for gpugrid
3) updated my driver today to latest beta drivers (just to try it)

current task is at 58%, i hope it get finished this time..

need to think how the tasks behave the next days.. but think its not worth the afford also.. cause the gtx460 should arrive tomorrow xD
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Message 18713 - Posted: 17 Sep 2010 | 15:21:08 UTC - in response to Message 18711.
Last modified: 17 Sep 2010 | 15:24:45 UTC

the GT460 arrived and is build in,
im only dont understand the clock rates it shows..

NVIDEA Control Panel
Factory Settings:
Graphics clock: 405MHz
Memory Clock: 1800MHz
Prozzesor Clock: 810 MHz

are that settings rights???
on my GT9800 i had
Core: xyz
Memory: xyz
Shader: xyz
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Message 18714 - Posted: 17 Sep 2010 | 18:21:22 UTC - in response to Message 18713.

That is about half the speed it should be. I expect it was not running anything at the time (power save mode).
Use GPUZ to tell you what the speeds are when you are crunching.

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Message 18715 - Posted: 17 Sep 2010 | 19:55:44 UTC - in response to Message 18714.
Last modified: 17 Sep 2010 | 19:57:36 UTC

oh thx you are right:




wondering that GPU is only at ~85% :-/ i want 100% xD
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Message 18717 - Posted: 17 Sep 2010 | 22:50:06 UTC

All you really need for a budget GPU cruncher are as many CPU cores as GPUs and a strong and efficient PSU. Since it's going to run 24/7 (otherwise there's no use building it anyway) it's going to chew up quite some electricity. So you'll want a 80+ Gold unit. The Seasonic X-Series or Enermax Pro/Modu 87+ are very good PSUs. 700 - 800W should be fine for a dual GPU cruncher, as long as it's not dual chip cards (GTX295) or the ever-hungry GTX480. With GTX460 we're talking about ~150W each, probably a bit less than at at GPU-Grid. You don't need a 1 kW PSU for that, but you really want an efficient one. It will pay for itself during the life time of the rig.

And regarding the remaining components: if you're really on a budget you may want to get some used parts. All you really need are 2 cores of whatever speed and 2 PCIe Slots. The latter is not easy, so you'd probably need to buy a new motherboard even if you could get a used CPU. Anyway, take a look around your friends if someone is in upgrading mood. There's also Ebay but it's more risky. Also if the PC will live in a room without regular human presence it certainly doesn't need a case. Otherwise I'd want it to have a case due to noise and lack of electromagnetic shielding.

With used parts you might be able to hit that 200€ target. I recently upgraded my sisters PC for ~50€. It was a bit of a gamble and a bit of a pain to setup, though (PSU died, bitchy Asrock).

MrS
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