Best All-Around Value DC GPU, Q2 2017

Discussion in 'Distributed Computing' started by crashtech, May 5, 2017.

  1. crashtech

    crashtech Diamond Member

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    Hey guys, I have a few dollars to spend and want to pick up a used GPU or two. It looks like Nvidia is the way to go, especially for Folding, but I am having a hard time letting go of my desire to participate in projects like Milkyway@Home that use DP. Too bad most Nvidia cards, outside of Titans, are just terrible at DP! I've been trying to buy used R9 280x's, but the last two in a row have been duds and had to be sent back. Not sure if I want to try for a third.

    Looking for some ideas for good all-around GPUs that can be put to work on whatever the TeAm needs at the moment, hopefully less than $250 each. Maybe it's foolish to keep looking for cards that can do it all, instead just dedicate certain GPUs to certain tasks, but with my limited resources, maximum flexibility is a plus.
     
  2. iwajabitw

    iwajabitw Senior member

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    That's a good question. Tony kicks but with his 1080's as well as when he was using the 980's he had. But he still has the 280's. From my observation with Einstein my 280x's still out perform my 980's because of that DP. Both cards crunching two tasks yield 8 per hour for nvidia and 12 per hour with AMD.
     
  3. crashtech

    crashtech Diamond Member

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    I'm leaning towards 290/390X at the moment, It's DP is about 2/3 the 280x but with better SP.
     
  4. iwajabitw

    iwajabitw Senior member

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    I read on Einstein's forums that the 480's do really well, but I am not familiar with its specs
     
  5. Ken g6

    Ken g6 Programming Moderator, Elite Member
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    Restricting myself to Nvidia, I like my 1060 3GB
     
  6. TennesseeTony

    TennesseeTony Elite Member

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    The 280X used to excel, and by that I mean utterly stomp the competition, at Milkyway, and POEM.

    POEM is now gone, as they found a way to get away from DP, and honed their tasks to the point they felt they could do the research themselves, freeing the BOINC community to contribute to other projects.

    So the 280X and it's DP advantage is now pretty much limited to Milkyway. It is decent at Einstein still, and maybe Collatz. It does ok in other projects, but not very efficiently (average 223 watts), and falls far behind my 1070 (144w) and 1080 (177w) cards in other projects.

    One ray of hope for the 280X (DP in general) is that Universe is working on a GPU app (if they haven't given up already). But it seems most projects are trying hard to get away from DP dependency.

    I'd say stretch that budget a bit ($330-ish) and go for a used EVGA 1070, as EVGA allows the 3yr warranty to be transferred. Your electric bill will thank you.
     
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  7. crashtech

    crashtech Diamond Member

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    According to all the back-of-envelope arithmetic I do, the 280x still can't be beat from a perf/$ standpoint. A lot of the power I use is, shall I say, available at a discount, so it's not as big a factor for me.

    It's just that the last two have been defective, so I'm gun shy now.
     
  8. iwajabitw

    iwajabitw Senior member

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    Defective, that stinks. The 3 I got off ebay have functioned great, except for AMD drivers. They drive me crazy. Try the MSI cards. All of my GPU's are MSI with the Twin Frozr fans on them and fleabay is full of fans if they ever fail.
     
    #8 iwajabitw, May 6, 2017
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  9. crashtech

    crashtech Diamond Member

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    A newer card that seems to have good perf/$ (better than the 1070, and theoretically better than the 1060) is the RX 480, although the DP on the new AMD cards is not all that impressive.

    It looks as if AMD cards aren't living up to their theoretical SP throughput, not sure why. On paper the 480 should be faster than the 1060, but from the graphs I have seen this doesn't seem to emerge in practice.
     
  10. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Super Moderator
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    Did you ever inquire about my HIS single-fan HD 7950 cards (800/1000 stock, non-boost variety)? I can let them go cheap, to a fellow cruncher. They don't currently have any anti-static bags around them though, they are just in a bin at my place. Hopefully, they're alright. They were working fine after the F@H Dec. race when I pulled them, and put in something a little newer and more power-efficient for gaming (RX 470 4GB). But for DP flops, they are pretty great, if you don't mind that they take TWO 6-pin PCI-E power connectors.
     
  11. crashtech

    crashtech Diamond Member

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    Tried my luck one more time, found a pair of 7970's for $150...!
     
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  12. crashtech

    crashtech Diamond Member

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    PM me, Larry! I have a few more bucks burning a hole in my pocket.
     
  13. iwajabitw

    iwajabitw Senior member

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    Awesome deal!
     
  14. crashtech

    crashtech Diamond Member

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    If they work!
     
  15. iwajabitw

    iwajabitw Senior member

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    I went by the local computer store today. Like you I'm looking for something to give a little more push. I want to get a mobo/cpu combo and get my Vista system replaced to a 64bit system with win 7-10 and pop in another 280x for another dual system, giving me 3 dual gpu systems. Then by fall replace the 5820K with a Xeon and build a another x99 system with dual 980's or 1070's. What kills me though, and it's stupid, is buying Windows everytime. I have every version on disk or flash drive. I would just like to find a cheaper way to get a key. I don't want to go to Linux for DC, though I have had several systems running well over the years with different distros.
     
  16. crashtech

    crashtech Diamond Member

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    I hate to admit this, but a couple of my DC systems aren't activated. They haven't stopped running. I'll get around to buying keys soon, I'm sure.
     
  17. TennesseeTony

    TennesseeTony Elite Member

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    Strangely, AnandTech does not like you to mention the website that everyone thinks of when you say "auction website." You know, the one where PayPal came from, starts with an E, ends with a *ay. But you can purchase fully functional 'scrap' keys from there for practically nothing, from deactivated hardware. That's what the description says anyway. Just go there and search for "Windows (your choice of version) key". $4 to $8 each. And all from Britain, oddly enough. They email you the key ASAP, then "mail you the defective hardware required for purchase" later (cough cough).

    I shamefully do have one Win10 "Test-Bed" that isn't activated, for many months now. Can't change the background, sadly, but that's the only limitation I've found other than updating and an annoying watermark.

    As for the Xeon system, iwajabitw, AnandTech also doesn't like (and this one is understandable) non-retail processors being talked about (prototypes or engineering samples). Apparently they are Intel property for life, and not to be sold. So if such a purchase is in your future, go for V4 chips but....shhh.

    Also I'm very excited about the new AMD server chips (Naples?) based on Ryzen due out soon, but the prices may be high, and performance per watt unknown at this time. They look to me like 4 Ryzen chips on a single package, so I have concerns about the power requirements per CPU...
     
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  18. iwajabitw

    iwajabitw Senior member

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    Wow @TennesseeTony I didn't realize DC had to be so PC. LMAO!:beercheers:

    Edit: Corrected unheard of auction site. Guess I'll have to PM details about unnamed server CPU's as my own search led me to a $1200 2680 12core CPU. I might get in trouble ordering that one. Haha
     
    #18 iwajabitw, May 7, 2017
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  19. crashtech

    crashtech Diamond Member

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    I hope we end up with a race that involves Milkyway@Home, because I just bought Virtual Larry's 7950's. They'll be no shortage of heat and DP power over my way soon!
     
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  20. StefanR5R

    StefanR5R Senior member

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    The server parts will be driven at a lower point of the power/frequency curve than the desktop parts. There is potential for great performance per watt. See the top post of thread "Ryzen: Strictly technical".
     
  21. crashtech

    crashtech Diamond Member

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    There is much about Ryzen that points to it being a server-derived chip. Ryzen is already competitive from a perf/watt perspective, so Naples ought to be rather better since they will have lower clocks and be binned for lower leakage.
     
  22. StefanR5R

    StefanR5R Senior member

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    I wonder whether Vega will change anything of that. It is claimed to offer better IPC, but from what I understand, performance with existing applications will not improve as much as with applications which receive Vega-specific optimizations. Also, the scarce information which is out there is mostly discussed in terms of game performance, rarely in terms of GPGPU performance.
     
  23. StefanR5R

    StefanR5R Senior member

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    But back on topic, aren't second-hand GTX 1080s the thing now?
     
  24. crashtech

    crashtech Diamond Member

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    Possibly, but I'm in more of a low-budget situation, and most of the machines are in an industrial location where power is consumed in bulk. So even as inefficient as some of my PCs may be, their contribution to the power bill is barely noticeable. Also the bulk of our power is clean hydro. Looking strictly at perf/$, many older cards still look very attractive in my situation. I think once I am happy with the level of the contributions being made, the least efficient machines will be upgraded incrementally to increase efficiency and output. I'd like to see what Vega has to offer when it finally arrives!
     
  25. TennesseeTony

    TennesseeTony Elite Member

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    I got my six 1080's for an average of $430 each, but that is above the $250 budget.

    As for mentioning Ebay, it may just be a ForSale/Trade thing:
    [​IMG]